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March is a big month for big fish

March 13, 2005|by Bill Anderson

March is a very important month on the fishing calendar.

If you check the citation or trophy fish records maintained by the Department of Natural Resources, it shows that the larger fish in many species are caught in March.

The female bass are heavy with eggs and many believe that they are the first fish to begin actively feeding in preparation for the spawn.

The key to taking advantage of this opportunity is to know where to look for the biggest bass and how to present a lure to them. Finding them is recognizing how the fish move into prespawn locations, then hitting as many of the best spots as you can during a day on the water.

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Largemouth bass fishing in lakes is a very different game from river smallmouth fishing. Some of the better areas for lake anglers to try are deepwater flats and sloping points. These areas are often near the shallow areas that the bass use for spawning. The fish stage in progressively shallower areas as the spawn gets nearer.

A deepwater flat can cover a lot of area, so you may have to cover a lot of water to locate any concentration of fish. For covering water, one of the best lures is a spinnerbait. Spinnerbaits also are one of the most versatile lures in that they can be fished at almost any speed or depth. During this cold water period, you will usually have to fish your lure slowly and near the bottom to get strikes.

After the fish are located, you can try other lures, such as a jig, to more thoroughly cover the water and pick up bass that didn't like the spinnerbait. One of the best is a jig with plastic or porkrind trailers. This is an established big bass lure type in any season. I have a friend who specializes in vertical jigging with a spoon in this season and boats a lot of big bass in March.

The biggest fish in any water system are vulnerable to fishing techniques at this time of year, which is why many states have implemented restrictive or closed seasons during the prespawn and spawning season.

Regulations aside, you should consider releasing these big female spawners to help preserve fishing for the future. With all of the new taxidermy methods being used, all you need are measurements of the length and girth. Your taxidermist can order a mold of the right size, and after it is painted it will look like it just came from the water.




Bill Anderson writes a weekly outdoors column for The Herald-Mail.

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