Beckum Outdoors
Shiner Fishing

Shiner Fishing for Big Bass

Why use large live bait for bass? There are various reasons: first when using an artificial lure, that lunker can ease up to this plastic, wooden or metal imitator and usually be able to scrutinize and study this thing that has invaded her territory, and find flaws in this make believe minnow or crawdad etc. and it doesn't show any fear of the big female bass that is now inches away, she realizes this isn't right or natural and a lot of the time, the big girl gives up on the idea of attacking and eating this fake imposter.

When she sees this large minnow close by, she will investigate and the closer she gets, the more the shiner or bluegill will start to get uncomfortable. The live bait being regardless of what type you use will finally lose all composure and total panic will set in, and this alone will drive the big female bass into attack mode. At this point there are very few things to dissuade her from attacking the frantic bait. I have had six and seven pounders attack my bait when the float was bouncing against the hull of my boat that alone tells me the effectiveness of this bait. I doubt if a seven pounder would smash a spinner bait swinging and bouncing against the hull of my boat. Another reason would be, the shiner or bluegill are the staple food of the lunker bass we pursue. Being very plentiful throughout the country, it is very possible to have plenty of live bait almost all of the time. It's my opinion to imagine a twelve pound bass eating two or three large baits compared to her eating twenty or thirty small crappie sized minnows, that just isn't realistic. I can also imagine myself with a 8½ foot rod with a strong reel and braided line with 5/0 hook, a nine inch shiner threaded live onto my hook and flipping this large bait into potholes in acre sized lily pad flats or under floating vegetation. You can bet that I'm not after a yearling bass. I'm after that old female that lives in this jungle of weeds that nobody else wants to fish and knowing she has had very little fishing pressure and has naturally been able to grow old and large. There's no telling how big she is going to be. The weeds and lily's are a mysterious place, you just can't tell what's under all of this tangle. The open water has been fished many times so my enthusiasm isn't as high as when I am in this jungle of weeds.

Although, the live bait is so deadly even in open water I have been able to catch 3 times the amount of big fish compared to using artifical lures.

In Secrets to Successful Shiner Fishing Vol. 1 you will see me using the basics and a couple of advanced techniques of catching some big bass, but in my next upcoming videos you will see in depth every technique from catching shiners, care of bait in detail, boats, holding tanks for bait, and a separate video in detail on every technique and some I haven't included in Vol. 1 and there are many. Although you will be able to catch very large bass from just the info in Vol. 1, and hopefully give you the enthusiasm as I have to pursue this great sport, but as I said before we have to be mindful of how deadly this bait really is. It's nice to keep a few bass but let's turn most of them back.
Good Luck and thanks,
Brian K. Beckum

When I was really getting interested in shiner fishing 20+ years ago there was hardly any information on live bait fishing. A lot of this info was learned by trial and error and by reading every article on the subject and by calling those old time Florida shiner fishermen. Each one had a couple of great techniques they were happy to share with me, so if you put yours, mine and their years of experience together, that adds up to many years of fishing knowledge and you should be on your way to putting many lunker bass in the boat.

One of those great guys is renowned Lake Okeechobee guide Glen Hunter. He published in 1989 a great book called "Advanced Shiner Fishing Techniques". You can acquire this great book for $9.95.
Glen Hunter
12188, SR78 West
Okeechobee, Fl 34974

Also, Doug Hannon's "Big Bass Magic" which he published in 1986. To order:
W. Horace Carter
Atlantic Publishing Company
P.O. Box 67
Tarbor City, N.C. 28463

Both of these books contain a wealth of information on live bait fishing for Big Bass but I think there's still no substitute for actually seeing the action right before your eyes. Remember, none of us are born with all of this knowledge; we all have to keep an open mind and keep learning. This is what breeds success.
Good Luck,
Brian K. Beckum