by Aaron Crippen
For any tournament angler who says that its easy to go out and pattern fish after the dramatic cold fronts we have seen this year on many lakes is not wrong but it is definitely not easy. The patterns we have been so used to doing this time of the year are being pushed back and we are still seeing some of the coldest weather conditions that this country has seen in over 60 years.
The pattern for most of the fish right now are they are trying to move up on the beds and these cold snaps keep pushing them back. We are starting to see some males making beds and we are starting to catch the buck bass or males that are in the shallows. The big females are still being caught in those 6 to 12 ft ranges on most of your southern lakes. The baits of choice have been the Rat L Trap bait which is great for covering water and causing a lot of vibration and noise for those fish to feed on. The colors for clearer water have been your reds to mimic crawfish and your silver and blacks to mimic your shad. These have been key baits in catching some of the largest fish for this time of the year.
Another key bait has been the Santone Swim Jig with a Skinny Dipper attached to the body to give it that really nice action in the water in a White and Black color, White and Chartreuse, or the Brand New Rayburn Red has been a real game changer in color also. That is definitely anther key bait that has been doing well to also cover water but to also get into those shallow grass pockets where some of the fish have stared moving up too.
And last but not least my biggest secret of all that has been doing very well. The Fluke by Zoom for these shallow fish this is a key bait because the action and because its weightless. I take a watermelon red fluke and take a 1/16ox pinch weight an place it 12inch above the hook as if your were Carolina rigging this gives that weightless fluke just a tiny bit of weight in front of the bait to help it come through that heave cover and hydrilla were those big bass are hiding…….Hope these tips will help you guys out there on the water…..and catch more fish.