When the water temperatures in Utah hit 57 degrees and keep rising, largemouth bass feel the urge to spawn.В The bass move onto shallow flats, looking for a good place to nest.В And large females begin feeding heavily to prepare for the rigors of the spawn.
Now is the best time of the year to catch the biggest bass. You will not catch big numbers of fish, but the chance to catch a big bass is very possible.вЂќ
Use large casting and flipping jigs that imitate crawfish, which are a favorite food of largemouth bass.В Crawfish provide lots of protein.В And protein is something the bass need for the rigors of the spawn.
Rocky areas in lakes and reservoirs catch the sunвЂ™s rays and warm the water around them.В The warming water attracts bass and crawfish. Target rocky areas with jigs, and try to cast your jig so it doesnвЂ™t splash much when it hits the water.
If youвЂ™re fishing from a boat, cast to the edge of the shore, and then drag your jig into the water.В Crawling the jig slowly across the rocksвЂ”an action that mimics a newly emerged crawfishвЂ”is what youвЂ™re trying to do.
As you crawl your jig towards you, let the jig fall off the rocks.В Then watch your line closely.В Hits will be light. Many times, just the tick of your line or your line moving slightly will be a sign to reel up the slack and set the hook.
Also, when you lift your rod to move your jig, you might feel some extra weight on the end of your line. If you do, set the hookвЂ”you might have a bass on the end of your line.
Fishing with jigs requires sturdy gear.В A baitcasting rod and reel is the best rod and reel to try this technique with. Baitcasting reels are like small winches. They give you the best control over large fish in rocky or weedy areas.
A baitcasting reel, spooled with 12- to 15-pound test line on a 6ВЅ- to 7-foot medium- to heavy-action rod, is a perfect rig to catch largemouth bass. This rig is capable of horsing a big fish out of snags or sharp rocks.
Another piece of invaluable equipment is a quality pair of polarized, ultra-violet-resistant sunglasses.В The glasses will allow you to look into the shallows and pick out fish that are already on their nest.
Sight fishing requires stealth, proper boat position and quiet casts. If a fish is on a nest this time of the year, it will most likely be a large female getting ready to spawn.
Once youвЂ™ve located a nest, cast past the nest with a tube jig or a soft plastic lizard, and then slowly inch the lure toward the nest.В Using this technique will provoke the female to attack what she perceives to be a threat. Casting past the nest is important. Any cast into the nest will scare the fish off the nest.
ItвЂ™s important to handle the bass you catch carefully.В If youвЂ™re not going to keep the fish, donвЂ™t keep it out of the water any longer than needed.
If you catch a fish, get it to the boat as quickly as possible, have your camera ready, and limit the amount of time you have the fish out of the water. After taking a photo, gently put the fish back in the water.
In Castle Country the best places to catch bass are Huntington North Reservoir, the pond at Green River State Park, Kens Lake near Moab or Lake Powell.