We’re not talking about wild boars here! We’re talking about one of the most sought–after freshwater game fish here in the Heartland, the Largemouth Bass. Micropterus Salmoides Floridanus, or as it is affectionately called by many hard core bass anglers, the “Bucketmouth”! After looking at this one Louie caught back in April 2011, out of the Heartland’s Lake Josephine, just two ounces shy of thirteen pounds; it’s easy to see where it got that name.
Springtime in the Heartland is just around the corner and is without a doubt, the best time of year to target these monsters. As the water is warming, they will begin to move toward shallow water to prepare to spawn. Bass spawning in this part of Florida usually occurs in late February and right through April. Here’s a thirteen pound, four ounce beauty he got in March of 2009.
Louie nailed this one while learning how to “walk the dog” with a Rapala Skitterwalk. It’s a very effective way to fish a top-water lure and really aggravate these monsters into striking. We love to fish the top-water baits in the spring just to see those heart stopping blow-ups by these incredible fish.
The really big fish are preparing themselves for a month or so of guarding their nests. That’s a month or so of intense fighting with everything from turtles, crawfish, and all types of other fish, as all of these things and more, try to steal their eggs. It’s also a month or so of very few opportunities to eat. So, during this pre-spawn period, they have ravenous appetites, and if you throw something in their vicinity that resembles food, and you present it just right, they will usually eat it.
The key is to get in the right area, where these fish spawn year after year and cover as much of the surrounding water as possible. They like sandy, gravely areas, sometimes in as little as a foot of water. This eleven pound, nine ounce “Hawg” inhaled a floating, chartreuse soft plastic snake, in water about that deep in another of the Heartland’s lakes.
Here are just a few more Spring-time beauties that are out there just waiting for a chance to pose for a photo with you.
Above all else…please be safe and practice “catch and release” of these magnificent fish. Louie and I call them the breeding stock. They are the future of Largemouth Bass fishing here in the Heartland. Handle them carefully. If you want a wall mount, a few good photos, length and girth measurements, is all your favorite Taxidermist needs to make you a great fiberglass reproduction to hang above your mantel.
To see many more of Louie’s trophy bass, “like” his Facebook page @ http://www.facebook.com/FishingTheHighlands, then go to the photos section and click on the folder titled: “Lunker Louie” aka: The Train: Bass Photos.
Now grab your pole, get out there and enjoy some Springtime Heartland Hawg hunting. Times a wastin’…….Keep those lines tight and good luck!