February Florida bass fishing

February 6, 2024 by lbailey

February Florida bass fishing can be characterized by trophy catches and the spawn. Water temperatures have hit the right temperatures to initiate the spawn. Now is the time to cash in on some big bass fishing here in Florida.

Lee Bailey with an 11 plus largemouth and Jeff with a 6 plus. Caught in February Florida bass fishing

February Florida bass fishing water temperatures in the 50’s is considered really cold!

Wondering where you can catch your next personal best largemouth bass? Central Florida is the ultimate destination to search out some giant bass. This is a bass fishing paradise for all anglers. Getting outdoors is a must when visiting Florida and the beauty these fisheries can bring to your vacation will be unforgettable. Enjoy this February Florida bass fishing in search of trophy largemouth bass!

This is my favorite time of year for bass fishing here in Central Florida. The weathers nice but more importantly the bass are biting and they’re biting allllll day. That’s right, it doesn’t really seem to matter what time you go out you’re gonna catch them. I’ve been averaging 10 to 20+ fish a day on my guide trips! Some days more than that. Even after cold fronts. It’s unbelievable.

Central Florida is a bass fishing paradise for all anglers.

To begin with the fish are in all stages right now. There’s pre-spawn fish, spawning fish, and post-spawn fish. As always it doesn’t seem to matter what time of year it is the best concentration of big fish (and I’m talking real big fish 8 pounds and up). Central Florida’s lakes are absolutely full of maiden-cane, Kissimmee grass, lily pads and reeds. It ALL looks good and it looks like you can just go down any grass edge and catch them.

But if you do that you’ll quickly find out that’s not the case. When February Florida bass fishing what you have to look for is the best OF the best. What I mean by that is you have to find areas of mixed types of vegetation with cleaner water. Area’s with lily pads mixed with Kissimmee grass and reeds maybe with a little bit of submerged vegetation on the bottom with good water clarity.

Anywhere there is an edge of either weeds and/or shell beds will attract fish.

February Florida bass fishing water temperatures in the 50’s is considered really cold! Normally during December and January, you find it in the 60’s. In fact, it is not uncommon to find bass spawning as the New Year rolls in. Weather really dictates the patterns of the fish. 60-degree water is the pre-spawn time. When water temp hits the 70’s, the spawn will get heavy, but that is dependent on the weather. If it is a gradual climb in temperature, the spawn comes slowly. But if it reaches the 70’s with an obvious warming trend, then the spawn kicks in real fast; especially if a full moon coincides.

Bottom composition is key to finding productive fishing areas. A hard bottom is tricky to find because they are constantly being silted over. However, that is also what makes them so special. While 10 feet is considered deep on most Florida waters, five feet is mid-range. That mid-range is where to look for key structure. Seek out offshore grass flats at this depth, Hydrilla is a common weed, but reeds, lily pads, pencil reeds, and cattails also hold fish.

Anywhere there is an edge of either weeds and/or shell beds will attract fish. The edge can be a depth change, or just the edge of a weedbed.

Depth changes can also be great places, “Anywhere the bottom has been dredged can be a hot spot. The deeper water stabilizes, which is a big deal because so much of shallow water fluctuates. Fish can stack up here and hold all winter.”

Florida Bass Fishing Guided trips in Central Florida

See You On The River

This CT River Fishing Guidebook is the most comprehensive compilation of maps, Lees Lures and river Fishing Factors I have ever put together.

See You On The River 2nd addition by Lee Bailey Jr.

Strategies For Bass

Strategies For Bass paperback has the most impressive collection of up-to-date information, anglers will learn everything they need to know to catch more bass.

Strategies for Bass a 228 page book by Lee Bailey Jr.

Late Fall Bass Fishing

December 10, 2023 by lbailey

Late Fall Bass Fishing during the transitional seasons of the year can sometimes seem challenging. With a few key late fall fishing tips, you can bump up your cool weather catch rates while using artificial baits and lures.

Late Fall Bass Fishing can be some fantastic bass catching action. The bass are feeding for the long winter. Shad and bait fish are slow and or dying making it easy for bass to feed. A passing front can trigger some of the best bass fishing action of the year. And a final bonus, there will not be many anglers on the water. Most are hunting, opening up the lake to anywhere you might want to try your hand at catching a bass of a lifetime.

Consider these Late Fall Bass Fishing pointers when heading out to your local spots:

Fishing Factors Late Fall Bass Fishing
  • Use search baits to cover more water. One of the most important fall fishing tips is to cover plenty of water versus spending too much time in one spot. Use search baits, like a crankbait, Binsky blade bait, swimbait or topwater, to quickly locate schools of bass that are chasing shad to fatten up for winter.
  • Fish the flats. Bass generally head into shallow water during the fall months. Check flats that are adjacent to grass beds, and try fishing in 3 to 6 feet of water with a few good fall fishing lures.
  • Note significant drops in water temperature. Another one of the best fall fishing tips is to consider the impact that a cold front will have on the activity level of bass during this time of year. As we transition into late fall fishing and see more significant drops in temperature. Shad will keep moving shallow and so will the big bass.

