Outdoors – Hudson: Game on for huge bass

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 31, 2011

The biggest female bass in both High Rock and Badin are there for the taking.
Just go to the dock or the ramp and ask the boys in the bass boats as they are coming off the water. In fact, while fishing off a dock on Badin last Friday I had the good fortune to meet an angler who was, quite literally, having one of the best days of his life.
I first saw this guy from more than 100 yards away as he worked a crank bait from the edge of the grassy shoreline back to his boat.
He caught a 5-pound bass while me and my friends were watching from across the cove. Then, he did something that I could never do. He tossed it back like it was nothing.
I would have let the fish go as well, but not without a lot of fanfare. What manner of fisherman is this who throws back aquatic pigs without so much as a thought?
We immediately applauded him for his success when he uttered the words that really got our attention. “That one was nothing,” said Eddie Lackey, of Trinity. “Wait till you see the one I’ve got in the live well.”
Then he pulled it out. I’ve never seen a bigger bass in person. It weighed just over 9 pounds. What a monster. He caught it on a crank bait that ran about five to six feet below the surface.
Lackey’s not the only one catching big fish, however. These catches are taking place all over our lakes.
Most every angler I’ve talked to is catching fish, with reports of fish more than 5 pounds very common. If it weren’t for the cold front that came through over the last weekend, which pushed the water temperatures back from around 60 degrees to around 55 degrees, then these big egg-laden females would be a lot closer to getting on their spawning beds in shallow water.
This week’s temperatures will not have done much to bring the water temperatures back up to where the fish will start bedding. But we are so close. Then again, as Lackey and others have proved, these fish are still feeding, even with the latest cooling.
Seeing Lackey’s big female bass reminded me of a mother who is nine-months pregnant and about ready to pop. Women at this stage are so ready to give birth because they just aren’t comfortable, I assume, and bass can’t be any different. They want to spawn as soon as the water temperatures are right.
So, get out to the lake right now. This is the time to beat the banks to find these big fish.
As the water gets back closer to 65 degrees, these same females will lock onto their beds and the sight fishing opportunities will begin to get spectacular, especially if the water is clear.
When the fish are still cruising around the shallows you can catch them with crank baits, spinner baits and lipless crank baits.
Once the bass are on the beds, a weedless, weightless big-plastic worm is deadly because when you put it on a bed, the bass will either eat it out of anger or even just pick it up to move it off the bed. Either way, you’ll be a solid hook-set away from a lunker bass of your own.