Fish stems and rocks

You may sneak up on a big bass at Ross Barnett this month, but more than likely the big fish of the day will be in the 3 1/2- to 5-pound range.

They hold the key at Ross Barnett

This month, I’m picking Lake Ross Barnett, near Jackson. To find the bass, we’ve got to shrink the lake and concentrate on where they’re most likely to be and the lures they’re most likely to take. This month, bass have spawning on their minds, and they’re looking for warm, shallow water, and structure in the water in those two areas. During February, the bass primarily will be holding in two places — the lily-pad stems in extremely shallow water and the riprap.

Since the water warms up the quickest at Ross Barnett on sunny days in the shallow lily-pad stems, I’ll target those. The bass are moving into those lily pads to get ready for the spawn and also because that’s where the baitfish will gather. During February, the lily pads and grass are starting to grow up, and the plankton and algae on which the baitfish feed will be abundant in these places. Because Ross Barnett is a shallow lake primarily, 95 percent of the time the bass will be in shallow water.

In February, I’ll be fishing two crankbaits for bass in the shallow lily-pad stems, and start with Mann’s 1-Minus. If I don’t catch them in the extremely shallow water, I’ll fish the Mann’s Baby X, which is a deeper-running 1-Minus. The Baby X runs about a foot or two deeper than the 1-Minus.Click here to read more on Fish stems and rocks

About Paul Elias 183 Articles
Paul Elias, of Laurel, has fished 15 Bassmaster Classics with career winnings of over $1 million, including one Bassmaster Classic Championship. Elias also holds the current record for a four-day BASS tournament weigh-in with 132 pounds, 8 ounces, on Falcon Lake in Texas.

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