Water temps favorable for largemouth bass

Published 12:59 am Sunday, November 22, 2009

Water temperatures are fast approaching a very favorable degree for catching big largemouth bass.

Last weekend the average surface water temps ranged from 65 to 67 degrees. The largemouth bass have left the shallows for the most part.

A few small fish were caught on lipless crankbaits like the Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap from thin water, but big fish were not shallow. I moved off the banks to water depths of about 6 to 8 feet and landed a couple bass over three pounds and a half dozen two-pound fish.

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Just to see if that was the pattern for the weekend I moved even deeper, to the 10 to 15 feet depths. I did not get a bite from the deeper waters but that will soon change.

A heavy overcast sky yesterday combined with the cold rain lowered the water temperatures a few more degrees and that is exactly what we need to move the big bass out to the deeper cover.

On lakes like St. John, Bruin and Concordia the only cover you will find deeper than 10 feet is manmade cover and manmade cover in the form of brush piles sunk by the local fishermen will be the rule for big bass once the water temperatures drop below 60 degrees.

In other words, we are so very close to conditions being perfect to catch some really big bass off deep cover. In late November and early December I fish backwards, meaning I start out deep and by midday, if the sun is out, I make the move to shallow water.

The deep bite is usually better early in the morning while most fishermen fish shallow first and deep later. The reason I believe this pattern is successful is the sun warms the shallows a few degrees and the bait fish tend to move shallow during the middle of the day and the bass follow the bait.

Lure choices and colors are not as important as location because you cannot catch what is not there. So many people think color is the key and color is way down my list of important factors. Location, the type of cover and a lure that will effectively pick that cover a part is the key to success in the world of bass fishing.

From now through February I can basically fish from one small tackle box. If you’re new to cold water fishing buy a few jigs and trailers and learn to use them. The jig, with some type of soft plastic trailer, is the number one big bass producer in this area.

Another good lure that the locals are having a lot of success with is Reaction’s Sweet Beaver. This unique flat bodied lure falls with a gliding motion and will trigger strikes from bass that are reluctant to strike a jig.

The same thing goes for the flipping tubes. Tubes fall with a spiral motion and at times that’s what the bass want. As far as hard plastic baits in the winter months I only use two. Try Bomber 7A crankbaits and Rat-L-Traps.

As winter progresses and water temps really crash, try jigging spoons. Cold water fishing in this area can be very productive if you know where to go and what to throw.

Eddie Roberts writes a weekly fishing column for The Democrat. He can be reached at fishingwitheddie@bellsouth.net.