I’ve written several articles over the fall and winter about how to catch largemouth bass during those specific times. The truth of the matter is that those who constantly go in search of old bucket-mouth are just trying to find a way to get through those cold months and catch enough fish to avoid going into a deep depression. November is the favorite for deer hunters, and the duck hunters love January, but March is the month bass fishermen come out of the closet in earnest. It is the official starting line for a new season.
The ponds are going to be the first hot spots and we’ll concentrate on those today. I’ve already caught fish in shallow water and it’s just going to get better as the month goes along. We may still have a couple of setbacks weather-wise but the corner has been turned. Additionally, daylight savings time has returned and that extra hour of daylight means you can make trips after the work day is over.
First make sure your john boat and equipment have been checked out thoroughly. There’s nothing worse than getting out to the pond in an excited state and all of a sudden you are confronted with a half-dead battery, a favorite reel that is full of dry rotted line, or a boat seat that comes loose the first time someone leans back in it. Do your due diligence on all the necessary equipment and have it ready to go when you get in from the office so you can take advantage of a longer day.
I’ve got a couple of favorites lures that consistently work and I’ll share them, but unless you are just starting out you’ve probably got some of your own that have proven reliable over the years. Ponds can be quirky and what works in one will be a total bust in another. I’ll say one thing; you have to have confidence in what you’re using because even in March the fish aren’t always going to bite. If you don’t have confidence in the lure you are using it makes a difference because after a few unsuccessful casts it will get thrown back in the tackle box. I’ve been with plenty of guys who catch more fish than I and they often use lures that rarely find their way to the end of my line, so my advice here is not the bottom line for everyone but I know that these things work.
That said, there are a few items that my tackle box is rarely without. First is the Trick Worm by Zoom. Bubble gum is my favorite color and I fish it without any weight. I do tie a barrel swivel about 12 inches above it to cut down on line twist and that’s a hint I’ve passed along before. It’s worth repeating because that simple piece of equipment can save you a lot of aggravation and time in getting bird nests out of your reel.
I particularly like the Trick Worm right now because the bass are thinking shallow water, it can go in the thickest of brush and grass and because the twitching action you can get out of it is some of the best I’ve ever seen. I like to let the worm settle down a foot or two and then use a slight twitching motion with my rod tip to get the desired action. A little practice will give you an idea of how much motion it takes to get the worm moving like you want it to. Also, you need to vary the speed with which you move it along. Some days the fish want it slower and some days they like it ripping along.
Another lure that’s always in my tackle box in March is the Texas Rigged worm. This is a variation with a small piece of bullet lead ahead of the worm. The action is not as good but you need to have it in your repertoire because sometimes the fish will be a shade deeper and may just want something closer to the bottom. I’d have several different colors available to use. Blues, greens, reds and pumpkin are all good choices. I favor curly tailed worms for this method, and just a simple up and down motion is usually the ticket.
Last, I’m going to have some top water lures and a couple of buzz baits nearby. The stores are full of different sizes, shapes and colors of top water lures but one of my old standbys is the Zara Spook or Zara Puppy, and Excalibur makes a good one in the Poppin’ Image. As for the buzz baits, I much prefer the original Lunker Lure to anything else I’ve found and have always had better luck with a chartreuse or white skirt.
If you have any questions about specifics don’t hesitate to email me and I’ll help in any way I can.
Alvin Richardson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.