We’re getting an early taste of spring with daytime temps reaching the 70’s! We’re still getting a few cold days here and there, but the bass have already moved shallow and are eating artificial lures really well. We’ve even boated some 5+ fish on moving baits.
This month we will be transitioning from striper/live bait trips to bass/artificial trips. So I'm officially calling for all you bass-fishing folks out there to get out on the water soon and get after them! If you can cast a lure and have experience with a baitcast reel, the next few weeks coming up can be some of the best fishing of the year.
Rogne "The Beard" Brown
I recently hopped into the boat with good friend Rogne Brown to ride along with a mutual client. I have always thought Rogne was "good" but I was reminded at just how good. Rogne can pick apart water and figure out a tough bite like nobody I've ever seen. The subtle differences between the "average" fisherman and Rogne are REALLY subtle, but these little differences are what gets the bites when others don't, time and again. How he figures it out is beyond me. He thinks of things I would never dream of, and it was a real pleasure to watch him in action.
This is a guy that just a few weeks ago boated an incredible 49 lb bag of fish. FIVE fish. That is almost a 10 lb average. And in the days just before I met up with him, he won the local Weekend Series on Chickamauga. Rogne has an incredible tournament winning record, but surprisingly, boated his first bass over 10 lbs just last year with a 44 lb bag (including TWO fish over 10 lbs) that broke the FLW record for 5-fish limit. This year alone he and his clients have boated 7 bass over 10 lbs. Which means... he's getting better. --bad news if you're fishing against him in a tournament!
Bass fishing prowess must be in his blood, because Rogne's nephew, Michael Neal, is one of the hottest up and coming FLW pros on the touring circuit. At just 21 year's old, he finished 6th in last year's FLW Championship, won 3 BFL's on one year, and if that weren't enough, he is working on a bachelor's degree, started his own bait company, AND owns his own marina. The same marina that was the chosen site of multiple FLW events on Chickamauga.
For those of you that like to follow and admire FLW and Elite Series Pros, both of these guys are right here in your back yard you might want to keep an eye on them this spring.
Follow the Moon
Each year as temps start to rise in the spring, fish start thinking about coming shallow for the spawn. --ALL fish: spots, largemouth, striper, hybrids, shad/herring, walleye,... Activity around the shoreline peaks in the 3 days prior and 3 days after the full moon. This month, the full moon falls on Sunday, the 16th. If you were to plan a weekend on the lake, I'd recommend that weekend. Next month, the April full moon will fall on the 15th, and the May full moon will on the 14th. At the time of this blog post, we have a few days open on both Allatoona and Carter's, but not many. Call for availbility: 706-218-6609
Crappietastic Fishing on Allatoona
The crappie bite on Allatoona continues to be strong. REALLY strong. Rick is boating 20 or more in just a few hours in most cases, and for you Atlanta families out there, this is an early spring adventure you don't want to miss. AND, we encourage you to take a few home for the dinner table ---they're great eat'n! CLICK HERE to book a trip with Rick today.
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Time for Seasonal Maintenance
It is easy to forget the seasonal maintenance when you have fish on the brain. Each year, we see the same problems come up over and over and many of them can be easily prevented. Here are a few tips that might help make your spring fishing successful:
1. Lube your Axles - If you fish a lot, you should be doing this at least once a season. Otherwise at least twice a year. Each time your trailer is dipped in the water, a little grease is lost. If you don't put it back, you could be in for nasty repairs.
2. Drain Your Lower Unit - Another thing you can never do too often, and SHOULD do in the fall before cold weather. If you haven't drained your lower unit for water, then be sure to do it now to prevent gear failure. Lube kits can be picked up at any marine supply store, and it is easy to do. (check YouTube for how-to videos)
3. Re-Spool Your Line - Spring is a great time to hook up with a trophy-sized bass. Don't risk breaking it off because your line is old. Fresh line on your reel will help casting distance, lure action, and of course, help prevent heartbreak on the water!
Renew Your License
Tennessee fishing licenses expired at the end of February. So if you haven't already done so, be sure to re-up your license before getting out on the water. This is a popular time for law enforcement to catch you in a costly "Opps-I-forgot" mistake.
Georgice fishing licenses expire based on the date on which you purchased. Be sure to review your license's expiration date before getting on the water this spring. And remember, you MUST HAVE a license to fish with CLGS. If you climb aboard with no fishing license, we'll both be in trouble!
Gearing Up in March
March is a power-fishing month. We'll be using moving baits and cover a lot of water in the 5-10 ft segment of water column near the shoreline. I'm a believer that during early spring the big spotted bass move up shallow in the water column and warm up their backs in the sun. So if the sun is out, look for rock, particularly dark rock in the sun. Georgia gets a lot of wind in March, and wind will also be a key factor in how fish position themselves around the lake.
Crankbaits, jerkbaits, and spinnerbaits are great for working the target depth of 5-10 ft and these lures will be big players this month. Here's my recommended picks for the month of March:
- Jerkbait: Strike King 4.5" KVD Jerkbait in Sexy Blueback Herring
- Crankbait: Strike King Series 4 in Summer Sexy Shad
- Spinnerbait: S.O.B. "Mini-Me" 1/2 or 3/4oz Lavender Shad
I've already told a few people about these lures, and locally, they've become hard to find. So grab them wherever you can!
One absolute must this month will be making very long casts! If you don't make long casts in clear water with power fishing baits like this, you will not get as many bites as the guy who has the right gear set-up. I can promise.
No part of your outfit works in isolation. This is a "system" of components, and perhaps the most important part of this system is your launching mechanism: the rod. I prefer a 7ft medium-fast action for my Series 4 Crankbaits and a 7ft medium-light, fast action for my jerkbait. I'm a big fan of the Premier Series. --Great value, and perfect actions for these treble hook baits.
For spinnerbaits, I prefer a 7ft+ medium-heavy, fast action rod. This helps launch the bait and gives you plenty of power for hook sets if you get bit at the end of one of those long casts.
St Croix has a lineup for any budget, and if you're looking for the premium rod, check out the Legend Tournament Series or Legend Extreme Series. They have powerful backbone, ultra-light tips, and most of all, they are INCREDIBLY sensitive. And being St.Croix, you know you'll have their support if you ever have a problem with your investment.
Line - For line, I'm using 12lb Sunline Sniper Fluorocarbon this time of year for both jerkbaits and crankbaits. I use a little heavier 16 lb for the spinnerbaits. Sunline Sniper casts as good as any fluorocarbon on the market, and it's very strong, little to no memory.
Good luck out there,