Sea Bass Fishing

If you would like to know more about sea bass fishing, read this article. Captain Bob Belekewicz eased back on the twin diesels and dropped the boat into neutral.

A pod of incorrect albacore had blown up on the surface area in this very same spot simply minutes prior to, and as typical, as soon as we remained in position, they were no place to be discovered. We took a few blind casts and scanned the horizon for signs of scattering bait or hovering terns, but deep down within, we knew we had missed our chance.

How to Catch Sea Bass Fish?

As I looked around for signs of life, a big red blob on the fishfinder captured my attention. The albies had disappeared, however the baitfish they were pursuing were still here, gathered up in schools so tight they shut out the bottom on the fishfinder. Maybe, I believed, the albies had gone deep, so I rapidly flipped my bail open and sent my soft-plastic jig fluttering to the bottom. A few seconds later on my line went slack, and I knew I hadn’t even gotten near to the bottom, which was 30 feet down. I set-up quickly, and it wasn’t long prior to a 3-pound black sea bass was tumbling on the deck. It wasn’t what we wanted, however an enjoyable surprise, nonetheless.

We had actually stumbled upon a big school of sea bass that was voraciously feeding on the same school of peanut bunker the albies had been crashing. We repeatedly sent out jigs down and started drawing in sea bass at a legendary rate. Within 15 minutes, we had the cooler half-full, and returned to aimlessly wandering around in search of albies.

This was the first time I had actually ever targeted sea bass with artificial lures, and it changed the way I viewed the feeding routines of these fish. Black sea bass are aggressive feeders, and aside from crustaceans and mollusks, baitfish are a staple in their diet. While fishing with cut baits such as squid or clams is the most typical technique of targeting them, increasingly more anglers are switching to artificials and catching more, and bigger, sea bass. Here’s why.

Intrusion of the Bait Snatchers

It appears to happen every year around the middle of July in the waters of Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Noise. From nowhere, countless juvenile scup flood into the warm, shallow waters and take up residence for the summer. For bait fishermen, it can be a frustrating time of year. The sea bass are still around in excellent numbers, however there are so many small scup around that getting your bait in front of a sea bass becomes a challenge. These little scup resemble piranhas and incessantly peck and tear at any bait you send out down. Bait fishermen will spend a fair amount of time cutting squid strips, unhooking spiny little scup and rebaiting their hooks. By deciding to fish jigs over bait, you will spend more time with your line in the water, and will considerably decrease your bycatch of scup. You will also have the ability to “weed out” the smaller sized sea bass (although you will still capture a few) and keep your offering in the strike zone longer, which increases your chances of hooking a larger specimen.

Catch Whatever Swims By

Another bonus offer of using artificials is that it allows you to try almost anything that swims by. Have you ever been bait fishing and had a school of fish turn up and begin breaking right in front of your boat? By the time you get another rod and tie on a lure, they will most likely be gone. When using artificials for sea bass, if a pod of albies or a school of stripers simply occurs to show up, you’ll be rigged and all set to take a shot at them. Normally I use the exact same jigs and light deal with for albies, schoolie stripers and sea bass.

Pack the Appropriate Jigs

Finding a jig that will capture sea bass is not brain surgery. These fish are aggressive, and I have actually yet to discover any one lure that significantly out-fishes another. It’s really extremely much like jigging for cod. These fish aren’t particularly hard to fool, so if you discover a school of hungry fish, they will practically attack anything that will suit their mouths. Various places and conditions, nevertheless, can dictate using different lures.

Soft Plastics for Sea Bass Fishing

Most of my sea bass fishing is carried out in Buzzards Bay aboard my buddy Captain Bob Belekewicz’s boat, the Lemke Ann. Bob has a knack for discovering all forms of bottom-feeding fish, and we never ever need to stray far from his homeport of Red Brook Harbor in Cataumet, Massachusetts to discover fish. We usually target sea bass by wandering in water in between 15 and 30 feet deep. The shallow water permits the use of lighter jigs, and my favorite sizes are 1/4- to 1/2-ounce soft-plastic jigs like the ones made by Tsunami, Storm and Calcutta. These baits are exceptionally realistic and do a great job imitating local baitfish. The primary advantage of soft-plastic lures is that the fish seem to hang on to them longer than they made with metal or hard-plastic baits. Often, the sea bass will hit the jig as it falls, and it can be hard to discover a hit. If offered adequate time, they will spit the lure and swim away. With the soft-plastic baits, nevertheless, the fish hang on longer, and the result is more solid hook-ups.

