Hey there, angler – we’re excited to take a closer look at the Pre-Spawn Bass XL box with you guys, and to have Travis Moran, our Chief Fishing Officer, take us out on the water to show us how to find the most success while using everything in this box! This month’s theme is “Pre-Spawn” – everything in here will be especially useful during this time of year, when bass are coming out of hiding and beginning to feast in shallower waters while they mate.
If you haven’t checked out one of our “Living Room 2 Lake” features before, all you need to do is get comfortable on the couch with your February box and Travis will explain everything you need to know about what’s inside!
Here’s what came in the February Bass XL box:
- Great Lakes Bass – 4 in. Stickbait
- Producto Lures – Buzz Tail Worm 6”
- Hydro Tech – Jerk Bait
- Maxx Lure – Square Bill Crankbait
- Mustad – Ned Head Hook
- Mustad – Feather Treble Hook
- Mustad – Split Ring Plier
According to Travis, “Pre-spawn bass are moving from deep water to shallow, so you really need a wide variety of baits. You need some baits that you could target those fish that are just starting to look shallow but are still deep, and then you need some shallow water baits as well as those fish move shallow.”
Make sense? If not, it will soon – here are the top three takeaways from this video about the February Bass XL box!
- 1. Learn to love the color red.
- a. The Maxx Lure red square bill crankbait is going to be one of your favorite lures in your tackle box this time of year – female bass love the color red because it helps with the development of their eggs. The more crawdads they eat, the stronger the consistency of their eggshells, which obviously improves the chances of their eggs hatching and surviving! That’s why we want to equip you all with this super useful red square bill – it’s exactly what bass are looking to chow on this time of year!
- 2. Fish are going to be oriented towards shallow waters, even if they’re starting deep.
- a. Alright, so not every fish is going to be in shallow water yet, depending where you’re fishing. That doesn’t mean they’re not looking towards shallow waters, though. In other words, they’re orienting themselves to move into shallower waters, even if they haven’t yet. That’s why, if you’ve got high water clarity, it’s smart to use the Hydro Tech jerk bait to catch their attention – jerk, then jerk again, then let it sit for a long pause – and that will give those fish time to come up and blast the bait from below!
- 3. Use your tools to change up the presentation!
- a. We included some cool Mustad split ring pliers in this month’s box – if you’re tired of messing up your fingernails or poking yourself with hooks, these pliers are going to become your best friend! These pliers are going to be really helpful when you want to efficiently switch out your treble hooks. Also, they’re going to really help you change up your bait presentation – with Hydro Tech jerk bait we mentioned above, it can be helpful to add the little Mustad feather treble hook. The natural flash and reflection of this hook is going to send an enticing shimmer down to fish who are hanging out in deeper waters, inviting them to swim up and take a bite.
Thanks for the tips, Travis!
We really hope you guys are enjoying our Living Room 2 Lake series – we want to make sure you’re getting the most out of the boxes we send you! Use the hashtag #LuckyTackleBox and #LTBfishinghere to show us where you’re throwing these baits, and you might even be featured in our upcoming magazines.
Tight lines, anglers – good luck out on the water!
“Living Room 2 Lake” February Video Transcription:
Travis Moran (00:00):
This month’s Lucky Tackle Box theme was pre-spawn baits, where we included all the lures that you need to target these bass that are moving from their wintertime, deep water hangouts and migrating up to those shallow waters where they’re eventually going to spawn. But first they’re going to feed up and having the right tools is essential.
Travis Moran (00:18):
Hey guys, I’m Travis Moran and you’re watching another episode of Living Room 2 Lake. And as you may have noticed already, I’m not in my actual living room. Once again this month I’m in the mobile office, I’m in the MoHo on the road, but I’ve got to film a quick Living Room 2 Lake here where we’re going to go through each one of the baits in the box. So hopefully you guys are sitting down in your living rooms or your man caves or your she sheds. I don’t care. Wherever you are, hopefully you’re cozy and you’ve got your Lucky Tackle Box for this month as well, so you could follow along as we’re going to go through how to rig every one of these baits and then how you can use them to target pre-spawn bass. It’s so important to know what these fish are doing this time of the year and then how to fish these lures to target those fish.
