Spring has sprung, but not too warm

Editor's Note: The writer's opinions and observations expressed here are his own, and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views, policies or positions of FLW. I have lived in the Southeast for the past 10 years and I feel that this year's transition from winter to spring is quite a bit different than in the past. It is cooler than usual. That gets me confused on both the mental and the fishing side of things. Although weathermen have said that spring officially has come, I would like to question bass personally and ask whether it has come for them or not. Early spring is the one of my favorite fishing seasons since you can catch a bunch of pre-spawners, most of them active in predation mode and their bodies pretty chubby. Generally, in many lakes it is the time to target them with reaction baits such as jerkbaits or lipless crankbaits. Some lakes are still on the cool side, and fish will not proceed with the spawning process until the water temperature gets to at least the 55- to 60-degree range. To me, tournaments in March such as the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Hartwell (March 6-9), the Rayovac FLW Series Southeastern Division on Santee Cooper (March 13-15) and the Walmart FLW Tour at Sam Rayburn (March 27-30) were supposed to be good times to catch pre-spawners and I actually tried to find those fish. At Hartwell, the water temperatures were a bit lower, but it was about the right range for pre-spawn fishing. However, brutal cold weather came in during practice as well as tournament days on the both of tournaments. That got many anglers confused and I was the one of them. I also would say that the fish got confused as well. You can see from the results that it was a hard tournament to bring fish to the scales consistently each day. In fact I had decent bags at Hartwell but not so at Santee Cooper. On Hartwell, I had to junk-fish with jerkbaits, jigs, finesse baits and others to try to get bites in patterns ranging from late winter to spawning. I had so many lures tied on that my boat deck was full of Shimano EXPRIDE rods. (Thankfully, I have a Ranger Z521C that is wide enough to put all of them on the front deck.) On Santee Cooper, I did aim at making the game stick to the basics with lipless crankbait patterns since I only had a few bites during practice and thought that would be the best way to get kicker fish. It worked on day one, with me catching 20 pounds, but I didn't repeat it on day two. At Sam Rayburn, I fished shallow most of the time and was tied for ninth at the end of day one. On day two, I dropped to 11th, and finished 20th in the tournament. The bass in Sam Rayburn didn't have their minds made up. Some wanted to spawn, some wanted to stay away from the bank, and some just wanted to swim around. From those experiences, I have felt that this year's cold spring has made it harder to make the right decisions. I am not sure whether to stick to my general patterns/areas for this time of year or try to fish some new patterns/areas. I am still thinking about it and have to figure out which way to take. Coming up next is Beaver Lake (April 10-13). Will the fish be spawning or still in pre-spawn? The weather between now and then will decide, and then I will decide. Stay tuned with FLW Outdoors and we'll see.

Tags: blog  shinichi-fukae 


Blog: The First Time

This begins a series of blogs by Walmart FLW Tour co-angler Jaime Luengo of Mexico City. He joined the circuit in 2005 and has three top-10 finishes to his credit. Luengo is the author of La Magia de la Lobina Tecnicas Avanzadas, a book on bass fishing techniques, and is host and producer of Nuestra Pesca, a television series available on all cable stations in Mexico. READ MORE »


Blog: What Might Have Been at Eufaula

Lake Eufaula is in the books, but ever since the tournament I haven’t slept very well. If you know me, you know I just “love” losing fish, but I think this latest event was the worst of my career. I finished 12th, which isn’t so bad, but the “what could have beens” got me again. On the last day of practice, I caught nearly 30 pounds, including one around 10 pounds and a 7 1/2-pounder, making it a day I’ll never forget. READ MORE »


Blog: Frogging of a Different Kind

As a bass fisherman, I have a special feeling for that time of year when I can start fishing a frog again. I’m not sure if the rush of adrenaline I feel is from that first explosion when a bass crashes the frog, or the anticipation of it. Whatever it is, I love it! READ MORE »


