Lake Wedowee is the Place to Be in Alabama
For Late Winter / Early Spring Big Trophy Bass Action!
By Reed Montgomery
I’ve written about it many times before. In the recent early winter issue of Lake Wedowee Life in my, “Hooked on Lake Wedowee” section I contribute monthly, you may have read about it. “ Lures for Targeting Big Winter Bass. ”
One year ago in the February-March issue of Lake Wedowee Life Magazine, I wrote about it. “Winter is Your Best Chance for Trophy Bass.”
Is this just some kind of an obsession of mine or can you really fool these true, trophy-sized bass into biting your tempting offerings during these rather cold months still ahead?
The inevitable answer to that age-old question is…Yes!
Even when its as cold as it was this past January, you still have a good chance at fooling a big old bass into biting your lure as winter lingers on. If you apply yourself and keep a mind set of targeting only one big bass all day, you will be rewarded.
In Alabama, the month of February can turn out to be even colder than the month of January, with a possibility of several severe late winter cold fronts dragging on into the month of March. A month normally labeled as a pre-spawn period for Lake Wedowee’s bass. But still, there is a way! A way to fool these big bass into biting!
No, we are not talking about with the use of live bait. Live bait is for targeting fish such as bream, crappie, catfish and maybe even striped bass. I’ll always remember a phrase my uncle said (that my dad always said to him), ” There is no challenge with live bait ”.
Of which he never used. Dad always choose lures for bass fishing, in all seasons.
FEBRUARY ON LAKE WEDOWEE
During the late winter period there are many variables that can play a huge part in your decision of whether or not your even going fishing. The weather for instance can determine if your loading up the boat for a trip tomorrow. Or you may have to post pone that fishing trip and work more on building up your cabin fever, if its to cold.
There’s no use in beating yourself up. These bass feed daily during this late winter period. Make plans to go when its convenient and during comfortable weather. A day when you will enjoy your fishing trip the most.
Keep in mind, not all of these winter time bass feed at the same time. But it’s a sure bet, you can rely on the fact that there’s always some bass that are actively feeding (or some bass that can be made to feed), in each spot you explore on Lake Wedowee during this late winter period.
This fact holds true no matter what part of the lake you choose to fish. Thoroughly fishing out several places, often within boat idle speed of each other, is a lot better than running the boat 60 miles per hour, over 20 miles up or down the lake, in freezing air temperatures!
I’ve written about it before. Anytime an angler prepares for a fishing trip he/she must always consider the conditions he/she will be up against. Besides the weather dealing you such adverse conditions as cold fronts, or freezing rain, it can display some much more favorable conditions…like warm fronts!
Adverse conditions during the winter months includes such variables as low water. Low water (winter pool), is always evident during the winter and early spring months on Lake Wedowee. (Call 1-800-lakes-11 for lake level.)
The lake level can be down 10 feet (or often lower), during the late winter period. It normally remains low until late April. Then, is when the lake is slowly returned to full pool for another six months.
* Extreme caution is advised for all boaters when the lake is down for winter pool.
Lures for Targeting Late Winter Bass on Lake Wedowee.
In most of these winter time articles I usually mention an assortment of various types of lures you can fish at all depths. These can be lures that both the professional angler and the general public may choose to use during these cold, winter months.
Some lures they don’t use.
Topwater lures will fool these bass in the winter months. During or just after winter warming trends are the best times for their use. Zara Spooks, buzz baits and popping type topwaters are best lure choices.
Lures fished in the middle water column are also good choices. Rattling lipless lures, spinner baits, crank baits and jerk baits all fall in this category.
* Bottom lures will always work despite the worst of conditions on Lake Wedowee.
Worms of all sizes, lizards, tube baits, creature type lures, jig combos and even spinner baits either dropped or slowly rolled along the lakes bottom cover, will fool some very big bass each winter season on Lake Wedowee.
Still, a question may arise by any of the regular readers of Lake Wedowee Life magazine. Those inquisitive anglers, “ How do you fool these bass into biting when its real cold? ”
How? By fishing various types of lures, in ways other anglers fail to try.
Like for instance, with the use of jigging spoons, tail spinners or blade baits. Jigging spoons are great lures for mimicking a dying baitfish. As winter kills off a lot of helpless baitfish — these prey bass dine on year round — suddenly die a slow death, eventually sinking to the lakes bottom.
An easy meal for a big bass to easily consume!
The much bigger bass, much lazier, trophy-sized bass, are always looking for an easy-to-consume meal. Rather than expend a lot of energy chasing down one little meal. They get used to feeding on these dying baitfish and this is a big part of their winter time consumption.
This is when lures like a jigging spoon (tail spinner or blade bait), jiggled right in their face will fool even the most weariest of age-old Lake Wedowee bass.
Try this vertical jigging technique in all depths. Use ¼ to 3/8 ounce spoons or to go deeper, faster try using bigger profiled, much heavier, one-two ounce size spoons.
Main lake points, around islands, the mouths of small cuts, pockets and feeder creeks and all along rock bluffs, are great places to experiment with jigging spoons.
MARCH ON LAKE WEDOWEE
If late winter conditions show a warmer than usual month of February, Lake Wedowee’s bass will move up shallow fast in March. Lets say, it was 65 degrees during the day for a week or more, coupled with some rather mild nights.
If the previous late winter water temperature was 50 degrees in February it could suddenly rise as much as 10 degrees (or more), in as little as one week!
What these bass then interpret is, its time to begin their annual ritual of bedding. But first prior to these temperamental bass actually spawning, ideal conditions must first stabilize.
A full moon must be near and water temps should constantly be on the rise, for ideal conditions and for seeing these bass successfully reproduce another year’s offspring.
In early March these pre spawn bass may gather in some very likely, very predictable pre spawn holding spots. Creeks, small cuts and pockets are great places for anglers to target in March. Then these bass begin to choose their mates during these pre spawn conditions.
Then they move shallow and begin to prepare the beds.
Severe cold fronts can stall these pre spawn conditions. It can be very cold in March. It even snowed over one foot deep many years back in April! So anglers, be prepared!
The bottom line is; water temperatures must be near 70 degrees, the lake level stabile (not rising or falling) a full moon near and most cold fronts long since gone. For any hope of the majority of Lake Wedowee’s bass to begin bedding.
Bedding season usually takes place in April, often lasting on into the early portion of May. Then you will see some big, very hungry, post spawn bass fattening up and feeding as they regain their strength prior to their summer movement!
* Tip: Most pre spawn bass will hold on first and secondary points, and creek channel bends, prior to moving to shallow water along flats, for bedding.
* In the next Issue of Lake Wedowee Life Magazine…bedding bass!
Thanks and Good Fishin’
Reed Montgomery / Reeds Guide Service
Phone (205) 663-1504