I‘m a liberal leaning outdoorsman attempting to open the minds of right wingers to the idea that libs fish too. Anglers come from all walks of life, left, right, and center. Not everyone who fishes for bass is a redneck fond of Nascar, country music, and religiosity. Expect posts about largemouth bass fishing, techniques, reviews of lures and other products, but not any condemnable conservative rants. I hope to inspire the online angler community to dial down rhetoric which will do more harm than good to our sport.

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

• Prespawn Thoughts

The prespawn occurs at different times of the year depending on where you live. I'm fairly new to Louisiana and last year I let the prespawn slip right past me as did many other surprised bass fishermen in the area. I won't let it catch me off guard this year. I think the prespawn feed picked up towards the middle or end of February last year. We are going through some colder weather right now and I have a feeling that as soon as the water temps start coming back up into the 50s, I need to get out there. Granted the spawn has more to do with the angle of the sun in the sky, but I still want to find the active fish before all that happens. I probably won't be around in March and April to catch the spawning bass, so I need to make the most of February.

I can't say Cross Lake has a lot of traditional staging depths. The bottom changes gradually over the entire stretch with deeper water on the east end and water no deeper than eight feet on the west end. This lake really lacks a lot of under water definition. There are not any well defined narrow channels to follow. If anything, I'll be fishing the same spots in three to five feet of water I always do. I'm not sure where the shad will be. They were around this fall, but became very sparse in December and January. I'm assuming the staging areas are going to be in these three to five feet deep flats. I'm not that familiar with Caddo Lake, so I don't know where I'd go.

Previously, I was finding bass in dead pad stems, along some islands, and on wind blown banks and points. I even picked up a couple in stands of cypress trees. I didn't catch many in the shallow water and I haven't seen much action back in any water less than three feet deep. Where do you think they are at now? Remember, the air temps have been starting out around freezing lately.

Here are the lures I consider the traditional prespawn lures. The shad baits ranging from hardbaits like a Smithwick Rogue all the way to soft plastic jerkbaits seem to do well in prespawn. People still throw jigs and craw plastics. Crankbaits are big too, but I have read a lot of conflicting comments on whether you throw the ones with a tight wobble or a wide wobble. Sure the traps can bring a reaction strike, but the wider wobble cranks still do pretty well on their own. Spinnerbaits are also on the list.

Let me throw in what I'm also thinking about using. Spinnerbaits have been working well lately, but I haven't thrown a swimblade in a while. That 5lb 11oz bass came on a swimblade, so maybe another good sized bass will bite on one. I'll put some plastic shad baits on a shaky head. I also think throwing one of my big Gene Larew worms will do some good. The shad aren't very big yet, so a small Kastmaster spoon could get a few bites as well. Maybe this year will give me my first jig bite. My Paca Chunks want to jump out of the package really bad.

Let's face it. I'd love to find some schooling bass. It's something I've never really been able to do, unless you count the dinkfest I had this summer using a DT crank. I hate resorting to trial and error and using my electronics in the deeper water will be more like finding a needle in a haystack. Dumb luck works too. Your guess is as good as mine.


HellaBass said...

Goof Luck!! PreSpawn is where you can get some of your biggest bass of the year!!

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JM Ridlon said...

I was going to mention jerkbaits to you, but you are aware of this pattern. That lake sounds alot like the one I cut my teeth on. The north end is just like you describe, there is buck brush all along the shore and the entire portion of that end is 2-6 ft deep. Being in the north, when you get a few sunny days that warm the surface, we used to clean up with a jerkbait. I would also suggest the jig and slow rolling a tortoise blade spinnerbait, I've done real well with cold fish with this approach. Best of luck!