There is nothing like feeling that thump in your line, reeling up on it, and smashing the hook set on a largemouth. Your rod doubles over as if you snagged a stump and the water boils when the heavy hitter fights with all her might. That feeling is what we chase. That feeling is what we, as fishermen, live for.
A slow spring has made the 2014 Bass Opener a damn good one. Some fish are on beds and some are in pre spawn just cruising. Either way, there are plenty of fish along and near the banks. If you're an old bank beater like myself, this is one of the best scenarios. In the southern part of our great state the water temps are climbing into the upper 70's. Lots of males on the look out and some big old bucket mouths building and bedding. It's game on.
We had the best of luck in and around shallow cattails areas with lots of lily pad roots. It seemed as if every protruding root hosted a bass. This is mainly do to the fact that these areas warm up the fastest. If you fish a likely area in the morning with little success just hit the spot again later in the day when it warms up. You'd be surprised on how many more fish you slam in areas you've already fished. Don't be afraid to fish behind you competitors either, just take it slow.
Our strategy was to keep it stealthy and fish slow. We used a bit lighter gear to help trigger pickyclear water largemouth. This was very doable because the weeds have not choked everything out yet. The fish actually got to fight instead of just torpedoing down into the curly leaf. We pitched small creature baits rigged Texas style all day long. It worked, very well. We ended up boating 45 largemouths. Get out and take advantage of these willing warriors! Game on and fish on. Don't forget to catch, photo, and release!