John's Journal...

Tactics for February Lunker Bass

Day 2: Rick Clunn Shares His Tactics for February Bass Fishing

Editor’s Note: February is sort of winter and sort of spring, but it’s entirely a good month for catching bragging bass. If you long to put one of these “in-between” fish into your livewell, try this advice. The month of February often brings some of the biggest catches of monster bass into the livewells of anglers. These fish generally are pre-spawners that have gained weight all winter long, are full of eggs and waiting for the warmer days to trigger the spawning instinct.

Click for Larger ViewMany anglers recognize the importance of fishing warm days in February. “I look for those kinds of days to catch big bass on buzzbaits,” Rick Clunn of Ava, Missouri, says. “Usually in February, the bass have seen spinner baits, jig-and-pork rinds, big crankbaits and worms all winter long. Even when warm days come along, bass anglers will still be fishing those same lures – they just may be angling them close to the surface. So, I start fishing a buzzbait, because I feel that anglers educate fish about a particular lure. Click for Larger ViewThe more the bass see the same lure, the less-likely they are to attack that lure. When you start fishing a buzzbait in February, you’re going to give-up a lot of strikes. You won’t have near as many hits on buzzbaits as you will if you’re fishing conventional wintertime lures. I may only get three to five strikes, but the majority of the bass I catch will be lunkers. If I’m fishing upland reservoirs that are deep and clear, I’ll make long casts, so the bass can’t see me. I will plan to run that buzzbait as slowly as I can, so that the bass has a chance to spot the lure and move to it quickly. Most sportsmen fail to realize that the slower you fish a buzzbait, the better your chances are of catching a bass. In lowland reservoirs, I move closer to my target, but I still will work the bait slowly. I also will be using heavy line, because I’m fishing for big bass, and I want all the strength that I can muster in the line. Line doesn’t prohibit the performance of a buzzbait – so why not use a heavier line?” Clunn adds.

Click for Larger View“Tail spinners like the old Little George and the Wing Ding also are extremely productive in both highland and lowland reservoirs during February. If you can find bass schooling on the top, many times the bass that are actually hitting the shad on the top of the water will be the smaller fish. The bigger, heavier bass may be lying just under the schooling bass, waiting on the crippled and injured shad to fall through the school. Click for Larger ViewBig bass usually won’t spend as much energy to kill the prey as the smaller fish in the schools will. They will let the smaller fish cripple the bait and then feed on the injured shad. For that reason, pumping your spinner bait through the school of fish often can get your bait down to the bigger fish in the school and produce more strikes from the bigger bass in a school of largemouths. However, schooling bass on the surface are not the only bass that anglers can bet on when fishing in the month of February.”

Tomorrow: Bass Fishermen Nolen Shivers and John Powell Explain Their February Strategies Tactics


Check back each day this week for more about "Tactics for February Lunker Bass "

Day 1: February Bass Fishing with Allen O’Dell
Day 2: Rick Clunn Shares His Tactics for February Bass Fishing
Day 3: Bass Fishermen Nolen Shivers and John Powell Explain Their February Strategies
Day 4: Another Successful February Bass Fishing Tactic
Day 5: Charlie Brewer, an Avid Upland Reservoir Fisherman for Wintertime Bass

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Entry 652, Day 2