West Lake Toho: the bass bite is right on schedule. The females are in shallow water spawning on the beds. This is the best time to put the trolling motor in and hunt for bass beds. One of the most important tools is a good pair of polarized glasses to cut the glare off the water. Bait of choice will be anything that you can see in the bass bed when the fish picks it up. My favorite color is a bright colored Senko. Most fish are being caught in the Kissimmee grass in 2 to 3 feet of water. Sandy areas are best. Live wild shiners will produce even bigger bass during the spawn. I prefer wild shiners 8 to 12 inches long due to the bigger fish have a big appetite and want feed without exerting a lot of energy.
Crappie bite – Kissimmee chain – look for the crappie to be spawning in shallow water around vegetation lily pads, reeds, and Kissimmee grass. The males will be the first ones in, competing for spawning areas. The males will be smaller and their tails will be all shredded up from fanning (preparing) the beds. The male crappies will be aggressive, ready to eat anything near their bed. Bait of choice is minnow on a gold hook under a float. Now the key is to keep com- ing back every few days and you will find the big females will come in. One other thing to check is, outside the edge of the grass line, sometimes when the males are in shallow the female crappie will slowly move in and you can really work them over.
February is Big Fish month! Don’t forget to check your Sea Tow membership and check all your safety gear on a windy day. Be safe out on the water. Good luck fishing for freshwater giant bass and slab crappie, Capt. Randy.