So, you want to be better. Why? Simple enough, you want to catch more and bigger bass and to be more consistent in doing so. Good reasons. Maybe it’s so you will do better in tournaments, more respect and admiration from your employment associates or even to be able to teach your sons, daughters or grandchildren.

One answer is, go fishing more often, read more, study more, watch television shows more. All those are good ways to do so but the best one is to join a bass fishing club. Why? What if you’ve never been to a particular lake but the next club tournament is to be there. Are you going? Yes, you are.  Is it likely that your partner for that trip has been there? Probably. You’ll be exposed to a different lake or stream and will have to prepare to put your reputation on the line against fishing talents of others, so you try to do well.

A fisherman holding his 11-pound bass with boat and water in the background.

O’Neill’s fishing buddy with an 11-pound bass.

Do you suppose your partner for the day on that lake or any other on the schedule will be doing his best, trying harder, being inventive, using his skills to the max to catch as many big bass as possible?   Yes, he will likely be doing so, and you can watch and learn, copy and paste so to speak, learn his methods and places that he will be demonstrating to his benefit.

How has he adapted to the water and weather conditions? Did he change the strength of his line, fish deeper, fish shallower, slower, faster? Change the size of his bait? It’ll be like going to school to learn to be a better bass fisherman.

Do you test and expand your experience in foul weather, cold, windy, hot, or even a busy lake? Remember, that time when you might choose not to go fishing will be a day that the club has a tournament scheduled and you need to be there. Will that help? Well duh! It will. You’ll be required to bass fish in conditions that may be difficult, after a hard rain, during a hard rain, in the wind, in the cold, stained water, very clear water, hard times. Will you be better for it in the long run? I should say so.

Simply put, think of how good a bass fisherman you could be if you took the above suggestions to the max, that is, fishing with an experienced guide on a different lake with him doing his best every day for a year. You rarely took a day off, no, you fished virtually every day. Would you be a better bass fisherman after that year? You bet you would.

So, carefully pick a club with a good reputation, one that conducts tournaments often and with an array of destinations, throw in some charitable activities like taking children fishing and ask to join up. If you don’t have a bass boat, ask to join anyway. Remember most tournament schedules are with two people per boat so you can be a non-boater and still get to bass fish all around the area lakes.

Ultimately the greatest benefit to you is this: Once you have had the bass club experience and have honed your skills in a host of directions, places, etc., you’ll get to teach a youngster those skills and he can enjoy the outdoor experience too.

Photo: provided by O’Neill Williams