Blog: Make a Plan and Work the Plan

I’m not going to sugarcoat it: I’m bombarded with an array of emotions and a new to-do list every day. I’m not good enough. I don’t have the money. Make a Facebook post. Call mom. I don’t have enough time. I’m too tired. I’ll be treated poorly. Rig rods. Do sponsor work. People won’t like me. My son will miss me. I’ll miss my family. READ MORE »


Blog: East vs. West

I’m not going to say the West is better than the East, or vice-versa. However, I am going to say that where fishing is concerned, there are some distinct differences between the two. The list is long and I’m sure that you can think of many additional differences, but here are a few things I have found that separates the two locales. For the purposes of this blog, let’s make the dividing line the Mississippi River although I think we should include Texas with the East. READ MORE »


Blog: The Bucket List

I lived my first 25 years in the Midwest, and I used to get horrible cabin fever this time of year. Sitting in front of a television and watching Jimmy, Hank, Roland and Bill catch monster bass on a spinnerbait on every single cast only made it worse. READ MORE »


Blog: Back in the Groove

It feels good to be in full swing of the tournament season again. We just finished the second stop of the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake, and it was an excellent event. READ MORE »


5 Pivotal Moments in my Career

The FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake marked the beginning of my senior campaign. While it was great to get on some open water for the first time in months (though we didn’t finish very well), it also had me looking back at five events that, more than any others, led me to this point. READ MORE »


A Year of New Firsts

There are a lot of firsts in my life now: my first full year on the Walmart FLW Tour, the first time not to fish any full B.A.S.S. circuit in many years, the first time to fish with co-anglers in a long while, the first time to compete at Beaver Lake, and so on. READ MORE »


Up, Then Down Again

The highs and lows in this sport are amazing. They are amazing and sometimes hard to deal with. Sometimes you just have to test yourself on how thick your skin really is. For example, consider my highs and lows in the last few months. READ MORE »


Sweet Home Alabama

Hey everyone, I'm just getting back and caught up from the second stop of the Walmart FLW Tour at Lewis Smith Lake. The lake was fishing like never before, and all the fish have grown up quickly on those blueback herring. Now that I've been back home a week and watched all the videos and read all the articles about the top 10 anglers I can say I have zero regrets! READ MORE »


When Everything Comes Together

Dave Lefebre describes what baits and techniques he used to win the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake in this week's blog. READ MORE »


Expect Change and Adapt to It

Ish Monroe explains how to adapt to changing conditions and recommends to always fish your strengths in this weeks blog. READ MORE »


So You Want to be a Co-Angler?

First and foremost, I know I’m fishing the tournament as a co-angler and I make sure that I not only stay out of my pro’s way, but I do what I can to assist him throughout the day. This starts at the ramp with assisting him with the launch where possible. READ MORE »


A 30-Piece Puzzle with Four Pieces Missing

The whole time I was down in Florida during the FLW Tour opener on Lake Toho I felt like I was trying to put together a 30-piece puzzle with four pieces missing. The weather was right, the water temperature was right, the thousands of acres of vegetation looked right, but one thing was wrong: the fish! READ MORE »


A Clean Slate

The 2015 season opener of the Walmart FLW Tour wasn’t at Okeechobee, as in recent years, but at Lake Toho in central Florida. I was excited about the change, and even more pumped to start a fresh new season after blowing my motor on day one of the first event last year. READ MORE »


Toho Bound

You have to understand that having home field advantage in fishing is the absolute worst. There are so many demons; you have too much information, you start fishing the lake’s history – it goes on and on and it’s very hard for a professional angler to mentally break that barrier. READ MORE »


3 Thoughts on Toho

I was without power for three days after the first storm, but it snowed again this weekend and there is supposed to be more weather on the way. Suffice to say, I can’t get to Florida and Lake Toho fast enough. READ MORE »


East to West

As a tournament angler, I realize that a primary aspect of my job is to be able to catch fish anywhere, in all types of fisheries, under a variety of conditions. READ MORE »


From Swamp Pro to Bass Pro

When most people hear the name “T-Roy Broussard,” they think of me as the Texan in the big green airboat on the reality television show Swamp People. Three years ago I was introduced to households across the world as a burly alligator hunter that made a living off of the land. READ MORE »