Another benefit of these jigs is that they include a single hook that trips above the bait. The single hook makes unhooking fish a bit simpler, and having the hook above the bait leads to less snags on the bottom.

The downside to soft-plastic baits, nevertheless, is their absence of toughness. Sea bass have small teeth, and with time your soft-plastic jig will appear like it went through the waste disposal unit. If you can catch 10 fish on a jig prior to changing it, you’re doing alright.

Metal Lures to Catch Sea Bass Fish

We have actually likewise had a reasonable quantity of success jigging with metal lures such as the Crippled Herring, Point Jude tins, Hopkins Spoons and others. To fish them merely set your boat approximately drift over a most likely spot, drop the jigs to the bottom, and gently jig them up and down, keeping the jig within a few feet of the bottom. A violent up-and-down jigging motion is not essential; simply keep the lure in the zone and give it a little wiggle. From time to time, pull it up about 10 feet off the bottom and let it flutter back down. We always seem to obtain a great deal of hits when the jigs are in free-fall. If you are fishing in deeper water or in a fast-moving tide, metals get the nod because they sink quickly and stay in the strike zone.


A variety of bucktail jigs will likewise do the job, specifically if you are fishing in sandy areas. I would suggest opting for smaller sized sizes, lighter than 1 ounce, and select brilliant, fancy patterns. Make certain you constantly keep contact with the bottom, as the sound of a bouncing jig will help bring in fish.

Lipless Crankbaits

On a few celebrations, I have used lipless crankbaits with excellent results. This is one lure that has actually never ever actually captured on in saltwater fishing, however it has actually been a staple for freshwater bass anglers for several years. Because these lures connect at the middle of the bait, they are ideal for vertical jigging. The lure remains in a horizontal position throughout the drift, which I think is a far more realistic presentation.

There aren’t a lot of business making saltwater-grade lipless crankbaits. The only one I have actually used is the Yo-Zuri Live Bait Shallow Vibe. At 2 3/4 inches long and 3/4 of an ounce, this lure’s size and profile carefully resemble that of a juvenile menhaden (or peanut bunker). They likewise release rather a vibration when they are pulled upwards, and I believe this helps bring in fish. If you’re fishing in water much deeper than 20 feet, it will be hard to keep these lures in the strike zone, so they are best used in shallower water. They also feature two sets of treble hooks, which can be both excellent and bad. Certainly, they will result in more hookups, however you will likewise find they are vulnerable to snagging on the bottom, and the second set of trebles tends to become tangled up in your internet when landing fish.

Sea Bass Fishing Techniques

Keep Your Tackle Light

You’re not going to require any specific equipment to catch sea bass. A trophy fish is 6 pounds, and the average sea bass you encounter will remain in the 1- to 3-pound variety. Any gear you currently own will probably be suitable, but if you want to have some fun, keep your gear light. I normally use either a spinning reel spooled with 12-pound-test monofilament or a small standard clothing with 20-pound-test braided line. If you’re fishing deeper water or in rocky areas, you might wish to go with something with a bit more foundation. I will often include a short length of fluorocarbon leader in the 20- to 30-pound-test variety to the end of my primary line. Sea bass have small teeth that can scrape up your line over time. The much heavier fluorocarbon will likewise provide you a little bit more abrasion resistance if you are fishing a tough bottom. You can either attach it to your mainline utilizing a barrel swivel or straight to your main line with a surgeons knot.

This spring, we experienced one of the best sea bass bites we’ve ever seen in Buzzards Bay. There were acres upon acres of bait, and all kinds of predators were taking advantage of it. Terns and gulls were hitting them from above, stripers and bluefish were assaulting them simply listed below the surface, and crowds of starving sea bass were attacking the bait from listed below. The sea bass were so aggressive, that at times we couldn’t even reach the bottom with our jig without it being breathed in. We even had sea bass chasing our jigs right approximately the surface area!

There are not many times when artificials will outfish bait, however summertime sea bassing is one exception. These fish are not just bait nibblers, they are true predators, and they feed aggressively. The next time you navigate sea bass, think outside of the box of calamari!