Bass pro Pete Ponds is a big fan of a particular March technique, the swimming lizard, which is no secret on Barnett Reservoir. 

It’s an old technique on the lake and one that will peak about the time the BASS Central Open is held March 12-14 out of Madison Landing.

Using a 7- or 8-inch lizard with as light a worm weight as conditions will allow, fishermen on Barnett concentrate on pad stems, other vegetation, and around other forms of structure.

“It’s one of the best pre-spawn patterns there is in Mississippi, and a technique that everyone needs to learn,” Ponds said. “Once you determine that the fish have moved shallow, and I mean really shallow, that’s when you break out the swimming lizard. It’s pretty simple really in that you just cast and reel, but there are some nuances that you need to know.

“One is that you can’t just barge into an area and catch fish. A lot of these fish are in less than nine or 10 inches of water so they can be spooked real easy. I like to use a push pole instead of a trolling motor and I only move a few yards at a time. After I move, I let the area settle down for a few minutes before I start fan casting the area.”

Once Ponds finds buck bass (smaller males) in the shallows, he knows it’s just a matter of time before the bigger sows will join them.

“So I move out to the creek or ditch channels in 4 or 5 feet of water and look for where the big fish are staging,” Ponds said. “The swimming lizard works good, then too, but you can also try a swimming jig.”