EVERY BASS ANGLER DREAMS OF LANDING A DOUBLE-DIGIT LARGEMOUTH. THESE PROS CAN MAKE THAT DREAM A REALITY—WHETHER YOU WANT TO TRAVEL FOR THE TROPHY OR TRY HOOKING THAT MONSTER FISH CLOSE TO HOME
TEN. AMERICANS OBSESS OVER THE NUMBER. We compile top 10 lists; you need 10 yards to get a first down; and in 1979, Bo Derek starred in a movie about physical perfection with the appropriate title 10. Only the Spinal Tap guys worried about turning it up to 11, but we were all in on the joke: Nothing’s better than reaching 10.
When it comes to largemouth bass, that same number plays an outsize role. The bass is the most American gamefish of all, and a 10-pounder is the undisputed benchmark. “I’ve caught a lot of 7- to 9-pound bass, and you can usually get them on the patterns that catch 3- to 5-pound fish,” Texas bass pro Keith Combs told me. “But at 10 pounds, something changes.”
I talked with some of the greatest big-bass anglers in the U.S. about their strategies, secrets, and favorite locations for catching 10-pound bass. Depending on where you live, a 10-pounder may not be an option—but don’t let that stop you from reading, because these tips will still help you catch the biggest bass of your life.