Late winter, especially February, anglers in the south flock to the lakes at first sight of warm weather. It has been my experience that the nastiest of days are the best ones this time of year. The windy, rainy, colder days are the ones I tend to really dial in and catch them.
A bladed swim jig or “Chatter Bait”, is a go to of mine. This bait is deadly when combined with a Culprit Incredi-slim. The Incred-slim is a thinner version of the Incredi-Craw that fishes better than any trailer I’ve found on bladed swim jigs. When I tie one on a bladed jig, I always use that trailer — it is my confidence lure. The adjustment I make to that bait are color changes and weight changes. The Incredi-slim has such a lifelike action behind the bladed jigs that is just screams “eat me!”
If the water color is clear, I prefer a green pumpkin skirt and bama bug or watermelon red Incredi-Slim as a trailer. If the fish are still out on drops I may go all white with the skirt and trailer to imitate shad. If it is really muddy then I’ll switch to a black bladed swim jig with a black blue flake Incredi-slim. In shallow water 5 ft or less I go with a 3/8 oz head and 16lb fluorocarbon line, if cover is really heavy I go with 20lb. If the water is really clear and I want to speed up the retrieve I’ll go 1/2 or even 3/4 oz on the head. Often times deep structure like road or shell beds will hold big fish. If I want to keep the bait close to the bottom I’ll go as heavy as an ounce. I always fish a bladed jig on a 7’2’’ MH moderate action road, which lets them eat the bait a little better.
Late winter months are known for big fish movement. As the shallows warm, large females prepare to stage for spawn. In most cases, these bass are aggressive and will chase fast moving baits. Offering up the right presentation will be the difference in a good day or a GREAT day. When it comes time to hit the water again, tie on a bladed swim jig with an Incredi-Slim trailer…you won’t be disappointed.