Catching Your Personal Best Largemouth

Catching Pre-Spawn Bass
March 12, 2019
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Winter is coming to a close and spring is peaking its’ head right around the corner. Most largemouth bass fisherman are getting their gear out from months of dormancy in anticipation of catching their new personal best bass.  Will this be the year you catch a 9, 10 or 11 pounder?  It certainly can be.

We are blessed to live in one of the top three states when it comes to catching huge bass.  California, Texas and Florida are the ultimate for producing large quantities of double-digit fish.  I have caught 31 bass over 10 pounds with my personal best being a 12.14 I caught on Lake Fork in June 2007.  A few have come from smaller reservoirs less than 500 acres, but most are from larger lakes like Fork, Falcon and Toledo Bend.

When people think of huge free range whitetail, states like Iowa, Illinois, Kansas and Ohio come to mind.  When you are hunting a possible double-digit largemouth, try to fish the lakes that have the most of these monster bass swimming in them.

Lake Fork, Falcon, Amistad, O.H. Ivie, Toledo Bend, Sam Rayburn, Caddo, Athens, Naconiche and Possum Kingdom all have reputations for producing big bass. These lakes have history on their side for having extra large bass lurking in their waters.

I am not saying you can’t catch them elsewhere but the chances are much greater where there are much larger concentrations.

If you chose to fish other places, try areas that have a substantial amount of deep water in them.  Whether it is a river or deep rocky impoundment, deep water is where these big girls live.  They may come shallow to spawn or to occasionally feed, but they live out deep day in and day out.

Now, we have got the idea of fishing the right waters that have historically produced above average size largemouth bass, let’s get into the nuts and bolts of what they eat.

Just about every lake, river or pond has something swimming or crawling in it that a bass will eat.  I want to know what big bass eat in that particular body of water I am fishing.

Excellent forage for trophy bass are small bass, gizzard shad, bluegill, crappie, catfish, frogs, small birds, snakes, and crawfish. In the day in and day out operation of a trophy fish they typically don’t chase two inch bluegills or gorge on bass fry on the nest.

But rather they will get the most food for the amount of energy exerted.  That is why they want a small bass or crappie in one quick chase rather than several small hunts for the same amount of food.

Ok, now let’s talk timing.

Out of the top 50 Bass caught in Texas here are the top months of when they were caught in a breakdown.

March (15)

February (12)

May (5)

April (5)

So the next few months are when the big largemouth will be at their heaviest weights.It is a scientific fact you have a much higher percentage of catching your new personal best when you are fishing rather than when you are at home.  You won’t find out on the couch if the fish are biting or you get that one magical bite that you will remember the rest of your life.

Shane Smith

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