• Bass Fishing

    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
    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
    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
    Baits like hard- or soft-plastic jerkbaits or swimbaits can be fished for suspended bass early in the prespawn cycle.

    Throw what bass want

    According to Tom Holman, a biologist with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, gizzard shad tolerate cooler water better than threadfin shad. When shad die, they sink to the bottom, which is why catfish caught in winter are often gorged with threadfin picked up off the bottom.

    February 15 at 7:00am
    Curl-tail grubs are a popular choice for umbrella rigs like the YUMbrella Flash Mob.

    Grubs on umbrella rigs

    Discussions of grubs cannot exclude their group presentation on the umbrella rig. Although banned in Bassmaster Elite and FLW Tour competition, the multi-armed “egg beaters” remain a vital tool for bass anglers from fall through early spring.

    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    Bass pro John Crews helped design a drop-shot rod with a counter weighted butt section and a conveniently placed weight holder.

    The right outfit

    Bass pro John Crews is so exacting with his drop-shot tackle that he helped Cashion Rods design one to his specifications.

    January 15 at 7:00am
    Bassmaster Elite pro Aaron Martens bases his dropshot bait selection on water temperature.

    Drop by design — The ins and outs of dropshotting for bass

    It’s the go-to rig for finessing finicky fish, nudging the cold-weary and lightly probing a variety of hard-cover scenarios from docks to laydowns to bridges.

    January 01 at 7:00am
    Even when the weather cools down at the end of December, you often can catch some very chunky bass at Bogue Homa that weigh 5 to 7 pounds each.

    Bogue Homa’s December bassing

    Bogue Homa’s fishery, with its numerous creek channels, active bass and an abundance of vegetation, is a great December fishery. Early on, you’ll take bass on top; they’ll be along the edges of drop-offs later in the month. Often, bass will concentrate in creek channels all winter, particularly when the air temperature is cold. Generally, December bass and the shad they eat will still be in a late fall pattern. 

    December 18, 2017 at 9:00am
    The Ned rig might not look like much, but bass often smash it when other lures don’t produce a bite.

    You need a Ned rig

    If someone were to give you only one box of lures you could use for the rest of your life, the last thing you might want thrown in would be the relatively boring-looking Ned rig.

    December 18, 2017 at 6:00am
    Pete Ponds said a west-facing riprap bank is a great place to start looking for aggressive bass in December, even on a Bandit 200 crankbait.

    Ponds: 5 Lures to tie on in December

    Bass pro Pete Ponds will always have these five lures tied on when he goes fishing in the late fall and winter in Mississippi.

    December 15, 2017 at 7:00am