Last updated on October 11th, 2023
Bass Jumping out of Water: What Does it Mean & Can You Catch Them?
If you love bass fishing then you have probably seen some memorable jumps in your time. The first jump you saw of a big fish was mostly likely monumental and an amazing experience. Seeing a big fish or a school of small fish jumping is awesome especially if you are with your kids or grandkids. They usually like it more.
But while it is spectacular to see fish jumping, it is not very common. Only a few species of fish such as salmon jump frequently but most don’t. Bass jumps are also not common but they do happen.
In this post, I will share with you everything you need to know about bass jumping out of the water including what it means and how to take advantage of it. So if you are a fishing enthusiast, an outdoorsman, a survivalist, or a professional angler, there is something for you in this piece; information that you could use to your benefit when bass fishing.
Why Bass Jump Out of the Water
For recreational fishermen, jumps are thrilling and totally welcome. They excite recreational fishermen in the same way they excite little kids. It is usually an awesome experience even for myself. Some of my best experiences on the water with regard to bass fishing are those related to bass aerial acrobatics.
However, what does it mean when bass jump out of the water? Well, some people say it is a curse, while others say it is a blessing. This is usually from experience. In some cases, bass launching into the air has caused some people to lose their catch and/ or their place in tournaments.
These are the people who generally think it is a curse. While in some cases, bass jumps have caused people to have memorable and exciting experiences on the water.
Bass rarely jump out of the water. So it is understandable why some people consider jumping a curse or a blessing. However, that said, jumping really is less about blessings and curses and more about the fish jumping for food.
As mentioned, bass very rarely surfaces. But they can do so if something that looks like food attracts them. The jumping allows them to bite whatever sits at or just below the surface. This is the reason why expert bass anglers let their bait to sit just below or on the surface to attract and catch bass.
The food that big bass jump for, are winged insects that float or fly low and close to the water. They also, of course, jump for brightly colored, insect-looking baits floating or sitting just beneath the water’s surface.
Bass can also jump out of the water if they are disturbed or scared. But this is somewhat rare. Most of the time you see bass or any other big fish jumping out of the water it is usually to catch food. The rare exception is salmons that leap into the air when jumping obstacles in rivers as they go upstream.
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When Do They Jump
While I have stated that bass do not jump when they do it is usually a warm day. This is because it is on such days that bass often get closer to the surface to get warmth. Moreover, it is also on such days that the sun is most likely shining brightly and anything that reflects the light brightly on its surface is likelier to catch the attention of such fish.
So if you want to see bass jumping, go on the water on a warm or sunny day and use some kind of metallic or brightly colored bait on the surface. Your chances of succeeding will be higher.
But that said, it is a rare occasion to see them jumping. They will usually come close or near to the surface but not jump.
Can You Catch Bass Jumping Out of The Water?
Yes, you can. However, there are a few things you need to note first. When you are fishing and you feel the tag of a hooked fish on your fishing line and then all of a sudden you see bass leaping into the air, it is probably too late for you to properly hook the fish and reel it in.
Why? Because water is quite dense compared to air. And most fish species, including bass, are adapted to shaking their heads up to three times per second in water. So they can probably shake their heads up to six times per second in the air because of the lower density. This is why it is difficult to get the hook set in a fish that is already flying in the air since it can more easily dislodge the hook.
Moreover, if the lure you are using is kind of heavy, it is even more difficult to get the hook set because it is easier for fish to toss out heavy baits due to the extra weight.
Nevertheless, you can catch a jumping bass if you are prepared and if you know what you are doing. Experienced anglers do it all the time. Below I explain the technique used by experienced and professional anglers to catch fish.
How to Catch Bass Jumping Out of the Water
There is a special technique that professional anglers use to catch jumping bass. The moment the hook has set in a bass’s mouth, the technique the experts use is to keep the tip of the fishing rod near the water. In some cases, they even sink the fishing rod tip below the water’s surface.
Considering the average length of fishing rods, it is easier for tall guys to keep the rod’s tip near the water and to even sink it than for shorter guys. However, if you are short or if you find it difficult to keep the rod’s tip near the water, just take a knee. This will give you more leverage to keep the rod near the water or to sink it a bit.
This technique of keeping the rod near the water or sinking it a bit serves the purpose of enabling you to see the line coming out of the water and going toward the bass as it leaps out. This will make it easier for you to quickly act to control the bass and catch it.
When you keep the tip low or sink it a bit into the water after detecting a hooked bass, you will be able to see the line coming out and hopefully, you can reel quickly and stop the fish from leaping and dislodging the hook. The main objective of this professional technique is to see the fishing line and control the fish by keeping it tight.
It is difficult to catch bass if they don’t come out of the water. It is even more difficult when they come out of the water and try shaking off the hook in the air. So keeping the bass in the water and stopping it from jumping can help you catch it.
