February can be a very exciting time for bass fishing on the Red River here in North Louisiana! If the weather is right the fishing will be awesome with twenty pound, five fish stringers being very common….
February can be a very exciting time for bass fishing on the Red River here in North Louisiana! If the weather is right the fishing will be awesome with twenty pound, five fish stringers being very common; however, if we have a series of cold fronts it could shut the bite down and make it very tough, and just catching a limit could be all it takes to make the cut each day.
Typically starting in September the water temperatures start falling from summer highs of the 90’s, by November temps are in the mid sixties, December mid 50’s, and bottoming out in the mid 40’s in January. In the middle of February during the Classic oxbow water temperatures should be moving back up with an average in the middle 50’s depending on weather conditions. At this time the main river will be in the upper forties and low fifties and the oxbows will vary greatly depending on the weather.
Shallow muddier flats in the oxbows will warm up the fastest and can reach the sixty degree mark by late in the day especially if there is a south breeze. Most oxbows however will range in the low to middle 50 degree ranges.
With the water temps in these ranges North Louisiana bass only have one thing on their minds? Yep, spawn! They will be fat with eggs and looking to find a place to put them. If Mother Nature is so inclined to set the weather in motion, most of the bigger females will be staging with bucks up running the banks. It is going to be too early to find bedding bass, however the pre spawn will be in motion.
Some patterns that have worked well during the early spring on the Red River include, slow rolling heavy three quarter to one ounce spinnerbaits through 6-8 foot timber on ledges and drop offs; crankbaits in these same areas; slower presentations work well on the Red with jigs normally out producing soft plastics in quality (not quantity). Another productive pattern this time of year are the log jams; swimming a variety of baits can produce quality fish (only problem here is getting the bass back to the boat).
Due to high water and heavy currents a lot of the vegetation (hydrilla and hyacinths) that the Red River was known for has disappeared. I for one enjoyed these vegetations as they held a tremendous amount of fish. There is still some hydrilla around and the hyacinth is there if you look for it but it will be very difficult for contenders to make a pattern using it. Pool 4 has more of the hyacinth than pool 5 right now and I have not ventured to pool 3. Punching baits threw water hyacinths makes a great early spring pattern because the sun warms the water around them and this attracts the bass, especially true on the red river!
Depending on what Mother Nature has to offer up, the B.A.S.S. Classic contenders are in for a treat or a challenge. Either, they will be fishing in T-shirts and enjoying quality fishing – culling throughout the day; or they will be bundled up in freezing rain hoping for that one last bite and that they have the feeling in their finger tips to notice it so that they can fill their limit. North Louisiana in February can be very hard to predict? I for one am hoping for a great week with lots of sun and fun with a huge turn out of folks from Ultimate Bass!
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