Big Fish Time
by Captain Mike Gerry
I realize that most anglers prefer the warmer winter day; I certainly understand the more comfortable feeling of a better day when the temperature has warmed in the middle of winter. The problem is, if you’re after a trophy size bass, they are now in the feeding mode. We constantly change weather in the spring, and it always presents the chance of that trophy fish.
Sure, some days are a challenge in North Alabama, as the temperature changes, and weather pattern swings are constant for at least another month. The downside is, it’s hard to stay focused and continually work the proper depths and structure to find that trophy fish. The elements fight against you, your hands are cold, it’s hard to feel a bite, the wind challenges you many days in a row during this constant change. Steadying the boat enough to feel those slow methodical bites during this late pre-spawn is not easy.
Don’t waste time. Fish where the big fish should be in this type of weather. In my opinion, this is extended off the long deeper points. I find that in a bad, cold, winter day, the bigger fish extend themselves off under water points from the first break extending down to ten feet or more of water. The reason for this is there is generally still grass near the shallow top and stumps with muscle beds off the deeper points. These are all ideal locations for that big trophy bass, and with some patience and hard fishing, you just might find it.
It is also true that many of the big fish are in the shallows already, moving up to the hard bottom areas of the lake. Look for red clay banks and work them thoroughly.
Lastly, fish small baits. Work them slowly and make very precise casts. Use your Lowrance structure scan to find the structure where the big fish have the best chance to hide. Work those pieces of structure very thoroughly. Make several casts so you cover every angle. You won’t feel big bites, you’ll just feel a twitch or heavy rod tip, make a good hook set because it could be the fish you have been waiting for!