Alternatively, the technique of keeping the fishing rod tip close to the water surface or dipping it into the water can help you to keep the fishing line tight while guiding a large bass through underwater or submerged weed/ grass. When you do this, you will achieve two things. First, there will probably be grass or weed over the bass’s face or in front of it. This will block its vision and slow its swimming maneuvers and, therefore, make it more likely for you to catch it.
Second, when you keep the line tight and drag the bass through weed, your line will collect underwater weed and grass and this will add weight to the line and slow the fish down increasing your chances of landing it.
So there, you have it. Catching a jumping bass is not easy but possible. Just keep the tip of your fishing rod near the water surface and keep your line tight. This will give you control to do the rest.
Why want a Bass Bite when you can see them?
If you can see bass but they won’t bite, there may be several reasons for this. Here are some common reasons why bass may not be biting:
- The bait you are using may not be the right choice for the conditions or the specific bass you are targeting. Try using a different type of bait that is more appealing to the bass.
- The way you are presenting your bait may not be appealing to the bass. Experiment with different techniques such as slow retrieves, fast retrieves, or jigs to see what works best.
- Bass can be more or less active depending on the water temperature. If the water temperature is too cold or too hot, the bass may not be interested in biting.
- If the area you are fishing is heavily fished, the bass may be more wary of biting. Try fishing in a different location or at a different time of day to avoid fishing pressure.
- Weather conditions such as high winds, bright sunlight, or rain can affect bass behavior and make them less likely to bite. Try adjusting your fishing approach to suit the conditions.
- Bass can be spooked by fishing line that is too visible or too heavy. Try using a lighter line or leader to make your bait appear more natural.
If you can see bass but they won’t bite, it’s important to be patient and persistent. Try changing up your bait, technique, or fishing location to see what works best. Remember to practice responsible fishing practices and follow local laws and regulations.
How to Make Bass Jump or Come to the Surface
If you want to catch more bass or you want to trigger one or more into jumping, then you should know that there is something you can do to achieve that. And that thing is simulating the perfect conditions for the bass to jump. As mentioned before, bass comes near the surface when there is light and when it is reflecting off of bright insects that they get attracted to for food.
By casting a shiner in a dark area of a water body and banging the side of your boat, you will disturb both the fish and the insects in there. The light shining reflecting off the insects will attract the bass to the surface and your lure will do the rest. In some cases, anglers have seen a school of bass poking their heads out after doing this, while in other cases, anglers have reported bass and other fish leaping into the air and straight into their boats.
It’s not possible to guarantee that bass will jump or come to the surface, as this behavior is influenced by many factors that are beyond our control. However, there are some things you can do to increase your chances of catching jumping or surface-feeding bass:
- Use the right bait: Bass are known to feed on insects, frogs, and other small animals that are found near the surface of the water. Using topwater lures or flies that mimic these prey items can increase your chances of attracting bass to the surface.
- Fish during the right time of day: Bass are more likely to jump or come to the surface during low light conditions, such as dawn and dusk. Fishing during these times can increase your chances of seeing surface-feeding bass.
- Look for signs of surface activity: Keep an eye out for signs of surface activity, such as baitfish jumping or ripples on the water’s surface. These signs can indicate that bass are feeding near the surface.
- Use the right techniques: Experiment with different techniques, such as popping, twitching, or retrieving your bait to see what works best for attracting surface-feeding bass.
- Be patient: Bass behavior can be unpredictable, so it’s important to be patient and persistent. Keep trying different baits, techniques, and fishing locations until you find success.
It’s important to keep in mind that while surface-feeding bass can be exciting to catch, it’s also important to practice responsible fishing practices and follow local laws and regulations. Always handle fish gently and release them back into the water as quickly and carefully as possible.
So if you have been wanting to see bass jump or to attract bass to make them easier to catch, you now know what to do. So if you have been going on the water and coming back with small-size fish or you have been participating in bass fishing competitions and you have been placing last, you now know what to do to attract bass and bring home a good catch.
You might also like some of our other articles on Bass fishing:
- What Size of Hook for Bass?
- Can You Eat Bass? Plus Some Great Recipes
- The 5 Best Weedless Bass Lures
- The 10 Best Spinning Rods For Bass
- Bass Fishing: Lures, Gear & Tips For Landing Massive Fish
- How Much Does A Bass Boat Weigh? With 19 Examples
- Best Bait for Bass – Live and Artificial
- Do Bass Bite After a Rainstorm?
- What Do Bass Eat? 7 Surprising Baits that Work Every Time
This video has been included for its clarification of the topic matter. Credit goes to JFev31
It is rare to see bass jumping out of the water. However, they can jump. Moreover, when you catch them and you are reeling them in, they can also jump and try to shake off or dislodge the hook from their mouths. This makes it difficult to catch bass leaping out of the water.
However, by keeping your rod close or into the water and keeping your line tight after hooking them, you can prevent them from jumping and you can control their movements better to reel them in. It is always a challenge to catch bass. However, with the right technique, you can catch one for your food or for competition.