Travis Moran (01:04):
And that’s what this Lucky Tackle Box experience is all about. We are not only just including lures now, we’re adding hooks, weights, line, different tools such as pliers and things, that are going to help you have all the right gear to go out and catch fish. So at the end of 2020, I promise you are going to look back and go, “Wow, I not only now have all the gear I need to fish a four year bass fishing, but because of the different content, because of how they put together these boxes with themes, they created videos, instructional, different teaching platforms to help me learn, you are now fully equipped to understand what the bass are doing and how to select the right lures to catch more of those fish.”
Travis Moran (01:46):
So pre-spawn bass are moving from deep water to shallow. So you really need a wide variety of baits. You need some baits that you could target those fish that are just starting to look shallow but are still deep, and then you need some shallow water baits as well as those fish move shallow. So as we go through this box, we’re going to first start with some of these baits that can be fished a little bit deeper or to target a little bit of those deeper fish, and then we’re going to move into these more shallow presentation baits.
Travis Moran (02:12):
So let’s dive right into it. All right, first bait is a soft plastic. Guys, when we’re talking about pre-spawn, these fish, they’re starting deep in wintertime and they’re going to slowly start to want to feed. They’re going to slowly start moving up to some high percentage areas where they are going to feed up and start really looking to move shallow and migrate into their spawning areas. Having a little soft plastics four-inch worm like this one from Great Lakes, watermelon purple flake. Then paired up with the Mustad little jig heads here is perfect for this. They’re going to be moving up onto these kind of little rock, any kind of little rocky points, any little island tops and things at the mouths of big creeks and coves, and this is a perfect little bait. Even if these fish aren’t really feeding heavily just yet, having a little finesse presentation is going to be the perfect way to catch them.
Travis Moran (03:04):
Just hop this bait along the bottom. It looks real natural, a nice finesse approach. You’re going to catch fish that are just starting to feed all the way through when they’re feeding. This is a bait that you’re going to be able to use all year long and it’s going to work as soon as your ice melts, if you’re up in the Northern States.
Travis Moran (03:24):
All right, what’s next? Okay. When we’re talking about these fish starting to make their migration from deep to shallow, even before they physically move shallow, they’re going to start orienting shallow. That’s kind of a hard concept to understand, but the idea is that they’re going to be looking up into these shallow areas, they’re going to be moving on to some steeper bluffs and things like that, so a jerkbait excels this time of the year. Even if these fish, if it’s clear enough water, if they’re in 20, 30 feet deep, if they see that flash up in five to seven feet of water, they’ll come up and blast this thing.
Travis Moran (03:57):
So even though this bait only dives about four or five feet, it can still be effective up to 30 feet depending on if you have enough clarity and stuff. Because these fish really want to move shallow. The other thing is when you’re using a jerkbait this time of the year, it can be all about longer pauses. So you jerk, jerk, and you let it pause. Sometimes you can let it pause for 10 seconds and those fish will come up and hit it. So that’s why it’s important to have a feather trot trailer hook, or a feather back hook. So I replaced that back hook on the jerkbait with a little feather. And the reason being is, when that bait is sitting still, this little feather hook is reflecting. It looks like a little tail of a fish that’s still kind of moving a little bit. So as that fish is coming up from deeper, that little tail is doing a little shimmer to it and it’s looking natural and real.
Travis Moran (04:49):
One of the other cool things that we included in this month’s box was some Mustad split ring pliers. So these are to help you swap out your treble hooks a lot more efficiently. If you guys are screwing up your fingernails, getting poked with hooks, this is going to really be your best friend and it’s going to help you switch out hooks a lot more often because when you do it by hand, it can be kind of a pain in the butt. When you have the split rings, you can do it very quickly and it makes you a lot more likely to do so. So anyway, guys, this jerkbait, very effective. You want to fish these really in areas leading into spawning areas. So if you have some nice shallow water that gets a lot of sun throughout the day, that’s where these fish are going to end up to spawn. So you want to back out of that and go, “Okay, where’s some key structure or cover these fish are going to hang out at to feed up as they move in there.”
