March is prime time to catch the biggest bass of your life
If you’ve been reading my columns in the past, or if you’ve heard me in a seminar or something, you know I believe that March is the month when you can catch your personal-best bass. So you’d better be fishing.
Marsh is a prespawn month, and even though you can catch prespawn fish in February, and April is a good prespawn month since we have a lot of fish that don’t spawn until late April in the Carolinas, March is always when I’ve had my best luck catching big fish.
If you’re a tournament fisherman, you’re catching numbers of fish, and that’s fine. You might be a weekend fisherman, or a combination of the two. But if you’re after that personal-best bass, you have to fish in March.
Now, here are some things I do when I’m trying to specifically catch big fish
I have used live bait before, fished shiners in Florida for big bass, and I’ve taken people fishing and used live bait. If you want to use crawfish or shiners, live bait, go right ahead. There’s nothing wrong with it. But many serious bass fishermen will be using artificial baits, and in March, I turn to the lures I’ve caught my biggest fish on in the past: a Mop jig and a crankbait.
Choose your weapons
For me, my No. 1 big-fish bait is a Mop jig, It’s always been one of my favorites, all year-long, but especially in the prespawn. I also like to fish jerkbaits like a Shadow Rap Shad and crankbaits like a Rapala DT-6 and an OG Slim. When you’re targeting big fish in particular, you want the baits you have the most confidence in tied on. Because confidence means so much.
So, I’ll probably have a half-ounce Mop jig tied on. That heavy, rubber skirt makes it such a great big-fish bait. I always use a trailer to target big fish, and most of the time, that will be a Yamamoto Flappin’ Hog. They come in two sizes, and I want to use the larger one.
Love a crawfish
When it comes to color, I like crawfish-type colors in March: browns, oranges and reds. So I will go with a basic brown jig and accent it with different trailer colors. I will be fishing it on 15-pound fluorocarbon most of the time.
I really like to fish a crankbait in March because you can cover so much more water, and that’s so, so important. Plus, big bass will really eat a crankbait. My favorites are a DT-6 and an OG Slim, which is a flat-sided bait that is designed by bass pro Ott Defoe.
Again, I’m going to fish crankbaits in crawfish colors. And I’m going to fish them on 10- to 14-pound monofilament — depending on the depth range I’m looking at. The OG Slim and DT-6 will both run about 5 or 6 feet deep. and they’ll both run about a foot deeper on 10-pound test than 14-pound test, so make your choice of line size based on how deep you need the bait to get. In some cases, a foot can make a big difference.
So that should a starting point. You can finish the deal by making time to get on your favorite lake, or the best big-fish lake within driving distance of your home, and spend plenty of time there this month. It might change the way you fish and approach big, prespawn bass, for a long time.