Skip to main content

Bass Fishing Tips: 13 Steps to Catching 13-pound Bass

Bass Fishing Tips: 13 Steps to Catching 13-pound Bass
Renee Linderoth of Conroe caught this largemouth bass from Lake Conroe. The fish was 25.125 inches long, 21 inches in girth and weighed 13.8 pounds. Courtesy Larry D. Hodge, © Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

ATHENS -- Take a hint from the Boy Scouts: Be Prepared. Follow these 13 bass fishing tips on how to catch a 13-pound bass and you will be ready.

Every year Toyota ShareLunker program coordinator Juan Martinez talks to anglers still excited and shaking from the experience of landing a 13-pound or bigger largemouth bass, and every year almost all the stories are the same: The person never expected to catch a bass that size and was unprepared to deal with it.

13 Steps to Catching a 13-pound Bass:

  1. Program the Toyota ShareLunker numbers into your cell phone NOW.
    Voice: (903) 681-0550. Pager: (888) 784-0600. Both are monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during the season, which runs October 1 through April 30. Be sure to include your area code if leaving a message. (And by the way: There is no need to call either number in the middle of the night just to see if they are working. They are.)

  2. Check your tackle and respool with fresh line, preferably braided.
    Big bass tend to hang out in the nastiest cover they can find and are quick to wrap your line around a tree. Chances are you are going to have to pull them out by brute strength.

  3. If you do not have an oxygenation system installed in your livewell, get one.
    Instructions on how to do it yourself can be found at http://www.slideshare.net/raminlandfish/livewell-oxygen-injection-8773301. Oxygenation is especially important during warm weather and tournaments, when bass may be held for several hours.

  4. Don’t have a livewell? You can use the information in step 3 to rig a large ice chest.
    Bass do not respond well to being dragged across a lake on a stringer. Remember that a 13-pound bass will probably be at least 24 inches long.

  5. Get a rubber net.
    These are much kinder to fish than nets with knotted construction. Abrasions make a fish more vulnerable to infections.

  6. Get a scale and check its accuracy using a known weight.
    (A five-pound sack of flour or sugar and a gallon of water in a plastic grocery bag should weigh about 13.5 pounds.) This can save much time and frustration trying to find a place to weigh a fish.

  7. Review the procedure for handling and caring for big bass
    at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/visitorcenters/tffc/sharelunker/handle/.

  8. Know the locations of official ShareLunker weigh and holding stations
    (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/visitorcenters/tffc/sharelunker/holding/). These places have certified scales for weighing your fish, a specially equipped tank for holding it, and personnel who have been trained by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department fisheries biologists on how to care for big bass. Taking your fish to one of these stations, if one is nearby, is perhaps the single most important thing you can do to insure its survival.

  9. Expect to catch a lunker.
    Many lunkers are caught by people who just went fishing and did not expect to hook a trophy bass, and they didn’t have a net, or didn’t fill their livewell, or didn’t have a scale or know where to take a fish to have it weighed. Any time you fish in Texas, you have a chance to catch a 13-pound or bigger bass. Act like a Boy Scout. Expect the unexpected.

  10. Buy a fishing license and know the regulations for the body of water you fish.
    Some big bass have not been accepted into the ShareLunker program because they were not legally caught. The first thing the TPWD employee does when picking up a fish is check the condition of the fish. The second is to ask to see your fishing license. Have one.

  11. It’s best to use a rubber net to land a fish, but if you must lip it, take care not to suspend the fish’s weight from its jaw.
    This can break the jaw and make it impossible for the fish to feed. Grip the fish’s mouth firmly with one hand and its tail with the other, and handle it as little as possible to avoid damaging its protective slime coat.

  12. Treat the fish with respect after catching it.
    Quickly take photos of yourself with the fish, and then leave it alone. Don’t let others handle the fish and have their picture taken with it. It’s your fish. You want it to live to go back into the lake. The process starts with you.

  13. Go fishing!

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

The Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system is the pinnacle of kayak control with more efficient fin designs, glide technology and allows the boat to be moved in any direction.

Catch More Bass on a Jerkbait in the Cooler Months

Catch More Bass on a Jerkbait in the Cooler Months

This one simple trick will trigger more bass strikes on a jerkbait during the fall months.

Action and Power Ratings- How to Choose the Right Bass Rod

Action and Power Ratings- How to Choose the Right Bass Rod

Most fishing rods feature both an action and a power rating, but what do those ratings mean and how do you use them to select the right rod for different scenarios? In this video, outdoor writer and tackle specialist Shane Beilue breaks down the difference between a rod blank’s action and power and discusses what the various ratings of each mean.

Hunting Elk with the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter in 6.5 PRC

Hunting Elk with the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter in 6.5 PRC

Michael Cassidy and Paul Pluff talk about their elk hunt in New Mexico using the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

In need of a rugged container to sip from in the backcountry? We've got you covered. From tumblers to bottles to flasks (and even clever bottle openers), we've rounded up some of the best bar gear for the outdoors.Ultimate Outdoor Bar Gear Roundup The Deck

Ultimate Outdoor Bar Gear Roundup

Chelsie Walters and Jessyca Sortillon - August 31, 2020

In need of a rugged container to sip from in the backcountry? We've got you covered. From...

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options.12 Great Catfish Baits Catfish

12 Great Catfish Baits

Jeff Samsel

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options.

If you haven't looked at the smaller urban lakes in your area, you are missing out on some great bass pond fishing.Bass Pond Fishing: Catch Lunkers at Small Lakes Near You Bass

Bass Pond Fishing: Catch Lunkers at Small Lakes Near You

Dan Anderson

If you haven't looked at the smaller urban lakes in your area, you are missing out on some...

With the Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system, anglers have ultimate kayak control with more efficient fin designs, glide technology and the ability to move their boat in any direction desiredAmazing Kayak Power and Control: Hobie's MirageDrive 360 Propulsion System Other Fishing

Amazing Kayak Power and Control: Hobie's MirageDrive 360 Propulsion System

OSG Editorial Staff - November 01, 2020

With the Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system, anglers have ultimate kayak control...

See More Trending Articles

More Fishing How-To

These areas can offer excellent warm-weather walleye action, but first you have to find the fish.Find and Catch Open Water Basin Walleyes Walleye

Find and Catch Open Water Basin Walleyes

Jeff Knapp - August 27, 2020

These areas can offer excellent warm-weather walleye action, but first you have to find the...

Hall of Fame angler shares great ice-fishing tips for the 2021 season.5 Tips to Put More Fish on Ice this Year — Frabill Fishing How-To

5 Tips to Put More Fish on Ice this Year — Frabill

Game and Fish Staff - January 12, 2021

Hall of Fame angler shares great ice-fishing tips for the 2021 season.

Lowering water and a decreasing frequency of hatches make trout vulnerable to a variety of tactics. Here's how to capitalize during the best trout fishing month of the year.Happy Trout-Tober Fishing Trout & Salmon

Happy Trout-Tober Fishing

Gary Lewis - October 22, 2020

Lowering water and a decreasing frequency of hatches make trout vulnerable to a variety of...

Slow trolling cut catfish baits can lead to dramatically more bites than still-fishing over an anchor.Precision Slow-Motion Techniques for Reservoir Catfish Catfish

Precision Slow-Motion Techniques for Reservoir Catfish

Dan Anderson - September 01, 2020

Slow trolling cut catfish baits can lead to dramatically more bites than still-fishing over an...

See More Fishing How-To

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now