Open: Where are the big bags?


Andy Crawford

When coming here in mid-January you expect to see double-digit bass cross the scales. Yesterday we had none. The largemouth weighing 8 pounds, 12 ounces caught by James Castillo led Phoenix Boats Big Bass on Wednesday.

So, what’s up with that? 

Blame it on the weather. I spoke with a lot of the guys about what is going on, including Scott Martin, a native Floridian who knows more than a thing or two about the subject. Here is what he had to say. 

“The water temperatures are around 70 degrees, which is perfect. The bass are moving. They are ready to spawn as a group. What we have not had here is the right weather.”

That comment can be traced back to the Arctic, where strong wintertime cold fronts originate. From Florida to Canada there has not been much winter at all. In fact, those winter storms The Weather Channel assigns names have come from the Northwest, not the Arctic. So, to the point, there has been no chilly weather in Florida.

“What the bass are waiting on is that true cold front that triggers them into moving shallower to spawn.”

Martin was not the only guy who said the same thing. It makes sense. The bass are very reactionary to the weather here, and especially so in winter. They react to cold weather and warm weather when it comes in succession. 

But bass are unpredictable creatures. Could we see a massive wave of heavy largemouth flood the spawning areas? Not likely. But it sure is close.

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