Pre-Spawn Hog Hunting
For the most of us, pre-spawn fishing is either here or just right around the corner. The big girls are moving up as the water temps in the shallows creep up to the high 40’s-low 50’s. This is an excellent time of year to catch the monster bass that lurk in the waters you fish as they begin to chow heavily in preparation for the spawn. Pitching craw imitations around shallow wood and grass is a proven and effective way to capitalize on these sluggish vulnerable giants. If you haven’t utilized this technique yet, you could be truly missing the boat…and a shot at your new personal best! Texas rigging baits like the 4.5” Conviction Craw,4” Diesel Craw, 4.5” Texas-Rig Jig and 4.5” Bully Grass Devil are excellent choices for when the big girls are up shallow. Just make sure you’re prepared correctly with the proper gear to handle fish of this caliber. I know everybody has their own personal preference when it comes to equipment, but my personal set up for “hog hunting” is a 7’4” heavy action Cumara rod, a 7:1 ratio Curado reel spooled with 50lb Power Pro braid topped with an 8ft section of 20 to 25 lb fluorocarbon leader. This set up gives me gobs of power to haul big bass out of their cover without a hitch, plus it gives me all the sensitivity I need to detect subtle bites. Losing a really big fish because you weren’t properly equipped is not only extremely upsetting but it’ll probably cost you a few sleepless nights afterwards. So don’t show up to a gun fight with a BB gun if you know what I mean. Another thing we highly recommend is to ALWAYS make sure your bags of baits have been sprayed with 3 to 4 squirts of Hog Tonic prior to using them. When the bass engulf the baits and they get a taste of the proteins, they think it’s real food and won’t let it go. This is especially crucial for when the bass softly pick up your bait way before you even know they have it…and we’ve all been there. Now, If a cold front moves in and you need to downsize your presentation to get bit, the 3.5” Craw D’oeuvre and 3.5” Texas-Rig Jig are excellent choices for these situations. Both of these baits can be fished Texas rigged, on shakey or football head, or used as jig trailers. Even when bass are finicky, they’d be hard pressed to pass up a compact finesse craw creeping along in front of their noses. Plus these two baits can effectively be thrown on spinning gear as well as casting gear. Just keep in mind the cover your fishing in or around and make sure your spinning gear is stout enough to turn the head of a hog should she decide to try to wrap you up during the battle (remember, nobody enjoys sleepless nights filled with “I should have, I could have, I wish I would have”). We don’t have control over the tricks Mother Nature randomly dishes out to us during the pre-spawn, but having multiple size craw imitators in your box for the unpredictable late winter season will keep you prepared for whatever she throws our way.