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Largemouth bass pre-spawn season is close

As this month comes to a close good things will begin to happen in the fishing world.

February will cast off the pre-spawn season for largemouth bass and white perch. There are several factors that make this happen. The most important are water temperature and the season.

Regardless of how cold or warm the water is the fish are now full of eggs. If we don’t see a significant rise in surface temps by mid-month the urge to move shallow in search of suitable spawning sites will override cold water temperatures.

Currently, the water is very cold with an average surface temperature of about 45 degrees by midday. A warm up of just a few degrees will activate a major transition period on the area lakes. January was a lot like August. The fish don’t move much, are hard to locate, difficult to catch and weather plays a huge role in your success or lack of.

As we move into February, the spawning urge will override most negative weather conditions but you will still have to make some adjustments. The fish will be more active just prior to and during the passage of a cold front.

Once the front passes the bite can get very tough. If you’re looking for trophy bass and big slab perch this coming month is the very best time to be on the water.

Today is the final day to pre-fish for the 25th Annual J.R. Roberts Memorial Team Bass Challenge on Lake Bruin. The lake will be off limits to all contestants from Jan. 31 through Friday, Feb. 4. This long running event held in memory of my father will cast off Saturday. The weigh-in site will be at the Lake Bruin State Park.

Everyone is invited to attend the weigh-in. If the long distant weather forecast holds up we may actually have a good day as far as the weather. If so, it will be a first.

This event has a history of bad weather conditions.

Over the past 24 years contestants have fished in snow, sleet, rain and high winds, and one year a tornado passed over the lake. Of those 24 years I have postponed this event only once.

The roads were iced over and we could not get to the lake. I don’t think we will have that problem this year. Fishermen from miles around will converge on Lake Bruin to cast for cash and there’s some nice prize money on the line, so to speak.

Based on a full field of 100 entries the individual or team with the five largest bass will take home $4,000 cash. I’ll pay out 10 cash places in the five bass limit division and three cash places in the single big bass division.

The contestant with the single largest bass will win $1,000. You can enter this event Monday through Friday of next week at Eddie’s Marine in Vidalia for $120.

Late entries will be accepted at the Lake Bruin State Park on tournament day with a $10 late fee.

It will take some heavy weights to win and place this year. Come join us for the Lake Bruin shoot out on

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

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