It’s kind of like knocking on the door of the honeymoon suite: not cool, and highly disruptive. That’s what late-winter fronts do to spawning bass. Fortunately, options exist for taking advantage of the fish relocation that will surely occur.
Case in point: The recent Costa FLW Series event on Sam Rayburn Reservoir took place a couple days after a wicked late-winter storm pounded the Gulf states. In its wake, the frontal system left lower water temperatures and the high-pressure “bluebird” skies that pushed the fish off the spawning flats and into the nearby ditches, drains, and grass edges.
Such events certainly interrupt an important seasonal process, but capitalizing on the fish’s repositioning is just a matter of presenting an easy meal in the waiting room. One of the best options is a simple Carolina rig.
Place a sliding sinker flanked by brass or plastic beads onto your main line and tie to a swivel linked to a fluorocarbon lead, which terminates with your bait. On the cast, the weight bumps bottom to create a fish-attracting commotion. A couple seconds later, your bait comes drifting by, a little higher in the water column and oh, so vulnerable.
Bass, particularly the Florida-strain largemouths stocked in Rayburn and elsewhere, hate cold fronts; but they hate a rumbling belly even worse. Next time weather relocates your shallow fish, paint the fall-back areas with a Carolina rig and expect an arm-stretching.