Spring is one of the best times of the year to be on the water in search of bass. Whether you’re after largemouth, smallmouth, or spotted bass, you can expect active fish. The techniques and places you should fish depend on where you are in the country, what the water temperature is, what kind of lake you’re fishing, and what the fish eat. That’s what we’ll discuss in this article.
Spring is a time of transition for bass, just like every other species of fish and wild animal. Bass are moving from their winter haunts to the areas they will live for the rest of the year, until cold weather in the fall brings them back into deep water. The exact period of time when they make this movement can provide some of the most exciting fishing of the year.
- Early Season:
Early spring fishing is the most unpredictable. Water temperatures are the lowest at this time, and the fish are more likely to be sulking in deeper water. Generally, you can expect to find bass in deep water when the water temperature is below 45 degrees. At this time, it is necessary to fish deep and slow. Jigging spoons and soft jerkbaits are top baits.
Once the water gets into the 45 to 55 degree range, the bass begin to move into shallower water, and become much more active. This is when more traditional bass tactics finally come into play. Now you will want to fish shore-line cover, like stumps, rocks, and weed-beds. Still, it is best if you are in relatively close proximity to fairly deep water. Spinnerbaits are especially good at this time, but you can also do very well on crankbaits, plastic worms, and other soft plastics. During this pre-spawn period, the bass fishing can be, and in fact usually is, fast and furious.
Finally, when the water temperature inches its way into the 55 to 60 degree range, the bass will begin to move onto their spawning beds. There is an ongoing debate over whether it is ethical to fish for spawning bass, but that’s not the purpose of this article. It must be said, however, that most fisherman consider it extremely unethical to keep bass caught off a spawning bed. If you do want to catch them off their beds, there are several good ways to go about it. One excellent way to do this is by finding a bed, and inching a tube bait along it to provoke a bass to bite. Others like to fish noisy topwater lures over the same area. Then just make sure to release them as quickly and gently as possible, to help insure the future of the bass population.
Once the spawn is over, the bass come off their beds, and are hungry after several weeks of not eating. This is a good time to score a nice fish. Plastic worms, crankbaits, and jigs are good at this time. The fish will be a little spawned out and emaciated, so they aren’t as heavy, and don’t fight as hard as they do other times of the year. Still, the fishing can be quite fun this time of year. No matter where you live, you have some excellent bass fishing to look forward to this year. So starting getting your tackle ready, and plan a trip to your local bass lake. Just keep these tips in mind, and you’re likely to have a great day!