Prespawn pigs

Discussion in 'Bass Discussions' started by Trophy Hunter, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. As spring S L O W L Y approaches my thoughts drift off to a cold overcast day in March twelve years ago. I was the only one on the lake and growing tired of reeling in black crappie on every cast. Just for the hell of it I tie on an old baby bass pattern model A for a break in the monotony. Content to hold and cast my bass outfit just to practice my casting technique something pleasantly unexpected happened.

    The water was a cold 45*F. Certainly not the ideal condition for a warm water species such as the largemouth bass. After throwing to the same spot numerous times the end of my rod loads up with dead weight. What seemed like a water logged tree surged upward and jumped out of the water in the form of a seven-pound largemouth. I was astonished to say the least. Little did I know that the possibilty of catching a trophy size bass increases substantially in the early spring.

    What's even more astonishing is that she crunched on a faded old crankbait retrieved at a high rate of speed in that cold of water. Surely another presentation will be more effective for this years cold-water-pig season. Weeks away from this once a year opportunity ideas of slow falling jig and pigs or carolina rigged lizards appear to be the right choice. Maybe those of you with more experience in targeting seven pound plus largemouth could share your knowledge?

    What's an effective pattern for this type of fishing?

    By the way, here is a picture of the old girl. Some of you may have already seen it. Unfortunately for her I was a young buck and had to show it to my family. Since then I have learned the importance of catch and release. scan0001.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  2. Nice Catch! Although it isn't considered a "normal" pattern cranking in such cold waters there are good variables on the anglers side. The first of which is the fact that bass in general haven't seen or heard a crankbait in months and even though the water is cold they will go after one if they have a mind to. Another variable is the food supply, or lack there of since most baitfish died off with the cold water over the winter and bluegill are scarce. The crawdad (if they're in that body of water) have not yet come out of hybernation to begin their spawning cycles. Bass still feed through the winter just not as often as they would with warmer water and if the forage opportunity presents itself, it will expend energy to grab what looks like a full meal. As far as trying to pattern this, I would make note of where you caught her and at what depth. This would be a very good indicator of their pre-spawn migration route in the body of water you were fishing. They will move up and stge at certain areas waiting for the shallows to get warm before moving in. IMO this would be a gold mine spot because after the spawn they'll follow the same routes back to deeper water post spawn. Hope this helps.

  3. Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  4. You're right, the article itself seems to target more of the "fishing the seasonal conditions" rather than focusing on baits and presentations. The really tricky part is knowing when and how to fish the "current water conditions" during spring. You were throwing a fst moving crankbait in water that is normally deemed "slow moving lures" water, yet the current water conditions allowed you to utilize a faster moving bait, hence you found a possible pattern for the conditions at that time. Great job!
  5. If you were reeling that thing fast, in that cold water that was probably a reaction strike. It is common though for most of the biggest bass in a body of water to move up first, usually before most people start to fish for them. Great catch, that thing is an absolute PIG!
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2009
  6. It's funny, but I have caught some of my biggest bass in late February and early March out of Nimisilla. However, the ones I catch have been very lethargic-like reeling in an old shoe. Even ones around 5 pounds. But man those cold water colors on them are beautiful. I could be wrong, but seems to me as the water warms up their colors are less brilliant. I have caught a lot in the same situation-more or less just practicing casting and reeling in way faster than what common knowledge suggests. I agree with CARP though and think a lot of them may have been "reaction strikes" where the lure might have made the fish felt thretened.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2009
  7. Think like a fish then? That approach is very familiar to me.