To sum up, these late fall fishing tips for big bass mean covering more water, fishing shallow flats near grass, downsizing after a temperature drop, and switching your lures if you’re not seeing enough action.

Now you can plan a day of fall fishing with your family,

Get ready for some late season fun on the water with Florida Bass Fishing Guide Lee Bailey Jr!

See You On The River

This CT River Fishing Guidebook is the most comprehensive compilation of maps, Lees Lures and river Fishing Factors I have ever put together.

See You On The River 2nd addition by Lee Bailey Jr.

Strategies For Bass

Strategies For Bass paperback has the most impressive collection of up-to-date information, anglers will learn everything they need to know to catch more bass.

Strategies for Bass a 228 page book by Lee Bailey Jr.

Baby Buzzbait Midsummer Bassing

December 6, 2023 by lbailey

Baby Buzzbait midsummer bassing begins after the hot weather has set in, bass fishing can be fantastic. Warm waters mean an increase in the metabolism of bass, which can lead to more frequent feeding activity. Additionally, Warm waters allow anglers to move faster and burn lures. The Baby Buzzbait™, not only works retrieving it directly by a bass. But also through the edges of their larger strike zones.

Baby Buzzbait™ midsummer bassing begins after the hot weather has set

It’s smaller size, especially the 1/4 oz size allows the bait to be sucked in the bass’ mouth deeper.

When bass are aggressive, anglers can choose between lots of different lure options. Methods and can often use their favorites to score. Still, the most efficient method is usually going to be a faster approach. Smaller -sized offerings are usually best, the water has an abundance of small prey at this time. Picking a lure that can be fished fast, such as a Baby Buzzbait™, spinnerbait, lipless crankbait, is a top option. Swim jigs paired with paddle-tail swimbaits and some blade baits can be good choices as well.

Buzzbaits may all look the same on the shelf, but each has its own special features

While standard-sized offerings can produce, be ready to quickly switch to smaller sized lures if the bite doesn’t pick up. Likewise, while a slower Baby Buzzbait™ midsummer bassing retrieve speed is best, if the standard and slow speeds don’t produce, be ready to radically increase the speed, even faster than the higher-speed approach common when summer bass are active. Burning lures at high speeds can play on the instincts of bass and cause them to attack lures when they normally wouldn’t with slower retrieves.

Baby Buzzbait midsummer bassing may all look the same on the shelf, but each has its own special features that will work better in different places. A basic buzzbait will simply spin the blade on the top of the water making a slight trail behind it and a slight noise as it moves. The Baby Buzzbait™ is the most compact size on the market today. It’s smaller size, especially the 1/4 oz size allows the bait to be sucked in the bass’ mouth deeper. This produces more bass in the boat, resulting in bigger creels and a lot of fun.

Lee Bailey Jr SLOW Baby Buzzbait

Lees Spring Seasonal Approach

December 6, 2023 by lbailey

Lees Spring Seasonal Approach Guide is a system I’ve adapted to help find bass on unfamiliar waters. With spring arriving in most of the northern waters. The spawn completing in the south. I thought a spring time article from my book (Strategies For Bass) would be appropriate. As a retired touring pro, I fished all kinds of lakes and rivers in many regions throughout the year.

Fishing Factors Lees Spring Seasonal Approach

Some diehard early season fishermen know to head for the waters with current. Rivers and river system lakes will most often offer you some of the best early season bass fishing (especially smallmouths) in your area.

Obviously, I didn’t have time to become intimately familiar with each of these venues prior to tournament competition. When you only have three practice days. Unlocking the secrets of a large river system. You need some guidance. Helping you to quickly get on a viable fish catching pattern. Lees Spring Seasonal Approach provides that information, regardless of where or what part of spring I’m fishing. It helps me make educated guesses about where bass are most likely to be. You need to understand all stages of spring bass migration. It’s a system that quickly eliminates unproductive water and helps me home in on areas holding the most bass.

Lees Spring Seasonal Approach Pre-spawn: (48 to 55 degrees)

Some diehard early season fishermen know to head for the waters with current. Rivers and river system lakes will most often offer you some of the best early season bass fishing (especially smallmouths). There are things that are beginning to happen on these bodies of water in the spring that trigger the fish to begin this early season feed. The water temperature and the water level in river systems are on the rise. And we can all feel the suns rays are becoming stronger and more direct. All this is leading to an increased activity level for bait and bass.

Temperatures reaching into the mid to upper 50 degree mark will begin to trigger bass activity. Few however, acknowledge the fact that river smallmouths thrive in SPRING cold water (low 40’s) and will begin the spawn ritual before the water reaches the low 50’s. As mentioned earlier, even a slight increase in temperature is all that is needed to trigger the bites in a river system. A temperature rise from 38-43 degrees is a great temperature change for an early season river basser, especially if it happens over a period of only a few days. Bass will become extremely active during the first water temperature increase they encounter after a long cold winter.

Mid to upper 50 degree mark will begin to trigger bass activity.

