If you’re looking for a personal best largemouth bass and you live south of the Mason-Dixon Line, this is the week to do it. Spool up some fresh line. Put some air in your trailer tires. Oil your reels.
Get out there!
I say this is the week because we have warming temperatures and a full moon coming on March 1. My experience tells me that big fish like to come shallow during the full moon, and with warming water temperatures around much of the country, even the bass that aren’t ready to spawn will be shallower and more vulnerable to our lures than at just about any other time. And the bass that aren’t quite ready to spawn yet are at least thinking about it.
If you’re looking for a little advice on what to throw at them this week, I have four favorite baits that should cover the bases for you.
1) Megabass Ito Vision 110 (Stain Reaction) — a jerkbait that really draws bass in clear water. I like to make long casts with it and work it pretty quickly until I get it next to my target — over the top of a brush pile, next to the ladder on a boat dock or beside a big rock. That’s when I slow down and let it soak a little. When the bait is next to the target, I’ll experiment with pauses of eight to 10 seconds, 15 seconds or even longer until I figure out how they want it. If the fishing’s slow, I may add heavier trebles to make the bait sink very slowly when I pause it.
2) 1/2-ounce Andy’s Custom Bass Lures Old School Terminator Jig (black/blue) with a Zoom Super Chunk or Super Chunk Jr. trailer (Sapphire Blue) — a living rubber jig with just the right skirt action for cooler water and a trailer that’s subtle enough for the cooler water. Depending on things like the quality of your fishery and the fall rate you need to draw strikes, you’ll want to choose between the Super Chunk and Super Chunk Jr. I generally like the larger Super Chunk, but if the fishery is tough or I need a faster fall, I go with the Super Chunk Jr.
3) Megabass Vibration-X (E2 Craw) — a lipless crankbait in a color I designed that’s great in the early part of the year. When I fish it, I like to put a pause or lift-and-drop in my retrieve. Just how fast you fish it or how long you need to pause it will depend on water temperature and how active the fish are, but this is not usually a time of year that you can burn it on a really fast retrieve.
4) Megabass Flap Slap or Diving Flap Slap (Sexy French Pearl) — dual-action crankbaits that are the best I’ve ever fished. They’re flat-sided baits that have a very subtle, tight wiggle, and they roll on the retrieve, giving off a lot of flash. The weight in the bait makes it change angles when you pause it. Then it goes from running with its head down to sinking slowly with its head up at about a 45-degree angle. I get a lot of strikes on the pause.
Keep in mind that this is quality fish time. You may not catch a lot of bass, but you just might catch the bass of your life.
Now get out there!