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Pre-spawn season is upon us

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Mike Sweeney sports fishing

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By Mike Sweeney
Columnist

Saturday, March 2, 2019

I know the weather has been a little on the nasty side lately but believe it or not the largemouth have been looking forward to this all winter long.

The rain and warmer days have been letting the bass know that spawning season is right around the corner and it’s time to feed up and get ready for that special time of year.

If you have friends who fish for largemouth you will notice almost every catch they show a picture of is a bass that is larger than normal with some fish over 5 pounds.

Even from the guys who don’t normally catch that quality of fish.

What is happening is the first of the spawning fish are moving up towards shallow structure and putting on the feed bag in order to fatten up for the upcoming spawn.

The water temps are playing with the 50-degree mark which makes some of the early fish move up.

You can catch them by pitching soft plastics to the bank and working the lure down the drop offs or you can throw a crank bait parallel to the bank and work it to deeper water.

What you are trying to do is search for those early spawning fish by covering a lot of water and at various depths.

You need to pay attention to the water temps now more than any other time of year because a change of just two degrees one way or another could mean the difference between a great day or a zero.

Once you get your first strike you need to slow down and look at the area that the fish came from.

What is the water depth and temperature?

What kind of retrieve was it fast or slow?

Look at the details of the area and try to match the details in other areas but make sure you fish those spots thoroughly before moving on.

The fish are there for a reason like a spawning flat is nearby or deep water is close.

Look for the details and use that to find other areas that have similar features and that will put you on some of the biggest fish of the year.

What’s biting, where...

The offshore anglers have been on a tuna bite with some bluefin coming back over 500 pounds.

Yea that is a big fish to say the least but the weather has kept a lot of boats tied to the docks with howling winds and blowing rain.

The next week looks promising but we really don’t know till it gets hear.

We also have some yellowfin reported along with the bluefin so if tuna is on your menu then pick a day and get out there.

On the beaches it has been a horrible week for fish as well with driving rain and high winds.

I did hear of some dogfish reported on a couple of piers but that is normal for this time of year.

With the water temps in the 40s, it may take a couple of weeks for that to improve.

Here locally we still have a good striper bite on the Chowan and the Pasquotank rivers.

My local guides are telling me that the bite has been steady all winter long with Rattle Traps paying off in the Pasquotank and stretch lures in the Chowan.

The crappie bite is also still on with most fish being caught in the creeks in about 12 feet of water on a slow troll. If anyone gets out and fishes this week make sure you send me a picture and a report to fishingwithmike921@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook at Fishing with Mike.

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