MIKE GILES: New Year’s Bass Fishing Resolution | Outside

I had already stopped fishing for the year. No more fishing after the deer season begins. At least, that’s what I said until last week unusually warm weather slowing deer movement. Nathan Hodgins had come to visit us and we decided to try the bass as the deer weren’t doing much. But what do you catch them with during the hot winter weather? I tried spinnerbaits for a while, then put on a shallow crankbait and grabbed one on the first throw. Then another and another.

I called Nathan and I attached this crankbait to his line, and presto! Nathan quickly grabbed a 3-pounder. Before you knew it, it was catching and releasing bass of all sizes. Since the water was as clear as gin, I decided to try a Rattlin ‘Rogue with a black back, chrome sides and orange belly.

On my first throw I spotted a bass, threw it past him, and let it sit for a few seconds. Jerk, Jerk, jerk-wham. A little bass almost tore the rod from my hands. He was hungry and intended to have a big supper almost as big as himself.

We took a step, went to another place and saw the bar chasing the shad. I would throw the jerkbait down and bring it to the boat jerking, jerking, pausing, jerking, jerking, jerking, all the way to the bank, keeping the lure underwater from one side or the other. ‘other, and they just couldn’t take it.

Hodgins was accumulating too, of course, but Nathan was using a blast from the past, a little Mann crankbait called Baby 1 Minus. It doesn’t go deeper than 1 foot and has moderately slow movement, which is just enough action to grab a bite of a hungry bass without being too quick for them to crush it.

I saw a roll of fish and told Hodgins to throw it at him. He threw right in front of him and quickly grabbed a 3-pounder. A few minutes later he grabbed a 6-pound lunker, then another 4-pound.

The bass feasted on shad and little baitfish, and they tore it up. They weren’t hard to eat both Mann’s crank and my jerkbait with a ferocity rarely seen at this time of year. We continued to catch and release bass until the sun slowly started to set in the west.

We never stopped catching them and rarely missed one. This time of year they stuff themselves, and since they’re lethargic, they hit the lures, and the treble hooks just don’t let go, and they can’t easily cast them as they can in a hot day.

If you’re looking for something else to do during these hot times, try your hand at bass fishing. You might just have a good trip. There is nothing more exciting than catching a bass when it bites well, and the 3 to 5 pounds are really fun.

Since Nathan is 6ft 6in tall, he makes those 4-6 pounds look small. Keep this in mind when looking at a photo of him holding a bass so you can keep it in proper perspective.

If the weather turns cold again, I’ll put on my Bass Pro rod and reel and start hunting that monster again. But for now, there is nothing more exciting than catching bass while it’s on fire during the winter. Carpe Diem! Because you never know when you’ll have another chance to go.

Call Mike Giles at 601-917-3898 or email [email protected]

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