Big Lazer Creek PFA: Big Bass Farm-Pond Style

Mike Vosler likes the small-pond feel and the big bass he catches at Big Lazer Creek.

Brad Bailey | April 26, 2006

One of Mike’s favorite baits at Big Lazer in March is a merthiolate-colored Trick Worm.

If you don’t have access to a farm pond for bass fishing, you might consider trying Big Lazer Creek PFA.

Mike Vosler of Riverdale is a small-lake, bass-fishing specialist, and Big Lazer Creek PFA in Talbot County is one of his favorites. The reason is simple: fishing the lake is like fishing a big farm pond that is full of structure — and full of husky bass.

“A lot of lakes have a tree or a stump that you can fish, and then you move on down the bank to fish the next one,” said Mike. “This lake has cover everywhere.”

While the draw is fat bass, the scenery here ain’t bad either. Because the lake is located on Big Lazer Creek WMA, the shoreline is undeveloped. You won’t see houses on the bank, but you may well see deer, turkeys, eagles, osprey and geese.

Mike has fished the lake 20 or 30 times a year for the past eight or nine years. While you can expect company on a sunny Saturday, there is little competition on most weekdays.

The 195-acre lake was constructed in 1987 and opened to fishing in June of 1988 (GON was there to report on the grand opening).

The lake at Big Lazer was originally envisioned as one big, outstanding bream pond. The state fertilized the lake and hoped to create a fishery centered on bruiser bluegill and shellcracker. The big bream fishery didn’t develop, but the consolation prize was the creation of one big, outstanding bass pond.

You can launch any size fishing boat in Big Lazer from two excellent concrete ramps, but boats are restricted to idle speed only. Mike fishes from an 8-foot, 4-inch Bass Hunter. The lightweight, shallow-draft boat works well in the small lakes like Big Lazer, High Falls, J.W. Smith, and Blalock that Mike prefers to fish. But in the small boat you just have to watch out on your back-cast that you don’t snag your fishing buddy’s hat.
Mike’s boat is equipped with a 44-lb. thrust trolling motor mounted on the back, and a 27-lb. thrust motor on the bow. You can’t water ski behind it, but with both motors running wide open, it gets you quickly around a lake the size of Big Lazer.

March is prime bassin’ time at Big Lazer, and a good time to catch a big sow before the spawn.

Mike suggests wasting no time and says to start fishing right at the ramp.
“The area around the dock and the fishing pier are good places to run a crankbait,” he said.

Just uplake of the fishing pier is a flat that is also prime water to crank or slow-roll a spinnerbait.

In March, Mike is likely to continue up the lake.

“From the island across from the ramp on up has the most shallow water, and it’s the best place to be when the fish begin to move up,” he said.

This part of Big Lazer is about as target-rich a fishing environment as you could imagine, with uncountable stumps, logs, stickups, and grass clumps to cast to.

Mike’s top pick in March on Big Lazer is a spinnerbait.

“I think you have a better chance at a bigger bass, and you can cover more water faster,” he said.

He likes either a 3/8-oz. Ol-Nelle or Terminator with a chartreuse/white skirt and willow-leaf blades. Mike tries to make the blade spin right up to stumps and stickups. When it hits, he pauses and lets it drop before continuing the retrieve. That pause-and-drop can often be the difference in triggering a strike from an indifferent bass that is just watching the bait go past.

When the fish aren’t aggressive enough to run down the spinnerbait, Mike slows down by fishing a Trick Worm.

Mike fishes a Trick Worm weightless with a No. 2 Gamakatsu hook on a two-foot leader with a swivel. The swivel helps you avoid excessive line twist, and it gives the rig a little weight, making it both easier to cast and helping to keep the worm down.

Bubblegum and merthiolate are two of Mike’s favorite colors on Big Lazer. On bright, sunny days, he says white is worth throwing, too.

With all the shallow cover, topwater fishing can be exceptional as the water warms in March. Popping a topwater chugger like a blue/silver Pop-R or a Chug around the stumps and grass is a good way to get your rod bent.

Mike uses a metal clip to swap one plug for another, and he says the clip gives the topwater plugs more side-to-side movement than if the plug is tied straight in line with the fishing line.

While he likes the chugging and splash that Pop-Rs make, Mike picks a Baby Zara Spook and its erratic zig-zag retrieve as his favorite topwater plug at Big Lazer.

You can expect the bass at Big Lazer to be short, thick and deep-green colored in the fertile lake, like they came out of a south Georgia farm pond. You can also expect some nice-sized fish.

“I catch a lot of bass in the 4- to 5-lb. range,” said Mike.

He said that he has caught more than 30 bass over five pounds from the lake.

Bass up to 11 pounds have been caught from the lake in early spring.
One of the best big-bass baits you can tie on before you head for Big Lazer is a buzzbait. Mike fishes a 1/4-oz. chartreuse/white Ol-Nelle buzzbait. The lure has a clacker on it to make it more attractive to bass.

“You can catch fish on a buzzbait all day,” said Mike. “Some of the best fish have come on a buzzbait in the afternoon.”

In March, when the bass are beginning to move up and feed more aggressively ahead of the spawn, a crankbait is a reliable bass-catching lure. Mike will generally have at least one crankbait tied on when he arrives at Big Lazer. He likes a 3/4-oz. fire-tiger Hot Lips because it digs a little deeper. A 3/4-oz. Fat Free Shad in the Tennessee-shad pattern is also a good pick at Big Lazer, says Mike. The drawback to a crankbait, however, is grass. As the water warms, and the grass grows, throwing a diving, wobbling lure with twin, exposed treble hooks, at least in the upper half of the lake, amounts to fishing for grass more than bass.

A crankbait will catch bass later in the spring, but you need to move out and crank the old creek-channel ledges on the lower end of the lake.
When the grass gets thicker, Mike may try a Texas-rigged Zoom U-tail with a 3/8-oz. weight. Tequila sunrise, junebug and pumpkin seed with a chartreuse tail are good colors here.

Mike and his fishing partner Joel Milner of Talbotton fish in some of the jonboat bass tournaments. On one tournament at Big Lazer they caught 35 keeper bass (over 14-inches), and their best five weighed 21 pounds.
Big Lazer Creek is worth a look in March — with a fishing rod in your hand.

Big Lazer Creek PFA is open to anglers from sunrise to sunset. The minimum size limit for bass is 14 inches, and the daily limit is five. Anglers 16 and older must have a current WMA stamp as well as a valid fishing license, or a Sportsman’s license.

You can reach Big Lazer Creek PFA from Talbotton by travelling east on Hwy 80 for four miles. Turn left on Po Biddy Road and go 6.4 miles. Turn left on Bunkham Road and follow it onto the area.

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