While many anglers in the traditional bass belt are taking full advantage of the prespawn flurry, or at least anticipating the opportunity, those who live in the Deep South have been sight-fishing bedded bass for some time now.

YUM ambassador Scott Larsen of New Port Richey, FL, is one of those fortunate fishermen and he’s well-practiced in the art of stalking shallow-water largemouths. “We’ve been sight-fishing for a few weeks already,” he said, “and there’s nothing I enjoy doing more.”

While bedded bass can be amazingly aggressive, there are just as many times when they turn notoriously finicky, especially when it comes to those oversize female fish which Larsen is convinced are smarter and more timid than the average largemouth. So, over the years he’s developed some guidelines for getting big bass to commit quicker and more consistently.

“First off, don’t go too big with your lure,” he said. “The big females can be intimidated by a larger bait; if they come in at all, they kind of pick at it, or maybe grab it by the tail. With a small lure, they usually try to make a quick kill to get rid of the intruder.”

Larsen’s preference is a 4-inch YUM Lizard on a 2/0 or 3/0 hook with a 1/8-ounce bullet weight. “You don’t need heavy gear either,” he added. “I use a spinning outfit filled with braided line tipped with a 20-pound fluorocarbon leader.”

The next step is to crawl the bait precisely through the area of the nest where the eggs are deposited. “It’s the sweet spot,” he explained. “It doesn’t matter how large the bed is; the eggs are in one spot, and it might be in one corner of the bed. If the female is holding off the bed, which is often the case, she’ll usually have her nose pointed right at it.”

Cast beyond the bed and work the lure toward it, he advised. “And watch the fish as you crawl it in. If you’re close to the sweet spot, she’ll usually get agitated — maybe do a couple 360s. If there’s no strike, make another cast and bring the lure across the bed a few inches to one side of the original path.”

Larsen will repeat the process, covering the entire bed, for as long as it takes to get a hook-up. But even after he’s pinpointed the sweet spot, a crafty female bass might do a fly-by in an attempt to scare the egg-robber out of the nest. Or, she could even swing-and-miss.

“If that happens, put the lure right back on the spot and just shake it gently,” he said. “She’ll be back.”

Whether you share Larsen’s geographic luck-of-the-draw and are sight-fishing right now, or you’re waiting patiently for the season to arrive, give the angler’s methods a try. You might find that you fool more of those clever old girls this spring.