John's Journal...

Tactics for February Lunker Bass

Day 5: Charlie Brewer, an Avid Upland Reservoir Fisherman for Wintertime Bass

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 ViewOne of the best upland-reservoir fishermen I know is the late Charlie Brewer of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, the originator of the Slider Worm and the slider worm fishing technique. Today Brewer continues the slider philosophy of fishing. On a deep, clear, cold lake, Brewer was as good a wintertime fisherman as I know. Click for Larger ViewWhen most anglers will be fishing big baits and heavy lines along creek channels and ditches, Charlie would angle small baits and light line on sheer drop-offs and bluffs. According to Brewer, “Much of the time during the winter, you’ll find bass suspended along rock walls and bluffs. The fish may be in 15 to 30 feet of water, and they can be anywhere from right on the bottom to midway between the bottom and the top. So, I’d start fishing from the time my lure hit the surface. I’d fish it all the way down to the bottom and count the bait down as it fell to the bottom. Then, I’d begin to try and segment the water with each retrieve – fishing the different stories of the water for suspended fish. In a deep, clear lake in the wintertime, especially during the pre-spawn, the bass like a small bait moving slowly that they can catch easily and inhale with little effort. For that reason, I use a Slider head and a 4-inch worm. I reel the worm as slowly as possible and don’t give the bait any action at all. I believe when the bass is looking at the worm and sees it gliding through the water the bass thinks that the Slider presents an easy meal. So, the fish just naturally has to grab the tiny worm.

“I prefer to fish lighter line, too, in February, because you have to be able to feel those small baits. Light line allows you to have a better feel of the smaller lure at greater depths, plus I don’t believe the bass can see it as well as they can a heavier line. The lighter line also lets the bait get down deeper and quicker. With a good drag and a limber rod, you effectively can play a big fish in a big, deep, clear lake where there’s not much structure. Using these little baits and light line, you do have to modify your hook set somewhat. Click for Larger ViewIf you try to ‘cross the eyes’ of a bass with 4-pound-test line, you’ll have a broken line and a frustrating fishing trip. The trick to the hook-set is to have a sharp hook and sweep the bait into the fish’s mouth rather than drive the hook into the bass’ jaw. Little baits, light line and deep lakes are a natural for February bass-fishing success.”

February is the thinking fisherman’s month. The angler must determine where the bass are, and what the fish are doing. Click for Larger ViewThen, a bass angler must decide how to entice the bass to bite or how to leave the bait in the fish’s strike zone long enough, so the bass finally will bite – whether it wants to or not. February fishing may be considered tedious fishing by some, since often you’ll stay fishing longer and slower in one spot than you will any other time of the year. But, this monotonous February fishing may pay-off with some of the biggest bass an angler takes all year long.


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 5