Largemouth Bass / Black Bass.

Pound for pound Largemouths are one of the hardest fighting freshwater gamefish. Referred to as "bull dogs" because of their down and dirty fight they give up once hooked this fish is not all that common in the UK Known as "Largemouth-Bass" or "Black-Bass", they are originally from North America where they are regarded as a hard fighting game fish. They have been widely introduced throughout most of the warmer European countries where they are highly respected. Do not let their size fool you, although they do not grow as big as pike or zander, a 2kg(4.4Lb) bass is fish to be proud of, they put up a very good fight. These fish are highly aggressive and very territorial!

Fishing for Bass

Fishing for bass is good even in murky water because they can "hear" or "feel" their prey. So, basically any lure/spinning tactic which you would use in the UK for pike or zander will work over in Portugal for these fish. Bass will attack and eat a wide variety of creatures that share their habitat including; fish, insects, worms, reptiles, birds, frogs and even small mammals. They only eat live creatures, dead-baits do not seem to work.

But if you really want some action, then dust off your fly rods. Largemouth bass can be fished very successfully with a fly, offering you some really great action, using any number of techniques. One of the more popular ways is top water flies like poppers and divers, but other flies like leeches, crayfish, bait-fish and pike flies do well too

{gallery}Poppers{/gallery} {gallery}Divers{/gallery} {gallery}Bait-Fish{/gallery} {gallery}Leeches{/gallery} {gallery}Pike{/gallery}
Poppers Divers Bait-Fish Leeches Pike Flies

Bass flies have been developed to imitate or suggest much of the bass''s diet or to trigger their aggressive and territorial instincts. The fly materials should imitate or suggest the look, feel and action of their natural diet. The flies are designed to float on the surface, dive when retrieved, swim seductively under the surface or crawl along the bottom. Surface flies are best when water temperatures are in the bass''s comfort zone of 65-75F. Large bulky flies are the best option as they tend to be the easiest for the bass to detect. Bass can and do see colours. So the best colours for bass flies are; black, white, yellow, red, chartreuse, purple and blue. Reflective materials should be used on flies that imitate small fish. Due to the bass''s ability to smell, flies should be descented.

As for the type of fly rod, it must be heavy enough to pull a bass away from cover. A fast to medium action rod that has the muscle to cast the large bass "hairbugs" (Do not worry, bass flies are not as big as pike flies!) and handle these aggressive fish will be ideal. A 9ft, 9wt, medium fast action carbon rod, fitted with a large diameter reel with a dependable drag and the capacity to hold the fly line plus 100-150 yards of 30Lb micron backing will be your best bet. The rod I tend to use most of the time these days is a 9ft 9wt 7pc March Brown "Hidden Water Travel Fly Rod".

For floating flies a WF9F (Weight forward - 9 weight - Floating) fly line in a dull greenish colour will do for most of the bass waters in Portugal. Leaders used with a floating line for surface, or just under the surface fishing, should be of around 7.5ft, with a 30-15Lb butt section tapered to 12-6Lb tip.

For sinking flies a WF9S/F (Weight forward - 9 weight - Sinking Tip) fly line will do. Leaders used with a sinking line should be of around 4ft and of around 12Lb.

Below are a few patterns for bass flies, you can of cause change and mix the colours (just remember those which were mentioned and shown above).

HOOK: 7957B 4-1
TAIL: Rubber strands, about four inside maribou, inside of four saddle hackles, splayed.
BODY: Deer hair, different colours, spun and clipped to shape.
HACKLE: Four rubber strands each side, as legs.
WING: Leave some deer hair strands back over body.
BASS BUG (Creator: A. D. Livingston)
HOOK: Keel 4-8
TAIL: Four or five peacock herls.
BODY: Yellow yarn.
RIB: Silver or gold tinsel.
WING: Six to eight peacock herls.
HEAD: Black deer hair, spun and trimmed as Muddler head.
HOOK: Mustad 9672 2-6
THREAD: Brown or black pre-waxed.
ANTENNAE: 2 stripped brown hackle stems.
EYES: 30Lb mono filament melted at both ends.
PINCERS: Fox or squirrel tail.
BACK: Fox or squirrel tail.
UNDERBODY: Heavy lead wire.
BODY: Reddish-brown dubbing.
LEGS: Brown saddle hackle.
BASS BUDDY (Creator: Jim Scott.)
HOOK: Keel 4-6
BODY: White floss. Lacquer after ribbing.
RIB: Silver.
HACKLE: White H.F. beard.
WING: White over yellow hackles, matched pairs.
SHOULDERS: Scarlet breast feathers, with J.C.E. or sub on outside.
HEAD: Black lacquered.