February bass fishing

How to Catch Bass in February

This month, a small secondary point leading to a backwater is a high-percentage area for fishing.
This month, a small secondary point leading to a backwater is a high-percentage area for fishing.

If you have open water right now, you are in the middle of one of the best times to catch the biggest bass you'll see all year. February can be an outstanding time to go bass fishing, and historically speaking, it is one of the best months for a true trophy bass. It's a time of the year when bass are itching to start spawning and at their heaviest point of the year, making this month the time to catch hungry bass with the chance for a fish of a lifetime.

Remember the following things when fishing in February, and you can experience some of the best fishing of the year.

Watch The Weather

The weather is always an essential factor in bass fishing and will dictate how you attack a given day, but it's vital in February. Two main things to look for in the forecast are the weather on the day you are fishing and the weather leading up to your trip, as both can impact your success.

A warm day is an excellent thing in the winter months and will help to nudge fish closer to shallow water. You may even find bass in extremely shallow water sunning themselves on a warm afternoon, so don't be afraid to try right along the bank, even on a cold day. There are also many bass that will spend their lives in shallow water, and there is almost always a shallow bite somewhere.

The weather in the days before you go fishing is just as important as the forecast when you are on the water. Stability is one of the biggest things that helps fishing; a few warm days in a row will set things up nicely for bass fishing. On the other hand, if the weather is cold and stays cold, those bass will stay put. This can put them in predictable locations week after week during the late winter months.

Timing the bite is also crucial during February fishing trips, and there are often specific bite windows during the day. Even though the weather is generally the coldest at first light, the first two hours of the day can be exceptional. For some reason, the bass still bite very well first thing in the morning, even on a chilly morning. Often, there is a lull after this window, and the bite will pick up again in the afternoon as the water warms. Tempering your expectations and being ready to fish all day will ensure you can capitalize on the feeding windows that will eventually open up this time of year.

Work Backward In February

As the water warms slightly and the day gets closer to the bass spawn, one of the best approaches is to work backward when searching for places to fish. If you can recall the places where bass spawned last year on your home lake or seek out flats, backwaters, and other likely areas, you can work backward to see where bass will be coming from.

During winter, many bass will head to deeper water and rush the bank when it's time to spawn. During the prespawn period, many fish will be somewhere in between. This could be secondary points leading into spawning areas or deep water adjacent to shallow flats. Other key areas are humps, rockpiles, and standing timber in slightly deeper water but still close to those eventual spawning areas.

A bright red bait is an excellent lure choice this month.
A bright red bait is an excellent lure choice this month.

By working backward and trying to intercept bass in high-percentage areas between where they spend their winter and where they spawn, you can put yourself in a great position to catch a pile of February bass.

Lure Choices For February

February fishing can mean different things depending on where you live, but some general lure styles will work everywhere. Even though the water is cold, fishing moving baits like ChatterBaits, crankbaits, and jerkbaits can be a great way to catch fish this month.

Red shines in February and spring as it stands out in stained water and imitates crawfish. For ChatterBaits, a fire craw pattern can be excellent in February, and the same is true of crankbaits, both diving baits and lipless versions.

Jerkbaits are another proven lure style during February, and there is a reason that they are one of the best winter and pre-spawn baits ever made. They excel many times of the year but can be one of the best baits you can use this month. A good idea is to have various baits that will dive to different depths so you can cover all of the different water columns. Megabass, for instance, offers the Vision 110 and +1 and +2 versions that will dive deeper and allow you to have something for every situation.

A jig is a solid choice for fishing in February.
A jig is a solid choice for fishing in February.

For crankbaits, flat-sided baits excel in February as they have a tight wobble that generally does better in cold water situations. They can be fished along rocky banks, rip rap walls, bluff walls, and other transitional areas and are one of the best lures you can use this time of year. Some of the most proven baits are the Rapala DT Series and Berkley's Frittside line of baits, but plenty of other good flat-sided crankbaits are on the market.

In addition to moving baits, it can also pay to slow down and drag baits this month. Lures like jigs, drop-shot rigs, Ned Rigs, and Carolina Rigs are proven this time of year and should be part of your arsenal. Using faster-moving lures to cover ground and find active fish would be an excellent place to start, and then follow up with slower-moving baits when the bite slows down.

February offers the chance for the biggest bass of the year or your life, as the biggest bass in a body of water will all begin to think about spawning. It's a time of year when the bass are all working towards the bank, and they can be the most predictable and hungry, two great things for any bass angler.

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