F ebruary is a schizophrenic month, with temperatures often fluctuating wildly and winds howling from every direction from fronts of the coldest month of the year.

But that doesn’t mean fish won’t feed, and Louisiana’s Cliff “Cajun Baby” Crochet has learned a few tips that helps him keep fish coming across his gunnel.

While this Bassmaster Elite Series pro usually doesn’t get to pick his fishing days ­­— after all, when he has a tournament to fish, he has no choice but to be on the water — Crochet said fishing is definitely best at specific times.

And, when timed right, bass can seem to be dying to get out of the water.

“Fish pre-front,” he said. “These are no doubt the absolute best days of the years to fish. It’s a great situation for numbers and big fish.”

Now, in the extreme southern portion of some states like Louisiana, bass are definitely spawning (unless Old Man Winter keeps a firm grip on the regions), but in most of the South anglers won’t be fishing bedding fish, Crochet said.

“They’re not spawning yet, but they’re on their way,” he said.

That makes bass predictable, and the savvy angler can ambush them in travel routes.

“Fish areas that bass will be using to get to where they will spawn,” Crochet said. “Don’t make the mistake of going all the way into spawning areas; when you start catching small fish, turn around and start fishing toward the main bayou, creek or lake.”

And, he said, this isn’t a bank-beating game.

“Instead of throwing a visible cover, back off fish just a little deeper,” Crochet explained.

Many anglers tend to slow down their presentations, but Crochet does just the opposite: He speeds up, using lures he can rip past lethargic bass.

It’s all about getting the reaction bite,” he said.

Finally, he recognizes that the bite might be a little later int he day — so if he’ll lollygag getting on the water if he’s just fun fishing.

“Wait for the sun,” Crochet said. “The water warms up — and it’s easier on your body.”