Most anglers Favorite Time of Year is Approaching! The Bass Spawn!! I break the Spawn down into 3 different seasons, Pre-spawn, Spawn and Post-spawn. I know many of you can’t wait to hear the words bass are on the beds, but for me this marks the end of the best fishing in the spring. Pre-spawn bass are the heaviest they are going to be all year and they are busy packing on pounds and will eat anything that gets close enough for them to inhale and for this article we are going to concentrate on pre-spawn.
For most of Texas the start of the pre-spawn bite is marked by the January full moon. The four days preceding and following the full moon in January is a BIG rehearsal for the ladies that plan on being in the first wave of spawning bass and every year there are some BIG bass caught in fairly shallow water during this week. It also marks the end of my main lake fishing until early summer. I don’t care what the water temps are there are big fish caught in the flats they will be spawning on in a couple of months.
The four techniques that seem to produce the best numbers of Big Bass for me are Jigs, Swimbaits, Texas rigged Lizards and rattle baits. Remember these fish are still cold and lazy and are just starting to think about packing on some weight. Big baits will produce bigger fish.
Locating these fish is usually fairly simple, look along migration routes to the spawning flats. Pay particular attention to creek channel bends and drains leading into the flats; the fish will use these like highways. That is where you are going to find the majority of the bass on most days. However, if there has been an extended warming trend these fish are going to filter out into the flat. Post front the opposite is true, if you have been catching good fish scattered on a flat and you receive a strong front you need to move your search back to the drains and creek channels. The first break line is always the first place fish will retreat too. Then depending on the severity and duration of the front they will either hunker down or move toward deeper water until the find enough stability to be comfortable.
My initial search for fish is almost always with a Rattle bait. I throw this bait on a kistler CRR7′ Micromag with 15 lb Flouro. My retrieve is slow allowing the Bait to maintain contact with the bottom and when I make contact with any cover I give it a twitch and a pause before returning to my retrieve. Once I locate bass I slow down and throw a 5-8″swimbait with a painfully slow retrieve. One of my favorite swimbaits is a Huddleston Weedless 6″. I will then either drag the area with a jig or Texas rigged lizard. Usually once you find one fish this time of year you can catch multiple fish in the same area on multiple presentations.
Remember the Fish we are targeting are elderly and obese and they are not going to make a 40 yd sprint to chase down a bait in 48 degree water. Slow presentations are going to be the norm if you want that big bite. In the next article I will go more in depth as to exact presentations to use with jigs and swimbaits, but for now just remember SLOWWWW is the name of the game.
See you on the water!!