The water is starting to stabilize on Roosevelt Lake at 100 percent of capacity, which is good news for the future of warm water fishing. Longer days mean more solar heating as the temperature of the water is rising to the low 60s, and that creates perfect spawning conditions for the largemouth bass. All sizes of bass will be cruising the shallows looking for the right location to make the nest where the female will lay the eggs that will soon be fertilized by the male fish.
This springtime phenomenon creates fantastic fishing for the lunker largemouth in the four-pound and larger category. As the clarity of the water improves along the shoreline, it is possible to see these fish cruising the shallows or guarding a nest. In either case, they can be lured into biting bait, which can be a terrific fight on a medium weight bait casting or spinning outfit.
Seeing the bass before it sees you can be a real challenge, but it can be done by peering into the distant water with a good pair of polarized yellow lens sunglasses. Reducing the glare and concentrating on looking for shadows or the outline of an unsuspecting bass is extremely important. If there are logs and other debris, look to the shadow side where the fish will often be suspended in the reduced light.
Long casts with some degree of accuracy are necessary not to spook the fish. This takes practice, which is a good excuse to be on the water a few extra days in the spring when the fish are biting. It is valuable to know your equipment and have the correct line strength for the habitat you are fishing. When there is submerged timber and floating logs, heavier line is needed to successfully land a giant largemouth.
Excellent springtime bait is a soft plastic swimbait in the four- to six-inch category in one of the many shad color patterns. A white or silver colored shad has been very effective on Roosevelt Lake this past week, and will probably continue for the rest of the spring. Sometimes it is important to change color patterns depending on the time of day and the brightness of the sun. A general “rule of thumb” is: on sunny days, use light colors; with cloud cover or reduced light, a darker color will give the best results.
There are many swimbaits on the market, but the Berkley Hollowbelly and the “Lil Chunk” made by Kirk Russell have a proven successful track record on Roosevelt Lake. The Hollowbelly can be found in most tackle stores and sporting goods departments, while the “Lil Chunk” is hand-poured by Kirk Russell of Payson and you can purchase them by a phone call to (928) 978-0441.
Fishing a swimbait with a slow retrieve and watching the approaching wake of a trophy largemouth is a bit unnerving, even to the most seasoned anglers.
Now is the time to be on Roosevelt Lake if trophy largemouth are the goal. If you catch one of those big fish, take a picture or two and return it to the water for another angler’s enjoyment.
There are plenty of unders, which is a fish less than the 13-inch slot; and they will make perfect fillets for the frying pan.
Take a friend fishing on Roosevelt Lake and enjoy God’s creation.