• Fishing

    Having a quality depth finder on your bass boat and knowing how to use it to locate baitfish and bass is a key to better prespawn fishing.

    Get the right gear

    For prespawn bass, angler Donnie Stuart of Pelahatchie favors 17-pound braided line with a fluorocarbon leader as long as the rod he is using when not using a slip-cork. For the rod with the slip cork he uses a 10- to 12-pound monofilament. 

    February 15 at 7:00am
    Wes Vowell broke the Neshoba County Lake record with this 14.3-pound sow caught in February 2017.

    Mississippi’s prespawn hot spots

    The Magnolia State has hundreds of bodies of water where bass can be caught, but some are simply better than others at different times of the year and bass cycles.

    February 15 at 7:00am
    If you’ve located bass holding on or near the bottom, it’s hard to beat a chunky jig-and-pig in February.

    Techniques and presentation are critical

    Getting a lure to the depth at which bass are holding and keeping it in the strike zone are two requirements a fisherman must satisfy to entice a strike. How neat it would be to have a lure with a built-in transponder that would transmit its exact depth and location in relation to the bass. Such baits doesn’t exist, but finding structure or drop-offs on the sonar and the ability to feel them with a rod and line will suffice. 

    February 15 at 7:00am
    In February, Ross Barnett bass will be in the prespawn mode; you may catch a good number of bass that will weigh 4 pounds or more.

    February bassing at Ross Barnett

    I think February is the best month of the year to fish Ross Barnett Reservoir for bass, which are in the prespawn mode and moving shallow. In many sections of the country — and Mississippi — you will often be fishing for bass in deep water in February, but on Ross Barnett, you’ll catch most of your fish in water 3 feet deep or less.

    February 12 at 9:00am
    Robert Allen with a Marshall County hawg.

    February fishing hot spots

    The second month is a transition period for many Mississippians, who trade their bows and firearms for poles and rod and reels. Any little stretch of decent warm weather and, wham!, it’s on.

    February 12 at 7:00am
    A large pallid sturgeon caught on a trotline in the Mississippi River near Natchez.

    Mississippi’s oldest fish

    The Mississippi waters of the Mississippi River are home to pallid sturgeon and shovelnose sturgeon. Unlike many other sturgeon in North America and worldwide that migrate between the ocean and freshwater to complete their life cycle, the pallid and shovelnose sturgeon complete their life cycles entirely in rivers. 

    February 05 at 9:00am
    Cold-water bass fishing on Barnett Reservoir will be tested by Bassmaster Central Open anglers.

    Lots of B.A.S.S. traffic on Barnett

    The Barnett Reservoir area will be more colorful in February, as will the streets and hotel parking lots in nearby communities.

    February 01 at 7:00am
    Pony head jigs like this Road Runner account for a lot of crappie, especially in stained water where the small spinner provides vibration and flash.

    The jig is up. But which one?

    Walk into any tackle shop this time of year and you’ll likely be overwhelmed with choices of crappie jigs to use to tempt one of the country’s favorite gamefish. How do you decide which one(s) to buy and use? 

    February 01 at 7:00am
    Simple and subtle, the Strike King Rage Tail Menace makes a great jig trailer.

    Great with grubs — Bass-fishing tips for grubs

    They’re kind of like the short stop of your tackle box, only without all the glamor and star power. Indeed, grubs are a multi-talented category of soft plastics whose lack of fanfare starkly contrasts their versatility.

    February 01 at 7:00am
    Scott Vance is a master at catching slab crappie at any time of the year, but he excels in February’s pre-spawn at Okatibbee Lake.

    Slay slabs now!

    Scott Vance dropped a few jigs into the water, but before he could get all his poles out, the action began. 

    February 01 at 7:00am
    Tournament catfish angler Joey Pounders of Steens said it’s a fallacy that flathead catfish won’t feed during the winter. He has caught them when the temperature is in the single digits.

    Catch more cold-water kitties

    February is one of the toughest months of the year to be outdoors. On the hunting side, many seasons are finished, and what big and small game that is available has seen a lot of traffic in the woods. 

    February 01 at 7:00am
    Bass in the pre-spawn stage are vulnerable to fishermen who can track the progression of the spawning cycle. February is a perfect time to find big fat female largemouths staging deep near shallow water.

    Spike those early spawners

    Few things are more frustrating for an angler than seeing a large bass ignore his or her offering, which, well, darn it, becomes a pretty common occurrence in the early weeks of the spawn in Mississippi. 

    February 01 at 7:00am
    G. Loomis E6X

    G. Loomis E6X

    Lightweight, strong, and sensitive. That’s the recipe for a fishing rod that bass anglers strive to find, and it can be elusive, especially when you add affordability into the mix. Or at least it used to be. But the G. Loomis E6X changes that. 

    February 01 at 7:00am
    Steve Porter, who created the Super Sally, holds a hawg he caught with one recently on Florida’s Lake Okeechobee.

    The Super Sally

    For many anglers, especially in the South, there have been epic trips with lots of unforgettable “Sally Time.”

    January 30 at 9:00am
    When a  jig bounces off a root, a stump or a rock and begins to fall back to the bottom, that’s when the Maynor Creek bass are most likely to attack.

    January bassing at Maynor Creek

    Maynor Creek, a 450-acre body of water near Waynesboro, is my pick for great January bass fishing at this difficult time to catch bass.

    January 16 at 9:00am
    Mississippi’s coastal rivers in January, especially on a freakishly warm day after the layers of clothing have been shed, can produce speckled trout and redfish in the same spots.

    Five January hot spots

    You better believe that January has some hot fishing opportunities in Mississippi, and these five are our picks for the month.

    January 15 at 8:00am