So What Exactly Is Ultralight Bass Fishing?


When most people think of Ultralight Bass Fishing, they usually think of buggy whip rods, micro sized rods and lures, and ultralight fish. This is just not the case, at all. I have caught more of my bigger fish on ultralight fishing equipment than on my baitcasting gear, and it was more fun, realizing that you have a monster on the end of your 4lb test!

So what about the ultralight fishing pole? These things have come a long way from the old “buggy whip” rods that people are used to. They now look like a medium action rod, in a smaller frame. A stout backbone, and parabolic tip means you can put pressure on the fish now, using ultralight fishing equipment. Before, you had to actually hold the line between your fingers, and use your fingers as drag to move the fish around. It was complicated. By the way, this is a big NO-NO with ultralight braided fishing line. You WILL need stitches. I promise.

How about these ultralight fishing lures? Well, this is one place that ultralight bass fishing hasn’t changed much. You can still pick up a small lure from the 1950’s and catch fish with it today. However, they have advanced the technology, research, and experience that comes with building better lures. Today’s lures have better action, more functions, better and sharper hooks, better paint jobs and color schemes. The classic lures STILL work. Some of the newer ultralight fishing lures just work better though.

People still say you catch smaller fish with ultralight fishing equipment. This is true, for the most part. What they fail to tell you, is you catch A LOT more fish. On a given day, my fishing partner will take his baitcaster, and a spinning rig. I will take my 6′0″ Pflueger Trion GX, and we both choose a few lures. I usually take a popper, a 6″ worm, and a grub with jig head combo. He brings the typical, buzzbait, spinnerbait, jig and trailer. Colors don’t matter for these tests.

Now what normally happens, is yes, my fishing partner will catch the biggest fish of the day. However, he usually catches only 2-3 fish in a pond fishing trip. That’s fine and dandy if you are fishing for an hour, or going after trophy fish only. If you are tackling trophy fish only, you will be lucky to get 1 quality bite per day. Back to the story. While he is searching for that one big fish, I am search for fish period. It is proven that fish hang out together. Bass, Sunfish, Catfish, all hang out around the same type of structure in ponds.

Once you break out the ultralight fishing lure, you get the smaller, more aggressive and eager fish, to let you know where the big ones are. It just works. Once you are pulling small fish after small fish off of your line, cast after cast, you know that you have found the stock pile. Move up to a little bigger lure, and keep fishing that spot hard. Once you stop catching fish from there, move on down the bank about 10 yards.

So in this 3 hour fishing trip, my partner managed to catch I’d say about 10 pounds worth of fish. 3 fish mind you. I can’t count the number of fish that I caught. Seriously, no exaggeration. The total largemouth bass however, over 1 pound that I caught ended up at 16. Now, when was the last time you caught 16 good fighting sized fish in a 3 hour trip? Not to mention 100+ other fish?

But to top it off, I ended up with the biggest fish of the day on that trip! His biggest fish was in the 4 pound range. I told you that I sometimes switch to a 4″ senko, and that day, the 4″ senko was the ticket. My fishing partner had been throwing a 5″ green pumpkin senko, and got bit by his biggest fish. I knew a cold front just blew through, so that fish may have been luck. The cold front made me realize that if he caught his big fish with a 5″ senko, there must be a bigger, less eager, smarter fish that has a sort of “belly ache” down there, not wanting a bigger meal.

I stuck with the 4″ green pumpkin senko for 45 minutes. My catching diminished, but I expected it… Sunfish and Catfish don’t like senkos for some reason, but I knew this. After about 45 minutes I was getting a little frustrated that my theory wasn’t working out. I was still catching 1/2 – 1lb bass, but I knew that I could get a big one, using my partners same tactic.

I cast the senko out one last time, put the rod between my arm and side, and started to gather the little things on the ground, to get ready to head out. After about 30 seconds, I took the rod back in hand, not even paying attention to the line like I should have. I twitched the bait one time, and felt a solid thump through the ultralight braided fishing line. I knew this was the one.

He instantly started running with the drag. I almost worried about my little Pflueger ultralight fishing reel, but I had faith. Pulling back and forth for 10 minutes, my partner realized that I was going to need a little help getting this one on the bank. He gathered his gear, and came down the bank to where I was located.

The fish and I fought for another few minutes, when I finally got him bank side. My partner grabbed the net to keep the fish from running again, and we got him landed. My partner had the boga grips, so I finally get to weigh one of my fish for the day! After the fight was over, we put her on the lip gripper. A hefty 5 pounds 12 ounces! Big fish of the day, and my season so far!

This just goes to show that Ultralight Bass Fishing does not have to mean whippy weak rods, out of date lures, and small fish!1000 Words About Ultralight Bass Fishing!

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One Response to “So What Exactly Is Ultralight Bass Fishing?”

  1. Al Davison says:

    Great read! I love UL bass fishing in ponds!

    My own pond is TOUGH to fish with UL because we have so much flooded timber – you could practically walk across my pond on all the downed trees. That means that most fish I get on will wrap around something. I once landed what I thought was a 10+ pound LMB and, in a manner of speaking, it was. It was a 3-pounder that I finally landed along with a 6-foot long dead branch that it was wrapped around!

    Fortunately, I have friends with other ponds that don’t have so much timber in them so, I fish small senkos and small flukes in them. My biggest problem with that kind of fishing is that I can’t always get a good hookset using my favorite UL rod – an 8’6″ custom rod that was built on a 4-wt Rainshadow flyrod blank. It’s super fun when I get one to stay buttoned up!


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