With the winter being as crazy at it has, you would think the last thing you want to do is go fishing. But if you ever wanted to catch a really big largemouth then now is the time to start fishing.
We have an ideal situation heading our way in the next month or so that includes the days getting longer, the weather getting warmer and two new moons in the next month.
This all adds up to the really big girls heading up to spawn. It is my belief that the biggest bass spawn earlier than all the rest and I have pictures to prove it. My three biggest bass have come in the months of February and March and all of them hit some kind of minnow bait.
I caught one over 8 pounds on a spinner bait, one over 9 pounds on a crank bait and another over 10 pounds on a lipless crank bait. They were all caught around a deep drop off near a spawning flat. You want to stay off the bank and slow roll the bait back into deeper water.
Some key waters to fish are the ones with some color, like ponds that are fed by creeks. The colored water will warm up faster than clear water so the fish will spawn first in these waters.
Concentrate on channel ledges and drop offs near spawning flats. Everyone knows what the spawning beds look like. They are the round holes of sand or pebbles that appear every year up near the bank.
Most beds are in less than two feet of water but they can be as deep as five or six. The biggest females tend to turn on the feed bag earlier than all the rest and can be aggressive this time of year.
What’s biting, where ...
The offshore bite is on the bluefin tuna right now with fish being brought back to the docks in Oregon Inlet and Pirates Cove. Some of them are over 300 pounds and are the battle of a lifetime when you have one on. If you have ever caught a tuna you know how strong they can be so a big bluefin is a true test of strength and stamina. They are also bringing back some yellowfin so book your trip now and see what real fishing is all about.
The beach is still a slow bite but they have caught a few fish down at the point in Hatteras with the occasional trout and drum in the surf. Up north it is mostly skates and dogfish.
The sound bite has slowed also, with the striper bite coming to a crawl. I fished the sound bridge this past week and could not get one to the boat to save my life. I heard of some small fish but that was it.
Locally though we do have some good crappie fishing along with some decent largemouth being caught in the creeks and ponds.
I have reports of the crappie hitting live shiners and small jigs up Mills Creek and Halls Creek. The crappie are nice size this year with fish over a pound being put into the coolers.
Anglers are also catching the occasional white perch and striper up in these creeks so pick up some minnows and go bobber fishing with the kids the next time you get a chance.
If you do go out, send me a report to email@example.com or send it to my face book page Fishing with Mike.
On another note the fine ladies at the V.F.W. here in Elizabeth City are having a raffle for a tackle box loaded with all kinds of goodies along with a $20 gift card to Applebee’s.
The tickets are $1 apiece, three for $5 or seven for $10. They are available at the local V.F.W. here in town and the drawing will be held on Memorial Day, so get yours now and help out a good cause.
Mike Sweeney is a fisherman who lives in Elizabeth City