Although the calendar says it’s only Feb. 2, don’t tell that to the bass on the north end of Lake Bistineau in Webster Parish — they’re already on beds spawning in shallow water, according to a local angler.
“It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen,” said Wesley Miller, 37, of Doyline. “I’ve fished my whole life and I’ve never caught bass off beds this time in February.
“I’ve caught them late in February — but never the first and second day of February.”
But considering what Miller found in fish that he cleaned near the end of 2015, he’s not surprised by the early spawn.
“They had fully mature eggs at Christmas time,” he said. “We just hadn’t had any winter yet. It just hadn’t really gotten that cold.”
The last couple of days, Miller has had success throwing a watermelon red wacky-rigged Senko on 17-pound Berkley fluorocarbon in 3- to 4-feet of water.
“They’re hitting it on the fall, or whenever you’re working it across the beds. We caught them off beds yesterday and absolutely hammered them today,” he said. “It’s that motion and the slow fall. Those bass that are on beds can’t stand it.”
Today’s take included a 4.7- and a 4.5-pounder, and several in the 3-pound range.
“Last Thursday, we were catching them off ledges when it was still cold. We had a day last week where we had two 4-pounders and a 6-pounder. They were pre-spawn then,” he said. “But I knew they were fixing to do it just because of how many I had cleaned before Christmas and right at New Year’s that had absolutely fully-developed eggs.
“So you knew the next time it got kind of warm, they were going to move up and spawn.”
The passage of today’s cool front — and chillier weather expected later this week — may shut down the bite for a while, but Miller said it won’t take long for it to return.
“From here on out, every time we get a little patch of warm weather to where the water temperature gets up to 60 degrees, they’re going to be spawning,” he said. “If people want to catch fish, they need to be out there looking for them.
“It’s weird because it’s so early, but if they’re not out there looking for them now or when it gets warm, they’re going to miss it.”