Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

April 5, 2014

Gone fishing with Jerry Miller

The Spring Spawn Is Arriving Late This Year

Jerry Miller
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — Bass fishing so far this year has been very different. Many fishermen, including myself, have been scrambling to catch bass.

The spring spawn is slowly arriving. The only spawning bass I’ve been able to find are in the very back end of creek coves and large spawning pockets. There you will find the surface temperature in the low 60s.

Normally at this time of year you can locate bass scattered up and down the shallows in creek coves. I think they could move in any day, but so far this has not happened.

I’m hearing knowledgeable bass guides saying that the major spawning time is running about a month behind. I believe they are correct. I don’t remember seeing fishing conditions like this in a long time.

Normally at this time of year you can tie on a square bill crank bait and do some serious damage by covering a lot of water in spawning coves.

Last Monday I visited Lake Tyler and was pleased to see that the lake is full. I really like fishing Lake Tyler when the lake is at normal water levels. I found bass in the very back end of creek coves and large spawning pockets. The very best areas are the ones protected from strong winds and that get a lot of sunlight.

I found one spawning pocket that has some green plants growing in one to four feet of water. I caught 9 bass up to 6 pounds fishing a perch-colored swimming Sienko. I rig this bait with a 4/0 hook and no weight. Most of the time I let this bait sink to the bottom and begin a slow stop and go retrieve.

When bass are pecking or bumping the bait try speeding up the bait for a few feet. There are times when bass will simply follow this bait when they are not hungry. You can trigger a strike at times by turning your reel handle five or six times very fast and then stopping. This sudden burst of speed often will get you an instant reaction strike.

Most of the bass were ranging from 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 pounds. In one shallow pocket I cast the Sienko to the very back end. When the bait hit the water a six-pound bass inhaled the lure. This was a reaction strike. Most of the time you can get a reaction strike if your bait lands right on top of the nest.

I did find one cove that was holding a lot of sand bass that would hit a Nichols’ 1/2 oz. blue shad spinner bait.

I tried fishing the banks leading up into the pockets but didn’t get a single strike. That’s not normal, especially when the surface temperature was about 59 degrees F. Normally bass would be scattered down the bank at this temperature.

We have a full moon coming up on Tuesday, April 15th. By then you should see a massive bass migration to the bank. I’m hoping that by next week the weather should be a lot more stable and you should see a lot of bass moving shallow.

Like I said, this year has been anything but normal. Now that the night time temperatures are getting into the 50s and 60s we should see a lot more bass moving shallow.

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Jerry Miller can be contacted at: gonefishing2@suddenlink.net