Posted by Brandon Rapp on 05/08/18
Unlocking the Secrets to Spring Bass Fishing
There is no better time to be a bass than in the spring. The water is finally warming up, food is becoming readily available and on top of all that, it is time to spawn. With bass activity in motion, spring bass fishing is some of the best bass fishing anglers have all year long. Some believe that bass are in such a feeding frenzy priming for the spawn that it is easy to catch them. On the contrary, it still takes the right bass fishing gear and a thorough understanding of spring bass tactics to land largemouth and smallmouth bass this time of year.
Breaking Down Spring Bass Fishing with 5 Proven Tactics
Before you start prepping your gear and spring bass fishing lures, there are five proven bass fishing techniques to know if you want to catch them in the spring.
- Target transitional points – Areas where shallow water meets distinct drop-offs to deeper water are hotspots for locating spawning bass. Bass will use these areas to stage right before the spawn. Also, bass will use deeper water adjacent to spawning grounds to feed during the spawn. Find these zones by using your electronics or depth maps for the particular body of water you are fishing.
- Fish the water temperature – Bass activity in the spring is dictated by water temperature. The typical progression in the spring is as water temperatures move into the upper 40s to mid-50s bass feeding amplifies. During these pre-spawn days, you can find bass feeding around deeper structure such as sunken fish habitat or boulder outcrops. The spawn kicks in when water temperatures get somewhere between 55 and 65 degrees. Locating spawning bass when water temperature falls within this range, therefore, will be key to catching them. Target large, protective flats in the upper end and the north side of lakes, which will be the first areas to see spawning bass.
- Cover a lot of water – One of the best spring bass tactics is to cover lots of water. Bass are constantly moving depending on water temperature as mentioned previously. The more water you can cover when spring bass fishing the more successful you will be. It is unusual this time of year to catch bass in one spot and then catch them in the same spot a few days later. Move around in both rivers and lakes only spending a few casts in a particular spot before moving on to the next. If you catch one, however, sit tight and fish that area hard.
- Pay attention to the water – The old adage of “be aware of your surroundings” is a good saying to remember if you are learning how to catch bass in the spring. It pays to pay attention to the water. Keep your eyes open for baitfish activity near drop-offs where staging bass may be feeding and also eyeball shallows to sight fish spawning bass. A good pair of polarized fishing sunglasses will go a long way in helping you catch more spring bass.
- Bass fishing on sunny days works – As the water temperature dictates bass activity, so does the weather. Long periods of sunny, warmer days not only warm up the water but itgets bass even more active. In contrast, cold and cloudy days will keep bass deep and less likely to strike a passing lure. For results when early spring bass fishing cold water and cloudy days, stick to fishing deep creek beds in reservoirs and slack water behind islands in larger rivers.
Spring Bass Fishing Lures for Catching Spawning Bass
Bass fishing gear ranges from different rod types, line sizes, reel choices and almost unlimited styles of lures. Of course, the choices you make in these categories and all the other gear categories for bass fishing matter. The most important factor out of these is the spring bass fishing lures you select.
You have to be prepared during the spring with two bass fishing techniques, which are complete opposites. The first is fishing slow and methodical with finesse baits. Spring bass fishing slow can be painful but when bass are just beginning their transition into spawn mode it is a must. With finesse baits, you can fish deeper holding areas during colder days when bass are not moving much and are reluctant to chase baits. The complete opposite second bass fishing technique is throwing fast moving reaction baits. This technique is effective as water temperatures rise and bass transition into spawning. Fish will be on the move and feeding aggressively. Reaction baits, such as crankbaits and spinnerbaits, allow you to cover lots of water until you find pockets of catchable bass.
3 Spring Bass Fishing Baits That Produce
Because there are changing conditions when bass fishing in the spring, you have to be prepared with the right lures if you want to consistently catch them. Here are the top three spring bass fishing baits you can rely on to do just that.
1. Finesse worm – A finesse worm like the Berkley Gulp Crawler is versatile enough to be fished slowly in deeper water or Carolina rigged from shallow to transitional waters for bass. A natural color is good for a wide range of water conditions or change to a black colored finesse worm for fishing in dirty water.
2. Tubes – Crayfish are a big part of the forage in the spring, particularly in rivers, so a tube is a natural choice to mimic such prey. The Z-Man TRD TubeZ in the molting craw color is the perfect spring bass fishing lure choice to fish gravel bottoms where bass are preparing to spawn.
3. Crankbaits – Crankbaits, jerkbaits and even spinnerbaits are all good choices when you need to speed things up and cover lots of water. The Bomber Fat Free Shad has a tight wobble and can be fished in a range of water depths. Toss these reaction baits on warm sunny days later in the spring.
The secret to spring bass fishing is that there is no secret. Catching bass in the spring during the spawning cycle revolves around two key concepts. First, focus on proven bass fishing techniques to put yourself in a position where bass will be. Second, be versatile with those techniques and combine them with lures that produce bites such as finesse worms, tubes and fast moving baits like crankbaits, jerkbaits and spinnerbaits. Master these concepts and you will certainly catch bass in the spring!