Guides Kevin Davis and Linwood Thornhill agree that the better bass fishing in February will be later in the day, but that’s not always when they start.

Davis said on guide trips he’ll often get out early, and occasionally, the first half-hour will produce good action. 

“As a rule, as the water warms — especially on sunny days — the bass activity will get better as the surface water temperature climbs,” Davis said. “Even with live bait, the bass are often more sluggish early. But then again, it only takes one 8-pounder to warm everything up.”

Davis has found that small lures can work very well when bass are sluggish.

“I like a Roadrunner jig and spinner anytime, but February is ideal when bass are a bit sluggish,” he said. “We’ll work this artificial while anchored using live bait and we’ve caught some huge largemouth. Smaller baits can catch big fish in cold weather.”

Thornhill said that when practicing for a tournament, he’ll be out early.

“I need to find what the fish are doing during the tournament hours, so I’ll pre-fish during those times,” he said, “but when fishing on my on for fun and to just enjoy catching big bass, I like to start about 8:30 to 9 in the morning. I’ve found early morning February bass to be somewhat slow, but as the sun gets on the water, fish get more active. Typically, it seems like the action gets better and better as the day wears on, especially on the sunny days where the water warms a bit.”