Linwood Thornhill said that in most years — 2015 being an exception because it was so cold — largemouth will make a move toward the shallows late in the month.
“Some fish will move into very shallow water if we’ve had a warm winter, especially if a full moon occurs late in the month,” Thornhill said. “Typically, I’m not looking for much in the way of spawning bass. But some really big bass will move into shallower water and be more aggressive. I’ll find them around shallow water grass beds and lily pads, often in only 2 to 3 feet of water on a sunny day.”
He said a wide variety of lures will work in the shallow water with plastic worms, jigs with a crawfish tail as well a ¼- to 1/2- ounce Rat-L-Trap, a Chatterbait or a shallow, Strike King square-billed crankbait.
“Lure retrieves will still need to be moderately slow, but late-February water temperatures will dictate how fast you can fish the lure,” he said. “But in a warm winter, it can be faster than a lot of fishermen think. I prefer the shallow area at the end of the larger creeks for late-February fishing simply because of the connection to the creek channel and slightly deeper water. A lot of these areas will also be close to areas where fish will bed later in the spring.”