Is spring finally here? Signs say yes

Published 12:39 am Sunday, March 14, 2010

NATCHEZ — If you are watching, all the signs are there. I woke up this morning and noticed several robins in the yard.

A couple of blue jays fussed over something as a red wasp passed. Those are sure signs that spring is almost here. The fish are spawning.

You can have the all best marine electronics available rigged on your boat — surface water temp gauges, sonar with GPS wired with satellite Sirius radio for on-board Doppler radar and real time weather reports — but if you would just look around and watch for the signs there’s no need for all this equipment to catch fish.

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This week the warm air temps raised surface water temperatures to about 60 degrees in the wind protected flats and pockets. That is the perfect degree water for spawning fish.

I know for weeks I have written that the spawn was going to happen that weekend, and it never did. Now you can take my word for it.

The big slab white perch and the largemouth bass are in the shallows looking for suitable nesting areas. The male bass are cruising the shallows, building nests then they will sit back and wait for the big egg laden females to arrive.

The larger the sow bass the pickier she will be about which nest she chooses. High traffic areas, the water that sees the most traffic will not be where the largest bass in the lake will spawn.

Those really big bass could spawn in the most overlooked places like small ditches, canals and small subtle coves off the main lake.

Check areas that match this description over the next month or so and you may find a trophy bass on the end of your line. There are now a host of lures that will catch the bass.

To fool the bass that is cruising, the bass that have not found a suitable area try cranking lipless crankbaits like Strike King’s Red Eye shad or the ever so popular Rat-L-Trap.

These lures are tailor made for the season and don’t be fooled into thinking lipless cranks catch only small bass. My largest bass to date on a Rat-L-Trap weighed 10.01 pounds, and I was using 12 pounds test mono. That was a fun ride!

Spinnerbaits are producing some nice bass as well. Just go shallow and start casting. Cover as much water as possible. For larger bass but fewer strikes, head toward the bottom.

Bottom lures like jigs with plastic trailers, big flipping tubes, the beaver style lures and brush hawgs are big bass lures. Don’t expect as many strikes on the bottom lures but the few strikes you get will normally be from larger fish.

Please keep in mind the fish are spawning. Take along a camera and get a few pictures of that trophy bass and turn her loose. We certainly need more fish in our lakes and you can help by practicing CPR: catch, photograph and release.