February is the month when pre-spawn fishing is at its best. All we need is a few days of sunshine and warm weather to kick start the season.
During the next major moon phase on February 14, big bass will begin their migration toward the shallows. Points, creeks, ditches and ridges leading to the shallows and flats are like major highways that bass will begin to travel.
Success in February is often shaped by the weather. As an example, if we experienced about three warm, sunny days just prior to a major moon phase, bass fishing would be really good. A major cold front will almost shut them down.
Last year on February 15th I had a decent day fishing on Lake Jacksonville. From 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. I landed 12 bass. Several bass came off of the old road bed up north. Some bass were caught in the back of Byrd Branch, mostly around logs. Other bass were caught on secondary points in a small cove. Most of the bass were caught on a Nichols’ 1/8 oz. Shakey Head with a Zoom watermelon, grape worm and a Nichols’ crawfish color Rattle Shad.
Later that month I started catching big bass up to 8 pound on a Nichols’ red Chatter Box and a Nichols’ 1⁄4 oz. crawfish color jig with a Nichols’ crawfish trailer.
By the end of February last year bass fishing was in full swing. Big bass were beginning to show up in a lot of places.
I fish a Nichols’ jig with a crawfish trailer a lot in February. I want to catch big bass about four pounds or larger, and the jig will do the job. I like to use 15-pound Yo-Zuri fluorocarbon line in most situations. I will move up to 17 and 20 pound fluorocarbon line when fishing real heavy cover. On sunny days I always check out the banks and coves that are protected from the north wind. They are always a little warmer and the bass will bite better in this type of location.
I have my best luck where I find surface temperatures around 55ºF. or warmer.
Right now sand bass are feeding heavy on Lake Tyler East in the dam area. Mike Smith and I caught 15 big female sandies on one trip. Smith took a friend back with him a few days later, and they caught over 20 big sand bass. The bass are in about 33 feet of water, feeding heavy on shad. Wherever we found huge concentrations of shad we found bass. We caught all of our bass by vertical jigging a Nichols’ Hologram spoon. I always experiment and fish with the best bait I can find.
Premium bass fishing is about to explode. All we need now is a break in the weather. Warm sunny days are best, but you can still catch some good bass in February with or without sunshine. You just have to work harder in cold water conditions.
Jerry Miller can be emailed at email@example.com