Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local Sports

February 18, 2013

GONE FISHING WITH JERRY MILLER...Locating Staging Areas

JACKSONVILLE —             It’s late winter.  We are looking at pre-spawn conditions.  Female bass are gaining weight rapidly as their bodies begin producing and ripening eggs.  The surface temperatures are ranging from 55ºF to about 58ºF.  Big bass are just waiting for a warming trend that will draw them into the shallows.

            Fishermen are already out probing the usual pre-spawn areas hoping to run into staging bass.  One day everything is just right and bass are easy to catch.  The next day you would swear the bass had moved out of state. 

            The bass are still there, but where do you look and what will they bite?  Then you read about how some pro says pre-spawn bass are among the easiest fish to catch and pattern.  They say it’s all about identifying the types of areas they use prior to the spawn.  The problem is that the bass are schooled up in a small area, and finding them is no easy task. 

            It’s general knowledge that the hot spots or staging areas are located somewhere between the spawning flats and their deeper wintering areas.

            Unfortunately, there are no hard, fast rules for when bass move from winter to pre-spawn areas.  In our area bass don’t normally nest until water temperatures reach the mid-60s.

            Just as warming trends lure fish to the shallows, cold fronts bring down the surface temperatures and bass back off to a little deeper water.  Staging areas differ from lake to lake and in various regions around the country.  At Rayburn the key area can be a depression on a flat.  This type of staging area provides the bass a little bit deeper sanctuary than they had on the spawning flats. 

            On Lake Nacogdoches several years ago we accidentally discovered a staging area.  Ron Stacey and I were fishing an east bank just past the hi-line when I spotted bass schooling on top.  When I inspected the area I discovered a small 12’ deep gully just out from the bank.  The bass were stacked in this area like cord wood.  We caught bass for about three hours on Carolina rigs and deep crank baits. 

            About three years ago Frank Lusk and I discovered another staging area on Lake Pinkston . We were fishing near the north end of the lake where we discovered a large group of staging bass out in the middle of the boat run.  This was the last deep water before you got to the spawning flats.

            This area had scattered hydrilla and was about 12 to 14 feet deep.  Lusk caught numerous bass on a Shakey Head.  I caught some of my largest bass on a 3/4 oz. Xcalibur lipless crank bait.  I swam the crank bait near the bottom over the top of the hydrilla.  These bass were feeding heavily prior to the spawn.

            As the pre-spawn season progresses, bass will move to the inside edge of a break line, especially if cover is present, before heading on to the spawning flat.  Once these fish move up to spawn, others will take their place. 

            During stable weather, bass can make a sudden move to the shallows.  Keep your eye on the weather and try to be on the lake when this occurs.

---------------------------------------

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

 

 

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • 07-31-greene +photo.jpg Bullard's Greene collects 2 hit in Pensacola loss

    Brodie Greene, a product of Bullard High School, clubbed a pair of singles and drove in a run Monday night, but it wasn't enough to give his Pensacola Blue Wahoos a victory.

    The Mississippi Braves pounded Pensacola, 6-2, at Trustman Park, in a Southern League (Class AA) game.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 07-31-FB + foto.jpg Fightin' Indians' new district stacked with quality

    Any Jacksonville Fightin' Indian football fans that have not taken note of the Tribe's new conference home — District 16-5A — will probably want to take a few minutes and get familiar with a league that has been labeled as perhaps “the deepest (Class 5A) district in the state” by at least one expert in such matters.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 07-31-D-II + 2 images.jpg Trio of former local prep standouts playing for top 10 D-II schools

    Three former local and area high school football phenoms will be playing for NCAA Division II top 10 teams this fall.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • I07-31-07-29-VB + foto.jpg High school volleyballers to hit ground running Monday

    High school gymnasiums around the area will be hubs of volleyball activity beginning Monday, when fall camp opens for all teams.

    In fact, the entire week will be jammed packed with dig, set and spike activities.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 07-29- Josh + foto.tif McCown says he likes direction Tampa Bay is heading in

    Josh McCown expects the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to be better this season. He's just reluctant to speculate how much.

    The 35-year-old quarterback is beginning his 13th NFL training camp, though it's his first as a team's projected starter since he was with the Arizona Cardinals in 2004.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • I07-29-VB + foto.JPG Prep volleyballers to return to the gym Monday

    Volleyball season for local and area high school teams will get under on Monday with the opening of the respective fall camps.

    Most of the clubs will take part in scrimmages or playdays in late week before opening the regular season the following week.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 07-29-Patton + foto.jpg Patton about to start his 7th season in Rusk

    My how time flies.

    When the Rusk High School football team trots out to Eagle Stadium on Monday morning to open fall camp, Ted Patton, Rusk's athletic director and head football coach, will be kicking off his seventh season at the helm of the Eagle program, which makes him the most tenured football coach in the Cherokee County/Southern Smith County area.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 07-26-Brown + foto.jpg Junior golf: Brown claims a pair of 3rd place finishes this week

     The summer junior golf tour schedule is now in the home stretch and Jacksonville's Cameron Brown is closing like a freight train.

    Brown played in two tournaments this week and came in third place in each, while going up against some top-caliber junior golfers from the Metroplex.

    On Monday and Tuesday, the son of Dean and Mary Carol Brown, played in a Texas Junior Golf Tour (TJGT) stop at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney where he shot rounds of 73 and 71 to earn third place out of a field of 54 boys.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • JJHS logo.png Forrest picked to guide Fightin' Maiden volleyball

    Jacksonville High School will have a new head volleyball when fall camp opens up on Aug. 4.

    Jan Forrest, a veteran high school coach who calls Borger, Texas home, has been promoted from the Jacksonville Middle School coaching staff into her new position.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 07-26-Minter + photo.jpg Guard-ex Minter helps USA win tourney in the Netherlands

    Spurred on in part by the efforts of A. J. Minter, a former diamond star at The Brook Hill School, the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team was able to nail down the championship of the 27th edition of the Haarlem-Honkbal Week.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo