Fishing & Boating News

Big Bass in December

by: Ricky Vandergriff,

Ricky with a nice bass.
Photo by courtesy Ricky Vandergriff
(Nov. 25, 2011 - )

December is a month when most of your outdoors man are still hunting and others getting ready for Christmas and then there are the ones that have already taken their bag limit of deer and are now thinking about fishing and getting ready for the spring spawn.

This group of fisherman that put their boats into storage in September and don't think of their boats until late December or even later will be the group that have to pull their rigs down to the boat shop to get them worked on because they didn't take care of their boats when they placed them into storage. That's right they will spend several hard earned dollars because they didn't do a few easy steps when they put their boats away.

Here are a few things you can do to make sure you have your rig ready for fishing when you decide your ready. Use a good gas additive that will keep the moisture out of your fuel and another expensive item is your batteries. As you know during the year while fishing you seldom ever have problems with your batteries due to the constant use but when we put our rigs up for a few months our batteries will tend to go bad, here are a few things you can do to help prevent that happening. First if a battery is being used it will tend to last longer, so try this, get a 12 volt bulb and plug it into an extension cord and hook the other end to your batteries and let the bulb run your batteries down slowly and keep a charger hooked up on a timer so that it will come on and recharge your batteries slowly with about a 2 amp charge and once a month check your water in the batteries just as if you were fishing each day. Now I know your not fishing and out there with your boat so you will tend to forget about your rig during this time so do as I do, you have your monthly bills that need to be paid marked on a calender so put check battery water on the calender to remind you, it works for me so it should work for you as well. This will keep everything good on into the spring if you don't choose to fish sooner.

Now for those that fish all year like I do well a little gas treatment will still be good to put in your tank because as we all know with all the additives they put in our gas these days our rigs will still need a bit of help to keep the carbon from building up on our pistons.

Now lets take a minute and talk about our lake levels and surface temperatures. Lake Palestine is about 6 1/2 feet low, the lake for the most part is clear and the surface temps are in the upper 50's to the mid 60's. Bass are good to 8 lbs., crappie are good on jigs with some good stringers of 1 lb. Size. Sand Bass and Hybrids have been fair on points early and late and catfish are good on jug lines and trout lines.

As I said a moment ago our lake is low so watch for the stumps and sand bars when running the lake and be safe while on the water.

We have now talked about lake levels, boat maintenance and a little bit about the fishing but I haven't got into why we fish during the cold days of December.

Now let's look at our bass and why this can be such a good month for fishing for big bass.

December is the month that the big bass begin to get ready for the spawn. They started putting on weight in November with their egg rolls starting to develop and now in December the egg rolls will get even larger and the bass will get even heavier as the month moves toward the end. The bass will continue to get larger and with this they will feed fewer times during the month, but when they do feed they will eat bigger quantities and the bait fish they feed on will tend to be larger so that they wont have to work so hard to fill up during this feeding time.

Now that we know the bass eating fewer times and feeding on larger bait fish we will need to know good locations to find these bass. As we have all heard in the years past 100% of the bass bass can be found in only 10% of the lake. Now as most are thinking where is that 10% well your lake can be divided up into sections to make it a smaller area to fish. Once you break it up you should have a north end a south end a west side and yes a eastern side. Now let's break it down smaller we know that the water temps are colder now than normal due to the cold fronts moving through so lets try to make our section warmer than normal but how do we make this happen? Well it's simple the eastern section of any body of water will normally always be warmer than any other section of the lake due to it having the warm rays of the sun on it for a longer period of time.

Now that we have the lake broken into sections we can work the eastern section of each section and have the warmer waters. Now that we have this part broken down now lets look for creek channels or drainage ditches in these areas for the fish to use as highways because these channels will be where your bait fish will work up and down each day to find the food they live on and with this this will be where the large bass will be as well.

Now lures to catch these fish with I have several lures I like and to name a few they are (1) a lure I build and it is a lure that I will fish with just about every time I go fishing. The Diamond Head Jig. I fish a jig just about every time I go fishing some time during the day, another lure is my Shimmy Shaker Swim bait I can fish this lure like a jig slow off the bottom or I can fish it moving like a spinner bait, and another lure is the spinner bait. I build my own spinner baits as well and during the cold weather I will build one with a small gold/silver Colorado blade with the larger blade being a silver willow blade this spinner bait seems to match up with the bait fish very well and last I like to throw a Bomber BD6 crank bait they work well when you have some open water near the channel where I'm fishing.

I will fish each of these lures slow and with the water being colder you should cast into a spot several times so that you give the bass a chance to hit your lure because he will be very slow to react so you will need to give him a chance to make you a winner when the day is done. December is a month to score big in bass fishing and you can at times catch good numbers of bass but normal fishing trips you won't catch the numbers but you will have that chance of a life time to land that trophy bass you always dreamed of.

Remember that when you do catch that trophy bass she really needs a chance to go back into the water so that she can hatch out the eggs she is caring so that she can help us the fisherman keep a sport we all love so much to carry on another year. If you want that wall mount do as I do carry a good scale to weigh your fish on and a roll up tape measure so you can measure her girth and length and get a replica made of your life time bass. If you need a great taxidermy try the guys I use Jason and Clayton at the Lake Fork Taxidermy they will make your replica look better than real.

Well I could talk fishing with you for ever, but I guess I need to go for now because I have my boat in the water and my favorite lures tied on and I think another big bass is waiting on me to cast her way.

Until next month stay well, have a great Christmas and a good New Year and look for me on the water, I would love to hear some of your favorite fish stories and PLEASE REMEMBER TO KEEP ONLY THE FISH YOU CAN USE AND RELEASE THE REST FOR OUR KIDS TO CATCH TOMORROW. THE FISH WE SAVE TODAY IS THE FUTURE FISHING TRIPS WE HAVE THE NEXT TIME WE GO.

If you have interest in the lures I build and talk about in my reports you can now go to my web-site and see all the lures I build and you can order the lures of your choosing. I am set up with pay pal so that your purchases can be made with ease.

Visit my rickysguideservice web-site to buy lures or book fishing trips all from your home or office and did you know that I have gift certificates too. That's right you can buy a gift certificate for that special person this Christmas and fix them up with fishing trips for the up coming year on Lake Palestine or Lake Fork and I have gift certificates for the lures I build as well.

With each gift certificate purchased for fishing trips this Christmas I will include a lure pack with 2 jigs, 1 - Lake Fork 430 special spinner bait and 1 of my famous Shimmy Shakers for free that's right, a $25.00 lure pack for free. So what are you waiting on CALL OR EMAIL ME TODAY.

Thank you for reading my fishing articles and your phone calls through out the years and my many thanks to everyone that has fished with me in my past 36 years of working as a professional fishing guide and to the ones who come back each year and many years to come.

From my family and myself to you and your family our prayers go out to each of you that this holiday season will be safe and that this will be the best Christmas season you have ever had. Remember our lord and why this wonderful day comes to us each year and he will remember you.

Ricky Vandergriff
(903)561-7299 office
(903)530-2201 cell
rickysguideservice.