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In the spring time we have three portions of the spawn and they are, pre-spawn, spawn and post spawn.
Pre-spawn is when the fish are getting ready to begin the spawn which will normally take place in the later part of February. The big females will have put on their big egg rolls during the winter and then making their way up to the shallow.
Next will be the spawn which normally takes place after the full moon in March or when the waters surface temp reaches the upper 50’s to the mid 60’s. This is when the bass will move up shallow and go on their beds made by the male bass. The male bass will go out find their female bass and herd her back into the nest to lay her eggs. She will then will stay with the eggs until they hatch out and then she will fight off any other fish or creatures that swim into the nest trying to eat or cause injury to the fry. The bass will eat or try and run off anything that swims into her grounds.
Now the last portion of the spawn is called post spawn. Post spawn is after the fish have spawned out and left their fry. The bass will move out in to the deeper waters and bunch up into schools.
Now let’s talk fishing, when these fish leave their fry they will move out onto the deeper ledges near their spawning grounds. They will move back and fourth to feed along the ridges. At first they will be hard to find but when you do they will be in a feeding mode. When looking for these spots that will hold the big post spawn bass try doing what I do.
Here is what I will do first. I will pull out my lake map and chart off all the spots I can that have a creek channel with a hump or roadway near it. After I locate these spots I will take my Lowrance GPS unit and program in the GPS longitude and latitude numbers. By doing this I can coordinate these numbers with my GPS unit on my boat and put me right on top of these spots. After I find the places I located on the map I will then drive my boat in a figure S over the spot trying to locate my fish on my Lowrance fish finder. When I locate these fish I will position my boat so that I can cast to most all of the area.
Baits of choice will be a Carolina rigged watermelon fry or centipede, next I will cast a big crank bait such as a DD22 or Bomber BD7 across most of the spot. Two other great lures will be a jig n pig and a count down lure. The jig most everyone knows about but the count down lure may be new to some. The count down lure can be a big or small swim bait or even a large spinner bait. You can look at the depth of the fish and then count the lure down to the fish and then swim it through them. My favorite count down lure is my Shimmy Shaker Swim bait. My Shimmy Shaker Swim Bait is a 3/8’s oz. Lure with a 4 to 5 inch swim body on my shaker jig head. I will cast it out and count it down to the fish. After it reaches the proper depth I will give it a sharp jerk and then let it fall back to the bottom and then I will start it in swimming it very slow for about 3 feet and then I will drop it back down. I will repeat this all the way back to the boat.
When fishing this way don’t get in a hurry for the fish will turn on and off at different times of the day. Fish very slow for best results.
If you wish to purchase some of the lures I make you can call me at (903)561-7299 and place your orders or go to my website and I have a lure page on it and you can order lures through my site.
Crappie this month can be found up shallow in brush piles. The best lures for them will be 1/16th oz. Jigs and my favorite jig is the Mr. Twister Mister Minnow in a white, or gobby green color. Jig fishing to me is the most fun over live bait but as we all know live bait will work and some folks like minnow fishing to.
Sand Bass and Hybrids can be found on the main lake points on Lake Palestine both early and late . Best lures will be my 1/2oz. Texas Dimple Spoon in both chrome and chartreuse colors and on 1/4oz. Rat - L - Traps.
Catfish are good on baited holes using punch bait and on jug or trout lines using live perch.
For those of you that have kids you might get out with some crickets and let them catch the sun perch that we have here in our lakes. There is nothing more fun than watching the sparkle in a kids eyes when he or she latches on to one of those hard fighting perch.
Lake conditions are very good, Lake Palestine is now full, still muddy or coffee colored up north and stained down south. When running the lake make sure to take caution and take your time when running up north and watch for stumps. All our lakes can be very dangerous when running in the timbered areas so be careful.
If you would like to have a guide when you come, I have over 36 years of working as a professional guide on Lake Palestine and over 27 years on Lake Fork. You can reach me at 903-561-7299 or 903-530-2201 and my email is Ricky@rickysguideservice.com.