Apparently the only thing it took to get the big bass moving on Toledo 

Bend was a mini-shot of warmer weather.That, combined with our slightly 

longer days, was enough to spur the largemouth interest in shallower water!

Only last week, Brad DesLatte sent me a picture of a bass in the 7 to 

8-pound class that his brother-in-law, Charles Swann caught while 

fishing off his dock at night.It wasn’t a planned trip, but after 

working too long he decided take a break and just pitch a jig out under 

his lights.That was not the first big bass that Swann and his wife have taken that 

close to their camp, but it is another positive sign for antsy bass 

fishermen.He said the water was still off-colored in the McGee’s area, 

but obviously not enough to bother the fish.Deron Teal sent me a text Sunday night asking if it would be ok to send 

me a couple of pictures of fish.I no sooner replied in the positive than 

the images popped up on the phone.I was shocked!

Initially, because you seldom see most fishermen ever keep big bass, but 

more so due to the size of the bass lying on top of the cooler.He said 

the largest bass was a little over eight pounds and it was difficult 

telling which one was the largest of the seven fish.Their bulging 

stomachs indicated that they were probably already carrying eggs.

Deron and his neighbor won a little tournament Saturday with a five bass 

stringer weighing 24-pounds 11 ounces.We were cranking Traps over six to 

eight feet of grass in the Housen Bay area, but because there were so 

many boats I told the boys to just stay around the camp the next day.

“They had baseball scrimmages all day Saturday so they couldn’t fish 

until Sunday,” said Deron.“They got up bright and early around noon and 

didn’t catch their first bass until four o-clock.”The two youngsters were fishing an orange crawdad three quarter ounce Trap over shallow grass somewhere between Toro bay and Red’s Point.“They couldn’t tell me exactly where they were,” said Deron, “but I will know 

by the time they leave!Before signing off, Deron added, “We live up here so we can pick our 

days, but we have not had a year in the past six years that we haven’t 

caught at least one nine pound bass in Housen Bay in 

February.John-Paul’s eleven pounder was the largest. He is predicting a very good run on big bass this year due to all of the  new hydrilla.“It doesn’t help the bass that much, but it sure helps the fishermen.Any break in the grass can hold a big bass waiting to spawn.”

While there are a whole lot of folks that just can’t master pitching or 

flipping, virtually all of them carry at least one rod designed to do 

just that.Some of them just don’t like to fish either technique, but 

they still carry a pitching stick out of self-defense.

What I really can’t understand is the number of fishermen that know how 

deadly the Trap is this time of the year, but refuse to purchase a rod 

designed to make fishing it much easier. There are those days when you 

can simply cast a half ounce Trap as far as possible and wind it back in 

and catch bass, but that technique seldom fools big bass.

The majority of the big bass that fall for a three-quarter ounce Trap 

every year inhale the lure as it is jerked free from the vegetation and 

allowed to fall again.Deron said that neither of the boys said that they 

ever felt one of those big bass hit their lure.It felt as though they 

were momentarily hung up in the grass and then the line started moving.

The only debate amongst the anglers I talk with is reel speed and 

whether to use braid or fluorocarbon line.Virtually all of them are 

fishing a 6 foot 10 inch or longer rods with a fast action.The rod has 

very little flex other than the tip section making it not only easier to 

cast long distances, but easier to jerk the trap free from the grass as 

well.

The fact that you did not detect the strike does not mean that you have 

missed the fish, but it does man that she is already digging deeper into 

the grass.Fishing a Trap can work you to death, but it keeps you in the 

game for the bass of your dreams!