It appears that most of the nasty cold fronts of the winter are behind us and with that, warm weather and spring is quickly approaching on the horizon. As it starts to heat up, one of the more exciting times of the fishing calendar is about to take place in freshwater – the everglades spawn.
The first few heat waves after the winter cold fronts are the time that largemouth will start moving up shallow, anticipating that it’s time to partner up and create bed. This is an awesome time to cast shallow to catch big fish.
My favorite part about the spawning season is definitely regarding the big largemouth. Catching quality largemouth all year consistently is no easy task, and when they move up shallow the process becomes much simpler. Casting along the banks is the way to go this time of year and you can’t go wrong with what technique you choose to utilize, whether it be throwing soft plastics, sub surface hard body baits, or topwaters. In all these scenarios, the fish are shallow enough that they will usually hit any of the three. I’m going to run through a normal day out on the water for me targeting largemouth this time of year and try to help you better prepare yourself for you next experience chasing after a monster.
This time of year I really like to get out early, right at the crack of dawn. The fish are usually ready to take topwater at this time, and the bite in the first few minutes of the morning oftentimes is the very best. A bait I personally love to throw is the Livingston Lures Walking Boss. This is an amazing ‘walk the dog’ style bait that does extremely well with big fish in shallow water. Once this starts to slow down though, it’s time to drop below the surface.
Another bait I really love to throw is the X Rap. Rapala has made some amazing lures but the X-X-Rap might be my favorite. Start in a bigger size, but downsize if it seems like the fish are looking for something smaller. The key for me is utilizing an erratic motion, which is very easy with the movement triggered from the lure originally.
If the bass don’t want to touch either of the first two baits, you might have caught them on a slower day. If this is the case, don’t be afraid to really slow things down and break out some soft plastics. I love throwing zoom trick worms and all sorts of gambler worm patterns. I’ll throw however much weight I need to hit bottom easily without causing too much of a disturbance. This is typically a ¼ oz or less when fishing open water.
Utilizing these three baits in your arsenal this time of year is going to really help you catch more fish! I use these 3 styles more than everything else and it has helped me put a ton of big fish in my clients hands.
Capt. Scott Rose
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