John's Journal...

Where and How to Catch Bass in January and February

Skeet Reese’s Tactics for West Coast Bass

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Skeet Reese of Auburn, California, has tournament fished for over 10 years and has earned over $2 million.Click to enlarge Today he’ll tell us how he fishes the relatively-mild and balmy waters of California during January and February.

I like two lakes at this time of year – Don Pedro Lake in northern-central California in the foothills near Modesto and Stockton and Clear Lake in northern California, which is about 4-hours north of San Francisco. Both of these lakes home giant bass. In January and February, the biggest bass will be caught in these lakes.

At Don Pedro Lake, you can catch bass in the 15- to 18-pound range. In Clear Lake, you can take bass in the 13- to 14-pound range and numbers of fish in the 5- to 8-pound range. At Don Pedro Lake, which is a big, deep, clear-water reservoir, the bass will be staged at the mouths of creeks and on main points and secondary points going back up the creek where they plan to spawn. The bass will be holding in about 15 to 30 fClick to enlargeeet of water, and they mClick to enlargeay move up more shallow, if there’s a warming trend.

Bass will be looking for pea gravel and chunk rock, and if you can find stumps mixed in with that pea gravel and rock, you’ll almost certainly locate a bass. Bass will also be concentrated at the mouths of the creeks and the man-made sloughs. They’ll be piled-up in the mouth of any backwater site.

If I had to fish one lure in both lakes at this time of year, I’d choose a Lucky Craft Pointer 128, which is a big jerkbait in clear-lake-hitch, ghost-minnow and chartreuse-shad colors. I’ll catch some giant bass with this bait on 12-pound-test fluorocarbon line because that line will help the bait sink really low. I jerk the bait twice, and then a third time, I jerk it really hard and let it sit still in the water for 10 to 30 seconds before I move it again. Most of the time, the bass will bite when you dead-stick or not move the bait.

Tomorrow: James Niggemeyer’s Tips for the South

Check back each day this week for more about "Where and How to Catch Bass in January and February"

Day 1: Denny Brauer’s Thoughts on the Midwest
Day 2: Davy Hite’s Hints for the East Coast
Day 3: Michael Iaconelli’s Thoughts on the North
Day 4: Skeet Reese’s Tactics for West Coast Bass
Day 5: James Niggemeyer’s Tips for the South


Entry 439, Day 4