If you are looking for a new personal best bucket mouth bass, February is prime time to catch a genuine HOG. In most parts of Texas February means pre-spawn and the big girls will be at their heaviest weights of the year. It is a very exciting time that most of us big bass hunters look forward to the whole year. Now, let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of where to start looking for these swollen belly sows and how to catch them.
- Try the northern reaches of the lake first as they will get more sun and warm up quicker than the rest of the lake.
- Look for secondary points towards the back of the creek. These are areas where large females will stage until the water temperature gets to the desired level for them to start spawning.
- Channel Swings- anywhere the creek channel swings up close by the bank is usually a dynamite fishing spot. Bass can use this type of water for moving in and out to spawn and feel comfortable close to deeper water.
- Target Flats- When fishing a flat, always try and fish the irregularities that are in it. A slight ditch, hump or fallen tree will usually hold a number of bass and it will hold fish coming and going the entire length of the spawn.
- Creek Mouths- The mouth of a creek that leads to a spawning cove is like the exit off of Interstate. Big females will move from their deeper main lake winter haunts to these creek mouths in anticipation for spawning. Creek mouths will also be a great spot when the bass are through spawning and are moving back out towards the main lake.
- Roadbeds- If you have any old gravel or paved road beds to fish, fish them thoroughly. Roadbeds will hold heat and will always attract food of some sort for big females trying to feed up before spawning. The best spots on roadbeds are usually closer to deep water or have some type of break or irregular feature to them. Try and avoid long straight stretches of sunken roads.
- Isolated Cover- What I mean by isolated cover is when you see a lone cypress tree or small clump of willows out in the middle of a flat or seemingly nowhere, idle over and fish those areas- HARD. Isolated cover can draw in bass like a magnet due to the fact it is not often targeted due to it is a smaller piece of cover and harder to get to for fishing such a small target. Some of my biggest spring bass have come off of an isolated bush or top that was way off of the beaten path.
- Old Pads- When you see old lily pad stems or old grass from last year, you know you are in the right type of area. That means the water is fairly shallow and clear. Bass love areas like this to spawn in. It gives fingerlings places to hide and bass feel safe in it as well.
Hopefully some of these tips will help you decide the right area to target this month when you are going after the water donkeys that Texas is famous for.
In next week’s blog, I will be going over my favorite baits and techniques to catch these pre-spawn Texas giants.
Story by Shane Smith