March is tough to beat
Big, hungry bass moving up are on the menu
Big bass moving in to spawn are at their most vulnerable during March, because they’re feeding so heavily preparing for the spawn.
Most of the fish will be prespawn and moving a lot. Points, channel bends, funnel areas — really anything that is a good ambush point with stable water — is good in March. My best advice is to keep moving; only slow down when you hit a school of fish.
When I was growing up in Raleigh, fishing Falls of the Neuse Lake nearly every day, I’d hit fresh schools moving up, and the action was unreal. One time, my dad and I were running down the lake, and I spotted fish busting off of a point. I turned the boat toward those fish so hard that I slung my dad right off the seat. He was mad, but only until we made our first casts. The school was a mixture of largemouths and stripers. We were fishing lipless crankbaits, and it was every cast for 30 minutes until it got dark.
That school was so big, and it stayed there for about a week. It contained mostly 3-pounders, with some nice 6- and 7-pounders mixed in. I have since found this unusual for a school of bass to stay in the same spot for that long in the spring. The are usually on a place for a little while, stopping to feed and then searching for spawning grounds.
On another long-ago trip with my friend Chris Elliott to Lake Mayo for a small tournament, we hit a school of 4-pounders on a point and won the tournament in about 15 minutes. Since that day, I’ve never caught another fish off of that point. They were just moving though that day, and we just hit it right.
That’s why I think you should keep moving in March. I might clean up a spot after catching several on a crankbait with a football jig or Culprit Incredicraw on a hinged football head. Often, you can get an extra fish or two, but don’t spend too long.
Smaller lakes and ponds can be quite different from big lakes. Bass spawn there much earlier, so soft-plastic baits become dominant a lot earlier. While I stay on the move on big lakes with crankbaits and spinnerbaits — only slowing down if a school is contacted — on small lakes, fishing slow often is best.
I’ll often start in a pond with a 3/8-ounce Dave’s Tournament Tackle spinnerbait and burn all the way around it to see where I get a few bites. Sometimes a spinnerbait is the best bait going and you don’t need to slow down, but once they have settled into the spawn, nothing beats plastics. I hit them with a Culprit Incredicraw in dark colors if the water is stained, dingy or muddy and greens if it is clear.
Subscribe Today and Save!!!
North Carolina Sportsman is the complete hunting and fishing magazine for North Carolina.
Devoted to hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities in the wetlands,
North Carolina Sportsman is the information guide for North Carolina's most active hunters and fishermen.
Posted on May 08 at 9:00 am by Dustin Wilks
Posted on January 07 at 9:00 am by Dustin Wilks
Posted on November 12, 2012 at 9:00 am by Dustin Wilks
Posted on September 24, 2012 at 10:00 am by Dustin Wilks
Posted on July 30, 2012 at 7:00 am by Dustin Wilks
|Reports / Forum|
User Submitted Videos
|Calendar of events|