February is a prime month for bass fishing on South Carolina’s Lake Wateree, said bass pro Dearal Rodgers of Camden, S.C., “February at Lake Wateree brings warmer water temperatures, longer days and biting bass.”

Rodgers said early spring fishing begins in February when warmer days become interspersed with lingering winter cold, triggering an urge to eat in bass. They will gorge themselves on the abundant baitfish in anticipation of the coming spawn.

“The bass at Wateree use several types of cover during early spring,” Rodgers said. “Good places to find them include rocks, grass, laydowns and docks. My favorite cover to target is rocks.”

The rocks at Wateree hold a ton of crawfish and heat, two of a fat female bass’s favorite things, he noted.

“A lot of the rocks at Wateree now have scattered grass around them, making a ChatterBait in shad colors hard to beat. A spinnerbait comes in a close second,” said Rodgers, who advises anglers to look for rocks and grass around the main lake, in the backs of coves, along points — and everywhere in between.

His favorite baits for other types of cover and conditions include:

Laydowns: “A crankbait is what I like best. A Strike King 1.5-inch in shad or crawfish pattern can be great.”

Grass: “A Snag Proof frog is hard to beat. Use dark colors in low-light conditions and lighter colors for sunny conditions. Don’t be afraid to throw the frog in broad daylight, and always use 50- to 65-pound braid.”

Cold fronts: “Try flipping a worm or small craw. Under post-front conditions, try the Buckeye Mini Mop Jig to get more bites.”

Docks and brush: “You can’t beat the Mop Jig. I throw 3/8- and ½-ounce jigs in green pumpkin, black/blue and Texas craw colors. Fish them on at least 15-pound line and baitcasting equipment. Concentrate on every dock pole and ‘worm’ the jig through the brush.”

If all else fails, Rodgers advises to pick up a 1/8-ounce or 3/16-ounce Spot Remover, with a green pumpkin trick worm, use 8-pound line on a spinning rod and throw at any cover you can find.