Want to catch a big bass?

Want to catch a big bass?

As in a double-digit, state record challenging bass, the kind of fish that will make you famous?

Then there might not be a better time of the year to try to do so than right now through February.

Just be sure that you adjust your fishing to include the right lure colors, the right lure sizes, the proper presentation speeds for those lures, and the right mind set.

So says Bassmaster Elite Series and Major League Fishing pro Kelly Jordon of Palestine, Texas.

First, get the color of your lures right.

Jordon says that the craw color is especially important early in the year because big female bass are loading up on calories in preparation for the spring spawn and will often key in on protein-rich crawfish.

And since balls of shad seeking warmer water are always fair game for largemouths, Jordon says that shad-colored hues are also an important mainstay early in the year.

Size matters too. In most cases, that means bigger baits.

"Fish are looking for a big meal at this time of the year," said Jordon. "You’re using big fish baits like jigs, lipless crankbaits, slow-rolled spinnerbaits, and suspending jerkbaits."

Another key principle for wintertime fishing success in January and February is to use a S-L-O-W lure presentation.

Get the bait into the fish’s strike zone, maintain it there as long as possible, and then give the lure just enough tantalizing action that the big bass can’t help but eventually react with a quick strike.

A final key to successful big bass angling during the winter months is to be tough minded.

Because big bass hunting is a lot like bowhunting for tough, mature, big-racked trophy white-tailed bucks wizened up by experience and old age.

Meaning that like a trophy buck hunter, a trophy bass angler knows going in that they’re not going to get a lot of action on a typical winter angling day.

But when they do, it will be remembered for the rest of their lives.

"You’re not fishing for a lot of bites and you’ve got to know that’s what you’re doing before you go," said Jordon. "You’ve got to be a little mentally tough.

"You know that if you do get bit, chances are it’s going to be a pretty nice fish."

Maybe even nice enough to make you famous.