“It just seems like it happens overnight,” said David Henry. “Two weeks ago we had my wife’s outdoor pot plants scattered all over the living room babysitting frozen lizards while I watched deer hunting on television wishing I could go fishing.”

“One week later I was standing on the deck of my Triton wearing shorts, a long sleeve t-shirt, and my crocs. It was drizzling rain and the bass were killing a crankbait in six feet of water,” added Henry. I figure I was at least a week late for that many fish to already be up in the shallows!”

Judging by the results of David Concienne’s Bass-n-Bucks tournament held on Toledo Bend on the ninth, he was correct. Darold Gleason and Chris Schamerhorn just hammered the big bass to the tune of a 28.7-pound bag. They had 24 pounds of bass in the livewell in the first thirty minutes and stayed with it only long enough to cull two of their four pound fish.

Once they felt reasonably sure they had it won, they returned to the Marina early rather than risk motor trouble and cat napped until weigh-in. They caught most of their fish a little deeper than Henry. They were working staging areas in 20 feet of water.

The bass population on Rayburn has also started spending more time in shallower water. Trey Smith of Bridge City and Matt Purghan teamed up to win first place and $2600 in the Angler’s Quest tournament held on Rayburn on the 16th . Their winning catch weighed 21.42 pounds. Matt caught their largest bass, a 7-pound fish, on a Texas rigged worm, so all five of their fish had to be pretty solid.

Trey said they knew folks had been catching a lot of fish on Whacky worms, but they elected to take their chances fishing the grass with a spinnerbait, Trap, and the worm. “It was a good win for us this early in the year,” stated Smith. “Matt and I both have full work weeks, so we decided to be more selective in deciding which circuits we fish this year. When you have very little time to pre-fish it really puts you behind the eight ball in circuits with exceptionally large fields.”

Last year I fished only a handful of pre-spawn days on Toledo Bend, but we discovered that the bass on the shallow flats in Six Mile, Housen, and Toro really liked MirrOlure’s MirrOdine. I don’t know that we could not have done as well with other lures, but we were catching bass on days when others were struggling.

The lure is a 2 1/2-inch wide-bodied suspending twitch bait that was designed to dupe saltwater fish. We had already learned that the stripers and bass in the river liked it so we decided it might work anywhere a Trap would work and it did!

David was wearing the bass out last week on a newer and slightly larger version of the same lure. “I was throwing the XL which is a little longer and throws better into the wind,” he reported. “I don’t think it looks as much like a Trap as the shorter original version, but you can feel it tick the grass easier and you don’t have to worry about a bass straightening out these hooks.”

We caught the heck out of the fish on bone with a black back and orange belly, but David is sold on the chartreuse with pearl sides. I don’t think MirrOlure could make them fast enough if they made one in red ghost or an orange crawfish pattern.

Trey Smith and I were talking Sunday afternoon about the fact that bass fishermen and saltwater fishermen share a lot of the same soft plastic twitch baits and colors, but for the most part, trout and red fishermen have been the biggest benefactors.

The MirrOdines are an exception that could reap huge dividends for Rayburn and T-Bend anglers this spring. I have caught a lot of bass on the Catch V and Top Pup as well, but they were most effective when smaller bass were schooling or chasing shrimp on the river. The MirrOdine and the XL, however, have already proven that they will catch big bass throughout the spawn!