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Jordan Lee's Tactics for Prespawn Bass on Big G

Prespawn Bass on Lake Guntersville

Jordan Lee’s tactics for finding and catching bass in March on Lake Guntersville.

By Eileen Davis

Guntersville is definitely on my list of places to fish,” said Damon Abernethy, Assistant Chief of Fisheries in the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division. “Anglers are catching plenty of 10-pound bass, and there are not a lot of places where you have that opportunity other than Guntersville.”

Winning tournament angler and guide Jordan Lee reports anglers fishing for prespawn largemouth in March can expect to catch 15 bass a day weighing 3 1/2 to 5 pounds.

“There are a lot of 4 to 5 pound bass on the lake,” Lee said. “The numbers have decreased over the years, but the quality size fish are still there.”

Lee’s primary pattern for catching prespawn bass is to work weedlines at depths of about 8 feet on the main lake with swimbaits and lipless crankbaits. 

In March, he says eelgrass offers the best fishing. If you are not familiar with eelgrass, it has ribbon-like leaves nearly an inch wide and up to several feet long. The vertical leaves grow without branching, making it perfect cover for predator and prey alike. Another important reason Lee targets eelgrass is its early growth in spring.

“Eelgrass stays green,” Lee said, “and is thicker than hydrilla in March, so it attracts bass. To find patches of eelgrass, move down the river channel and use side scan sonar to mark the grass, and then return to fish those areas. If not, you will waste time fishing where there is no grass.

“By staying on the main river, you can find groups of fish and some good size fish as well. My favorite area is from mid-lake down to Siebold. It’s always a prime area to fish, as the bass stage on the river. Instead of relating to the bank, bass use the grass lines at depths of 7 to 8 feet.”

To effectively work eelgrass while maximizing casting distance to keep his lures in the strike zone longer, Lee has 7-foot, 4-inch rods rigged with swimbaits and lipless crankbaits in 1/2- and 3/4 ounce weights. He uses the heavier lures when he wants to cover even more water.

“Mix it up between the 6-inch Shadalicious and the Red Eye Shad by Strike King,” Lee said. “The only reason not to throw a swimbait is if water visibility is less than a couple of feet. The Red Eye is the best lure for dirty water.

“Retrieve the lures so they are in the grass, but not so deep they get hung.” 

Jordan Lee demonstrates how to rig swimbaits he designed for Berkley.