Originally posted by: ouachitabassangler on 2/18/2006 12:15:32 PM
Our water temp has cooled back down too much for an early March spawn, but the bass started staging this month when it got to 54, so will be in their typical pre-spawn areas in creek channels close to spawning flats shallow, shallow mid-lake humps, mid-lake flats above main channel breaks. They were just getting active feeding, but that's stopped until this cool down reverses and water begins to warm again. Anytime there is any warming up of winter cold water feeding begins above 40, but of course they are weak and slow moving, needing easy meals.
As soon as any warming begins this month (Feb) through March I'll be using weightless Zoom Flukes and similar soft plastics allowed to sink and flitter along bottom (like a sick, cold dying shad since what shad remain will be in the creek mouths heading to back coves as temperature allows. Try rigging two flukes together to make one appear to chase the other. No bass will tolerate critters feeding in front of it. If you want details holler. Another spring bait that will last through March is crayfish imitators since crayfish will become a major part of their pre-spawn diet in rocky shorelines close to clear deep water and any dirty water we might get from spring rain coming down creeks. That water is always warmer and moving weater gets crayfish moving out of their mud beds. I use a purple Sweet Beaver on a Bass Stalker jig, black & blue, or pumpkinseed SB on brown a lot, the jig very good at making the Beaver stand up waving pinchers like saying "OK, I'm here, where's the fight.". I fish that on bottom shallow parallel to rocky/gravelly shorelines close to creek mouths leading into spawn areas, and around shallow edges of flats. I let it sink, stop a minute, scoot it a few feet, stop. When stopped I barely jiggle it on a semi-slack line to keep the jig in place but waving. Other early spring baits will be whacky rigged Senkos, dead-sticked 5" trick worms and creature baits, and fast ripped Diamond Shad or Rattle Trap lipless baits on warm-up days along edges of dormant vegetation fields. Suspending jerkbaits like the X-Rap work well if the water is clear enough. So are small spinnerbaits with over-sized blades that swim slow, and in-line spinners.
When the spawn gets closer I'll make suggestions for that phase.