On today’s show, we’re talking all about bass fishing. Bass are unquestionably the most popular gamefish in North America.

Why is that? The biggest reason is simply the amount of press and media coverage that bass fishing receives. There’s more tournaments. There’s more TV shows. There’s more online articles. There’s more social media. There’s just more coverage for bass than any other fish – it’s that simple.

On today’s show, James Lindner joins us, and he’s a true student of the sport of bass fishing.

James Lindner: “You’re right about that, Troy. There’s no question that bass are the most popular fish, because they do get tremendous amount of press, probably more press than all the other fish combined. The interesting thing about bass is that they are actually a large member of the panfish family. Bass are extraordinarily well distributed throughout lakes, rivers, pits and ponds – all the way up in Canada, here in the United States, and down into Mexico. In recent years, we’ve actually seen a lot more interest in northern bass fishing, and for good reason. We actually have probably some of the finest bass fishing in North America: not only largemouth bass fishing, but smallmouth bass fishing, too.

Troy Lindner: If you had to identify a few trends in bass fishing right now, what would that be?

James Lindner: If I had to pick one specific style of bass fishing that is really becoming a lot more popular in recent years, it’d have to be finessed fishing. It wasn’t very long ago when bass fishing was dominated with bait casting rods and reels, heavy line and crankbaits, spinnerbaits and big jigs – a lot of power fishing techniques. In recent years all across North America, finesse fishing with spinning rods and spinning reels has become very dominant.

I love tournament bass fishing. I’ve competed in the Classic Bass Champions Tour for the last two years. These are cumulative weight events, catch record and release. In an eight-hour event, normally it takes anywhere between 80 to 120 pounds of bass to win. The interesting thing in these MLF formats is almost all of these events were dominated with spinning equipment. I’m talking finesse swimbaits, Ned rigs, dropshotting, senko fishing. That style of fishing, unquestionably, is the dominant strategy to win these events.

Troy Lindner: We’re not saying baitcasters are out of the question. This is the middle of July, baitcasters are still in play.

James Lindner: When you look in the boat here, I actually have quite a few baitcasting rods and reels rigged up with everything from frogs, buzzbaits, chatterbaits, deep diving crankbaits, craw tubes, Tokyo rigs, and Texas rigged worms. That’s what makes bass fishing so fun, all the different techniques available. They all have their own unique location where they catch fish. Right now it’s middle of July and you can catch fish out on rock piles or shallow lily pads and bullrushes. You can catch fish that are spread out or living in the thick weed flats. You as an angler you have to be willing to experiment every day you go on the water and figure out where you can catch the fish right now.

Troy Lindner: If you had to pick your favorite technique right now, what would that be?

James Lindner: You can’t just pick one technique but I’ll share a couple of thoughts with you. There’s something you need be cognizant of throughout the warm water months when you’re fishing deep weed edge lakes. What happens is the baitfish move up and down based on weather conditions. You get those hot overcast warm muggy days and often the bait will really be riding high in the water column. What I do is fish topwater baits – prop baits as well as poppers – and I’ll even take a swim bait and fish it really high over the deep weed edges. It can be a key technique for catching bass right.