This is for the average Joe who loves to fish but wants to improve his or her game a little.
Some fisherman just love to be on the lake with a pole in one hand and a beer in the other. I spend a lot of time in this mindset myself. Others, well they're looking for that Hawg in the double digits. I've compiled a top 10 list of ways to improve your chances of catching such a fish.
1. It should go without saying that the number one way to catch any fish is to get out on the lake. Too many anglers do not get out enough. If you are serious, you have to get out regularly and perfect your techniques. If you're on the couch you are not catching fish.
2. To catch large fish, you have to go were they live. Plain and simple. Small private ponds and ponds on golf courses can yield great catches because they are seldom if ever fished. The problem is getting permission to use them. You should also check which lakes hold the state record Bass. In Texas it's Lake Fork. If you can, fish the lakes with big Bass records. If you still can not catch the trophy your longing for, it may be time to hire a guide. Go online and research the guides on your favorite lake.
3. Patience. When applying techniques for catching 10 pounds, you are not going to be catching many fish. You will have to decide whether or not you can spend hours on the lake reeling in fishless lures over and over. You have to stay dedicated and be patient. Otherwise, slip on your "go to" lure and be content with 2 and 3 pounds.
4. Persistence. Try, try, and try again. I've known really good bass anglers who have fished for years before catching a 10 pounder. And quite often, they catch em 'when they're just out fishing without any grand expectations. I was out with my oldest son teaching him how to work a Texas rigged worm. I was tossing one myself to demonstrate how to work the rod when low and behold I hooked into my first double digit Bass. It came when I least expected it to. I guess the point is, get out on the lake as much as possible and fish because you love to fish. With patience and persistence, you stand a much better chance of catching the big one.
5. Lure selection. Before you hit your favorite lake, talk to the guys in the tackle shop. Talk to other fisherman. Get online and join a blog or forum for the best lures and spots to fish on your lake. Most Bass fisherman, while protective of their honey holes, still want to talk about their experiences and accomplishments. Ask them what lures work best and under what conditions. When you decide on a lure selection, stick with it and experiment with speeds and pole action. Do not be afraid to go big with a lure either. Think about how big a 10 pound Bass is and go from there. Also, do not be distracted by all the ads for guaranteed bass catching lures that pop up on the web. Use what works for you and have been proven to work through the test of time.
6. To Boat or not to Boat. As long as you have a line in the water you can catch fish. That being said, if your on the bank you will be limited to few select spots that every other bank fisherman fishes. You can catch the big one this way, but it's less likely. You do not have to go out and spend $ 40,000 on a tournament bass boat either. There are countless ways to boat for less. I started out in a 12 'aluminum john boat with a transom mount trolling motor. In all I spend less than a thousand dollars hook, line and sinker. Even though it takes longer, I could hit any portion of a lake the big bass boats could hit. I could even get into the big boats could not. You can set up a cooler with an aerator as a live well and fish tournaments if you like. Just do not venture too far from the boat ramp or you may miss weigh in.
7. Gear. Use what feels right for you. Bass do not know if your using a spinning, bait cast, or closed face reel. Until you get used to using something new, stick with what you know. You ask 10 people what the best gear to use is and you get 10 different answers for 10 different reasons. Stick with what you know. Learn how to use the new stuff when your out just for fun and relaxation. You do not want to miss a big bass because your respooling a bait cast that keeps nesting on you.
8. Presentation. Bass get used to seeing the same thing over and again. Mix it up. If your "go to" lure is a spinner bait (like many Bass guys including myself) try slipping a gecko lizard on the hook all the way up under the skirt. Something as simple as this can have drastically positive effects on your outing.
9. Practice at home when you can not get on the lake. Throw a weighted line in the back yard and visualize your on the lake. Practice working your pole as if you were working a finesse bait. Set up scenarios and react as you would in real life. Get a buddy involved and have some fun with it.
10. The last tip I have for you on this subject is do not fish just to catch the big one. Fish because you love to fish, and one day the big one will come to you. Share your love of fishing with someone else.