John's Journal...

Tactics for February Lunker Bass

Day 4: Another Successful February Bass Fishing Tactic

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 ViewLongtime nationally-known bass-fishing-pro Gary Klein, of Weatherford, Texas, basically has one tactic for fishing February, and that is flipping. “Even in the cold months, especially in lowland reservoirs, I believe that bass will move into shallow-water cover. When I say shallow-water cover, I’m talking about buck brush, sunken trees or some type of structure. Click for Larger ViewThe jig-and-pork flipped into these areas is just a hard bait to beat. You have to be aggressive. But the bass will want a slow presentation of big bait, and much of the time they may have to be aggravated into biting. You can expect three kinds of strikes in February. One is the reaction strike, which occurs when the bait bumps the bass’ nose or hits so close to the fish that the lure scares the bass into hitting. The second type of bite you will get is what I call an aggravated bite and occurs when the bass sees and smells the bait for a long time and decides to bite, just because the bait has been made available for so long a time. A bite such as this is similar to a man at a party who isn’t really hungry and has maybe just gotten-up from a big supper. But, the hors d’oeuvres just keep coming by and coming by, until he finally eats some. To get that aggravated strike, I may fish a brush top three or four times as long in February as I will at any other time of the year – especially if I’m convinced bass are in that brush. I may keep fishing for 30 to 40 minutes in one brush in February, whereas I only may fish there 3 to 5 minutes in the fall.

Click for Larger View“The third bass bite you will encounter in February is what I call a slow strike. When the bass is in shallow-water cover, the fish sees the bait, smells it, saunters over to it and inhales it. This fish probably will have bitten anyway. But, since the bait’s in front of the bass for a longer time, attacking the bait that’s moving slowly is easier for the fish. To get this kind of bite, I want the bait to drop over a limb or a log and fall to the bottom when I flip into a bush. If the fish doesn’t hit, then I will pull the bait up 3-or-4 feet off the bottom, jiggle the lure, pull it up 3- or 4-more feet, jiggle it again and then jiggle the bait right under the surface. That way, I make sure the bass has had plenty of time to see, smell and inhale the bait, even if the fish is slow getting to the lure. Click for Larger ViewIn shallow-water lakes, like lowland lakes where there’s plenty of shallow-water cover, flipping is hard to beat for bass-fishing. On bright days with high skies, look for the bass to be closer in the cover – usually right in the heart of the structure. On rainy or overcast days, I generally expect the bass to be out away from the cover, a little more on the outer limbs.”

Tomorrow: Charlie Brewer, an Avid Upland Reservoir Fisherman for Wintertime Bass


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 4