Bass Know

Mike Cork

Warm nights and even warmer days have the Daffodils starting to bloom and the Pear Trees budding up. These signs normally mean male bass will be cruising the flats looking for that perfect bedding ground. Lake water temperatures have bass anglers foaming at the mouth looking for spawning bass in the shallows. Yet no bass are showing up – What gives?

Normally, by the first of March, southern states are past the early spawn and the major spawn is starting. While our water temperatures are right at that bubble, even our weatherman didn’t see the front that just blasted the south. However, the bass knew. Those early spawning bass haven’t moved up and handled business because they knew if they did, their offspring wouldn’t survive the frigid temperatures that were coming.

How do they know? I guess Mother Nature whispers in their ears or sends special waves that their lateral lines can feel. Just last week I found 4-7 pound bass staging in 4-6 feet of water. They were on the edge of a flat, just a few feet away from a 9 foot ditch that cuts through the flat and dumps into the lakes major creek channel. This was a text book situation and catching these bass was going to be a matter of casting. However, as so many of us know, it’s never that easy.

In the week prior to this tournament we had two very cold nights, some rain, but then it cleared up and was spring-like for two days. The book says that these bass should have moved to the 9 foot ditch during the cold weather and then moved back to the flats as the warmer weather moved back in. This did not happen. Somehow these bass knew a major cold front was moving in a couple days later; something beyond the normal spring cold fronts for the southern part of the country.

In Northern Louisiana, we get a winter blast every March. However, the lake temperatures are normally in the upper 50’s to low 60’s and a late season cold front isn’t strong enough, nor lasts long enough, to affect water temperatures. The winter of 2014 has set records in the northern states for cold and snowfall; the cold fronts in the south have been nearly as extreme. These fronts are bringing temperatures in the teens all the way to the Gulf of Mexico during a time that a frost is considered brutal. Southern bass don’t know what to do with weather like this–or do they?

Let’s rephrase that last statement. Southern bass anglers don’t know what to do with this weather. The bass I found out on the flat not only moved back to the 9 foot ditch, they followed that ditch back to the main creek and suspended over deep water They absolutely would not touch a lure. I think they are so pregnant that they are sick and can’t eat; at least that’s my excuse.

You can’t force Mother Nature. If your bass seem to be behind the normal timeline, it might be a good idea to hunker down and put some extra wood up by the house. There is a reason the bass won’t move up and spawn. The cold isn’t done for the year.

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Mike Cork
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