The search for the Holy Grail of bass lures has led many anglers astray.
Truth is, there is no lure that will catch bass all the time. That’s why we have crankbaits with short bills and long bills, and 4-inch worms as well as 14-inch worms.
And, that’s why we have buzzbaits, walking baits, waking baits, splashing baits… well, you get the picture.
Getting hooked on one lure can mean empty livewells. I learned this lesson all too well when I fell from 12th place all the way to 120th during a Bassmaster Open tournament where I just knew the bass would keep eating the silver-and-black Rattlin’ Rouge they tore up that first day.
I was wrong.
But some lakes do consistently produce bass on certain lures - take Lake D’Arbonne in Farmerville for example.
There are myriad ways to catch bass on this popular north Louisiana fishery, but local tournament angler Kenny Covington, who has been on a bit of a roll so far in 2015, says he would never fish his favorite lake without having a supply of 1/2-ounce, double-willow firetiger-colored spinnerbaits on board.
But why a spinnerbait when so many other lures might work?
According to Covington, a spinnerbait is a necessity at D’Arbonne in March because the fish are in shallow water stained by wind and rain.
“Firetiger is a mix of chartreuse, green and orange,” Covington said. “And there are a thousand variations of it. I mainly like firetiger because everybody and their brother throws chartreuse and white. Plus, firetiger just seems to be a perfect color for stained water.”
When questioned about why he went with a double willow spinnerbait since conventional spinnerbait rules dictate a Colorado blade in stained water, Covington indicated it was because of its versatility.
“This time of year, I want to be able to fish it deep or shallow,” he said, “By it’s nature, a Colorado blade pulls a spinnerbait up high. With a double willow, I can slow roll it on the bottom or burn it up high.”
Covington likes to slow roll his spinnerbait just out of sight on days after cold fronts, and he likes to fish it up in what he calls the twilight zone - just deep enough so he can barely see it - when bass are actually committed to spawning.
“The only time I’ll wake it just under the surface is when I’m fishing around grass,” Covington said. “Milfoil is coming back in some areas - I’ve seen it up Corney - and bass in that thick grass feed up. Waking it keeps it up high out of the grass and doesn’t allow them to get a good look at it.”
As for blade color, Covington loves gold blades at D’Arbonne during March because he’s noticed that most everything swimming in the water has a gold tint to it.
“Every minnow, every bream… everything has that gold tint to it,” said Covington. “It’s a pale kind of gold hue that I think is because of the stained water. That’s why I don’t fish silver blades this time of year.”
Covington pointed out that the back of Bear Creek in the main lake is an excellent area to try a 1/2-ounce firetiger spinnerbait, but he implied that the back of just above every creek on the lake would be a great place to fish.
“Or the back of any shallow flat,” he added. “I always go to the back and work my way out because they’re going to be closer to the back of a creek than they are the mouth.”
Covington’s firetiger spinnerbait may not be a miracle that make bass bite all the time, but he’s confident that he can get bit on it just about any day he fishes D’Arbonne during March.
“I’ll put it this way,” he ended. “That firetiger spinnerbait is not going to lead me astray. I know I’m closer to getting bit with it than anything else in my box.”
Editor’s Note: This is the first article in a weeklong series by Chris Ginn on effective bass baits for March at individual lakes around the state. Tomorrow he’ll feature locations in Southeastern Louisiana.