The lake drawdown is scheduled to conclude on 1 March so the water level should rise quickly and be back up to full pool in no time. What’s this mean?…GO SHALLOW!
Deerpoint bass are very comfortable in extremely shallow water. With water temps on the rise, every one of them will be headed shallow to spawn and feed. Given the large amount of shallow water found here, I suggest you commit to covering a LOT of water! There’s a wide variety of lures suited for this, but I’m going to recommend just a few.
Swimbaits are going to produce consistently well into the summer months, but in March they should be your go-to choice for covering water and finding bass. My favorite still remains the Gambler Big EZ for getting bigger fish to the boat, and I will use it regularly. Some days however, bass just don’t want to strike big bulky lures, they want something more subtle. On these days, it’s usually due to a lack of wind or bluebird skies. This is where I turn to swimming a Zoom Speed worm or a small swimbait like the Gambler Little EZ or the 4.5” Keitech Swing Impact. You can rig these on weighted swimbait hooks or Texas-rig them with a peg in front of the weight; I rig them both ways.
Here’s the most important thing to remember about swimming soft plastic baits; fish that hit a moving soft plastic lure rarely have the bait in their mouth adequately for an instant hook-set. I cannot stress enough the importance of letting the fish chew for a bit after you’ve detected the strike…not long, but for a moment at least. The goal is to allow the fish to do two things: get the bait entirely in its mouth, and hopefully get the moving fish to turn away from the direction it was traveling when the strike occurred. Once you feel like the fish has turned one direction or the other and not coming toward you, then you can set the hook. Setting the hook on a fish moving toward you with the bait partially in its mouth usually results in a miss.
Once you’ve located an area with fish, slow down and fan-cast a soft plastic lure like a Gambler Super Stud or a Zoom Super Fluke.
Colors like green pumpkin, watermelon red and junebug should cover all the water conditions we may experience this month.
Good fishing and God bless.
CAPT. RANDY “C-NOTE” CNOTA
Panama City, FL