Some of my best smallmouth catches on the Connecticut River happen in the early season. “One trip in particular was with a great friend of mine Don Sanzo. We were fishing an early season tournament. The river water temperature was hovering at a whopping 46 degrees. I had found these really big smallmouths holding on a shallow ledge in some of the shallowest and fastest water in the river. We ran 40 plus miles to get to those fish through rapids and some pretty nasty ledge only 18” deep to get there. When we arrived at this ledge we preceded to catch smallmouths from 3-4 pounds. As a matter of fact we hooked up on big smallmouths on the first 12 consecutive casts”. Not only did we have a great day of fishing but we won the tournament and set a standing record for the Connecticut River. A record setting 10 fish limit of smallmouth bass that weighed in at 31.14 pounds.

During this real cold water I prefer to use jigs

Some of the greatest early season smallmouth locations are shallow ledges of shale, gravel or hard packed sand adjacent to drop-offs with scattered rocks, brush and weeds that might have survived the winter. The rocky shore adds warmth to the water and awakens food (crawfish, insects and minnows). This hard bottom also has acted as a current break for these fish to stage near all winter. One thing is for certain rock ledges and shelves stay the same for the bass through-out the winter and high water periods. It is this consistency that makes ledges and rocks the best choice in the spring.

I will usually begin my fishing on these current waters with the water temperature being as low as 42 degrees. During this real cold water I prefer to use jigs, and tubes to entice these early pre-spawn smallies. Fishing however, becomes far better as the water temperatures reaches the mid 40’s, with the action reaching phenomenal proportions when the water temperature reaches the low 50’s. The smallmouths will bunch up in the above mentioned areas; these places will give you action all day. Some of the biggest smallmouths of the year are caught during the rivers early pre-spawn period.

Summer Bass Fishing Tips

December 6, 2023 by lbailey

Summer Bass Fishing Tips will show you that you need to get out early. Fish the shallows hard based on water temperatures and bait. Once it gets hot focus on deeper water where the water temperatures are lower and the bass have structure to ambush bait.

Bass behave in predictable ways based on temperature, food and available structure

I have mentioned this many times bass are a very predictable fish. In general, they will behave a certain way based on three main variables:

  • Water temperature
  • Available food supplies
  • Structure availability

Yes there are tons of other Fishing Factors™ that affect the way a bass or any fish will behave. These include barometric pressure, wind, rain,moon phases, water flow, etc. Almost year round, there’s a short window at the beginning and end of every day when the fish just bite better. The first hour is best quite often, because there are far fewer pleasure boaters on the water early compared to late in the evening,

Summer Bass Fishing Tips choices of preferred lures.

During these low-light hours both early and late, top-waters can be super productive. Choosing something like a buzzbait or a Whopper Plopper will allow you to cover as much water as possible,Maximize the number of bites you can get during these short windows of time.

But slower top-waters like walking lures, poppers and hollow body frogs also work well if you’re fishing targets. So you could choose to run around for that last hour and target laydowns with a Spook for instance. Or try to draw the fish up out of those laydowns that have been hunkered down all day.

BUT if you can figure out the three most important factors. Water temperature, available prey items and available structure, then you are 80% of the way to catching more bass.

Getting good sponsors

December 5, 2023 by lbailey

Getting good sponsors is one of the most asked questions I receive when doing presentations and seminars. There is no precise answer to the question How do I get sponsors? However, there are some unwritten rules. Items you should consider if sponsorships are something that you are looking to obtain.

When thinking about how to get bass fishing sponsors. Many anglers hope that they will have enough money provided by sponsors. Hoping to be able to fish full time. The truth is, only a small group of professional anglers can do that.

Lee Bailey Jr Getting good sponsors

…”bottom line is a sponsor needs to have someone who will successfully promote and sell their product or service”

The first and utmost concern and attitude you should have when approaching sponsors is pretty basic. It seems to be over looked by many new-comers to the bass fishing world. That is to ask yourself, not what the perspective sponsor can do for you. What you will do for them.

…”bottom line is a sponsor needs to have someone who will successfully promote and sell their product or service”. I know this sounds corny. The bottom line is a sponsor needs to have someone who will successfully promote and sell their product or service.

To start you need to consider where in the fishing industry you want to go

Most often a sponsor does not need someone who will just fish tournaments. A sponsor is looking for someone who will WIN tournaments. Develop a good image and following while promoting their products and or services. Remember there are thousands of tournament fishermen. But there are only a few who can promote well.

Getting good sponsors, in the past few years is getting tougher. I have seen these changes accelerate. Platforms like Instagram and YouTube have given anglers the ability to reach larger audiences. Inside and outside of a tournament finish, television appearance, print or other traditional media outlet. It is still a requisite to win or finish high in several tournaments to gain sponsorship with a brand. In some cases, you don’t need to be a fishing expert to influence and impact sales in today’s world. Long time touring pros are seeing their contracts being cut. As in some cases those funds are being re-directed to influences from social media.

To start you need to consider where in the fishing industry you want to go. Consider where your strong points are. That is, do you want to fish tournaments professionally? Do you want to be a major player in the marketing end of the industry? Do you want to do this nationally or regionally. This will help the sponsor know if there is a program or area already in place internally for you.

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