Travis Moran (05:44):
And if you can find a little steep bluff, a little island top, you can cast this thing over. Those fish might be a little bit deeper. They might not be right up on that island top, they might be around it, but as this thing comes over that island top, they’re going to come up and blast it. Great bait. You can get a lot of results with this bait this time of year.
Travis Moran (05:59):
All right, next. All right, now we’re going to move shallow. These baits, the first few baits were to help us kind of target those fish as they’re moving into these shallower areas, but eventually they’re going to be in these areas to spawn. But before that, they start searching around. They start moving in the vegetation, they start moving along the shallow water, a little riprap banks and things, and having baits that you can fish along those is crucial to catching these active fish.
Travis Moran (06:25):
So first up is a square bill, a red square bill. So important this time of the year. Fish love the color red because it actually helps their eggs. So when a female lays all these eggs, if they eat a lot of crawdads, it actually helps with the consistency of the shell. So the more crawdads they eat, the better the chance of their eggs surviving and hatching and the survival of their species. So this time of the year, they hone in on red. And so you want to make sure you’re throwing something red and a little square bill, you bang this around the rocks, you can really cover a lot of shallow water because that little square bill protects those hooks, so you can bang it off wood, rocks and really working in a lot of different areas.
Travis Moran (07:05):
All right, next up is at other soft plastic. Guys, this is a fantastic technique that they absolutely love this time of year out in Florida. They call this the Florida swimbait and it’s a speed worm. This is Producto Lure’s little speed worm here and the way you rig it up is actually from last month’s box we included some four [inaudible 00:07:29] wide gap hooks with some little bullet weights. So what you want to do is just rig it up with the one of these little quarter ounce bullet weight, one of these hooks, rig it up Texas rig and you’re just going to cast and you actually swim this bait. A lot of times we’re just hopping worms or moving them real slow.
Travis Moran (07:49):
This one you throw through the different vegetations. It excels around lily pads. You can throw it right through the lily pads and it just kind of swims. It ticks off those little lily pads, but you can throw it through tules, you can throw it through different types of vegetation and really find those fish that have moved up shallow.
Travis Moran (08:05):
The other thing is you can slow this bait down as well. If you want to let this bait fall and hop it along the bottom, it can excel at that little tail, a wiggle on the way down and it actually floats, so it’ll sit upwards and so you can really entice those fish. A very effective tool to have as you search out all the different water that’s up shallow. You’ve got the square bill to fish, the kind of more rocky, woody stuff, and then you’ve got the worm to fish, the more vegetation, the thicker stuff that you’re going to have to have a weedless presentation for.
Travis Moran (08:36):
All right guys. Well that does it for this month’s breakdown. One last note, the Mustad split ring pliers that we included in the bass XL boxes, Mustad was so excited about this full experience, we’re now bringing the Lucky Tackle Box that they set out, they wanted to send more, so that they could be included in the regular bass box as well. So all your regular bass box subscribers, you’ve got a bonus tool this month of the Mustad pliers. Thanks to Mustad.
Travis Moran (09:02):
Well, guys, you’re now equipped to fish for these pre-spawn bass. No matter where you are in the country, as you come out of wintertime, these fish are going to go through very similar migrations and you now have the baits to figure out the little different nuances that apply to your local water. But I promise you these baits will help you target those fish. I cannot wait to hear about it. And if you have any questions, make sure you write them in the comments below. I’ll go over them the next few days and answer them so you guys can really understand these baits that much more and have a better chance of going out and catching fish.
Travis Moran (09:37):
Also, make sure you hashtag Lucky Tackle Box in all your social media posts so that we can follow along in your adventures. Guys, I’m Travis Moran, and I’m dragging everything with me. And I will catch you out on the water.