John's Journal...

Tactics for February Lunker Bass

Day 3: Bass Fishermen Nolen Shivers and John Powell Explain Their February Strategies

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 View“You’ve got to realize what happens when the weather starts to warm-up, and the sun begins to shine,” Nolen Shivers of Birmingham, Alabama, an avid bass and crappie fisherman, explains. “Not only does the surface temperature increase by a few degrees, but because of the light penetration on the points, many times you will find warmer water on sandy or rocky points than you will anywhere else in the lake. The light penetrates through the rocks or sand and is reflected back, heating those points up. Click for Larger ViewWhen this occurs, I usually can find good schools of bass that run from 2- to 5-pounds each on points in deep, clear lakes. Although I’ll catch a mixture of bass – both spotted and largemouth – I have noticed that this method works extremely well on spotted bass along rocky points in reservoirs with good spotted bass populations. I use several tactics when the sun comes-out. The No. 1 technique is to cast a 3-inch wiggle-tail grub across a point and then right across the bottom. I have caught as many as 100 bass a day using this method. But, I believe that bass will wise-up to a particular lure, if it’s fished often enough in the same location. So, sometimes I’ll change-over to a 6-inch plastic worm and drag it across the bottom on the same points and still take bass.”

Most bassers agree that point fishing in the wintertime is one of the most-productive areas to try to take a mess of bass. But, not all will agree with the advice of the late John Powell of Montgomery, Ala., a veteran tournament angler and one of the first B.A.S.S, pros, Powell said that on cold days in February, a fisherman should be angling a top-water lure. Click for Larger View“February fishing is the best when the ground is so cold that it’s spewed-up, and you have to wear a snowmobile suit to survive. I’ve discovered that if I take an old Bang-O-Lure or a similar lure and fish it on rock points in the morning when the mist is rising-off the water, then for the first 15 or 20 minutes of daylight, I can limit-out on bass. Click for Larger ViewI’ll cast the Bang-O-Lure right-up against the bank and twitch it from the shallow water into the deep water. Oftentimes there will be so-many bass on a point that the lure will be hit three or four times before it gets back to the boat. I don’t know whether the bass really want to eat, or whether they want to kill the lure. However, I’ve seen bass in really-cold water knock the bait out of the water. I also have discovered that the bass will generally move-up on these points again later in the afternoon, giving an angler the same action for 15- or 20-minutes before dark.”

Tomorrow: Another Successful February Bass Fishing Tactic


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 3