Lakecaster Online

WOMEN & THE OUTDOORS
By: Sue Crochet

Late February is when we can typically expect to see largemouth bass making beds on Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas lakes. Due to relatively mild winters over the past couple of years, I've noticed that the spawn has reached its peak by late March or early April. The general rule of thumb is that the waters on the north end of a lake will warm more quickly, which initiates the spawn, and these conditions gradually progress down the lake over a period of 3-4 months. Naturally, this means that the end of the spawn will progress in the same way, until the majority of the fish have spawned throughout the lake. However, due to the milder winter temperatures we've been having, the entire lake seems to have entered the spawn at one time, making it end much earlier.

In my early bass-fishing days, when we had some very cold winters, I've seen spawning bass as far into the spring as late May on the south end of Toledo Bend. With the colder temperatures for longer periods of time that we experienced this past December, and the normally colder months of January and February in this part of the country, we will probably see a return of this pattern. This means we'll probably have to bundle up and wear layered clothing to fish for awhile longer, but I for one don't mind seeing the cooler temperatures hang around!

All of this information is strictly speculation of course, so the only way to know for sure is to be on your favorite lake in early February checking water temperatures in the backs of creeks and shallow pockets in bays and on flats. Just as the waters on the north end of a lake will warm more quickly, so will the north bank pockets of creeks and bays. In most cases, 2-3 degree changes in surface temperature will make the difference in whether the bass will bite at all. Once I see surface temperatures in the mid 50s and up, I know that the buck bass will be making beds in that area, and on some lakes, females may already be bedding.

Personally, I don't like taking big females off of beds, especially if it's just to hang her on the wall. First of all, this kills all of the eggs she might have laid, which kills thousands of baby bass... similar to abortion, but more like mass murder. Secondly, I've come to realize that wall mounts get old, brittle, and when we die, no one else really cares about them! Pictures last forever. Finally, conservation is what's brought our lakes back around, making the sport of bass fishing more popular than ever. Our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren have a better chance of enjoying a successful fishing trip and will pass the legacy on if we continue to practice good conservation.

Even as a tournament angler, I hesitate to use the technique of "bed fishing", because it's so unfair to the person fishing in the back of the boat. Therefore, I haven't really practiced this technique, which definitely requires a lot of patience and a certain amount of skill, since bedding bass won't usually take a lure very well. On the other hand, for those anglers who fish in "team" tournaments, this technique could mean the difference between winning and losing several spring tournaments. For these anglers, it's mostly about the money and less about catching their personal best bass, which requires and joint effort. Today, most tournament circuits either deduct weight for dead bass or add weight for live bass. This encourages anglers to keep the bass alive and healthy so that they can be returned to the lake after weigh-in.

If you're headed up to the lake this month, remember to bring plenty of clothes. Our weather is still pretty unpredictable and it's much better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. There's a good chance that there are no department stores close by where you can purchase what you need, but even if there were, why waste money on something you already have?! As I mentioned earlier, layering is the way to go. I find that if I'm uncomfortable I don't fish as well. Both my attitude and my presentation are way off. Why spoil a good day of fishing by not having the proper clothing?

Have you ever noticed that if your head is warm, the rest of your body is warmer? The same is true during the summer months; if the head is cool, the rest of your body is cooler. I absolutely hate to wear a cap! They make my head itch and frankly, I look horrible in a cap. However, there is a point where looks don't mean a thing. Give me a visor and I'll put a wet towel over my head if I get hot! I've also learned that wearing a stocking cap, or something similar that covers my head and ears, will make a bitterly cold fishing day much more pleasant. Like I said, it doesn't hurt to have one... just in case.

Whether you're a woman or a man, you can never overprotect the exposed areas of your body. When running from one spot to another, I've found that my neoprene face mask and ski gloves are best for preventing the cold wind from chafing my face hands. A good moisturizer is a must for preventing chafing when just sitting out in the cold weather, but even in the winter, a good sunscreen is needed to avoid UV ray exposure. This past summer, I started using BeautiControl's new 30+ SPF Booster, which is a combination moisturizer and sun block. Even in the hottest part of the summer, it didn't melt off and one application lasted all day long. During tournaments, I'm the worlds worst about reapplying sunscreen to my face. This product is wonderful!

I also find as I age that my lips are very dry. Just like other parts of my body, I haven't always been the best about taking care of my lips when in the sun, so they've been torched a few times. These days, I keep something in my pocket and reapply all day long. BeautiControl also has lip color with an SPF protectant so that you not only have a little color on your lips if you want it, but your lips are also protected from the suns harmful rays. To restore the color and definition I've lost in my lips through the years, I like to use BeautiControl's Lip Apeel® several times a week. This product exfoliates the dead skin cells and allows new ones to rise to the surface, which makes my lips look healthier and younger. I follow with a lip balm that has healing properties and keeps my lips moist. I like to keep a tube of the balm in my pocket or purse and apply it throughout the day, especially when I'm not wearing lip color.

Preparation is the key to having fun at any kind of sport. One thing's for sure; you can't catch fish if you're not on the water! As they say, "A bad day of fishing is better than a good day working." I hope your next bass is that lunker you've been dreaming about!

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For more information on BeautiControl products or a copy of our latest product guide, you may contact me at (337) 217-9283 or cbasskitten2@cs.com. My web site is located at www.beautipage.com/scrochet. I'm looking for new consultants to start BeautiControl businesses in other areas. Check out my web page for the latest new consultant promotion or call me for more information. I'd love to have you on my team!

The Lake Area Lady Anglers' 2005 tournament schedule will be ready for publication in late January. However, since this article will be submitted in early January, the dates won't be available for publication until the March issue of Lakecaster. You may contact me at the telephone number or e-mail address above for the date and location of our first tournament, which I feel sure will be in February. If you are female, 18 years of age or older, love to have fun, enjoy the outdoors, and like meeting new people, our club is for you! We are always seeking new members, but you can fish as a guest as many times as you like... no obligation. You must have your own fishing tackle, but having your own boat is not a requirement. Give us a try... you'll love it!

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