Springtime can be an exciting time to fish for bass. Having the right baits on and knowing what the bass are doing makes a day of fishing great or frustrating depending on your preparation.
In early springtime, bass move adjacent to flats to start the feeding fest prior to spawning. They’re slower early on but as the water warms they really start chasing and that is the time we can really load the boat.
Position your boat around the outer edge from the flat, ideally inside ten to twelve feet of water. Bass will hold close to bottom transitions—areas in which gravel turns to mud, or mud turns to rock chunks, or you have emerging grass. I like to fan cast from deep to shallow to find exactly where they are staging.
Most of us have our own favorite spring time lures we like. I have also come to the conclusion that my favorite lures are sometimes a hindrance for me. I get so caught up in fishing the red rattle trap, the swim jig, slow rolling spinner baits that I forget why I am on the water.
Reaction baits of choice:
Swim Jig – primarily one of the easiest and hardest lures to fish. I give this to my wife on early spring trips and say real it in slow. This happens to get her a lot of hook ups early on. I then try to duplicate it and make the lure do more than what it needs to. A very slow retrieve in early spring will trigger some good strikes. One of my favorites lures to use.
Rattle trap – I opt for two colors, a red version, and a chrome and purple. Majority of the time it is the red colored one versus the chrome. I switch to the chrome on those high blue bird skies in early spring.
Spinner-bait/chatterbait – also try to keep the colors to a minimum when using these. White/red, and a blue gill colored bait are my favorite’s colors to use. I try to go with the gunmetal color blade.
Bass strikes can be light in colder water. If you feel a tick or even feel any suspicious weight on the line, set your hook hard.
So what happens when the area you fish gets pounded week after week with reaction baits? This is something that I recently experienced. I had caught 16 pounds of bass in one area and the next weekend could not buy a keeper bass. So what happened? Did the fish move? I know a lot of tournaments were held and that the area I like gets a lot of pressure. The reaction baits were not producing at all.
Although I know what I should have done, the possibility with each toss of the rattle trap kept me throwing the reaction baits. What I should have done was rigged a couple of plastic lures on and fished the area really slow. The soft plastic bait may not have the flash of more modern lures, but nothing has produced more fish than a well rigged soft plastic. In springtime, the key for you to fishing soft plastics is keeping things at a minimum. Go along with smaller baits which have natural looking colorings. While actually fishing with it, keep unneeded movement to a minimum, giving the plastic bait a small pull every few seconds.
I hope you have a great spring time and some of this information helps you put more fish in the livewell.