Stabilizing The Spring Bite
For many bass anglers, the early spring bass fishing season is one of anticipation mixed with frustration, primarily because unstable weather patterns leading to rapidly changing water conditions can make locating bass (and getting them to bite) challenging. The following information gleaned from professional bass anglers will help you achieve success during your upcoming bass outings and slam more bass!
Water temperature is the single most crucial factor determining bass location and activity level in early spring. Bass (as well as baitfish and crawfish) are cold-blooded, meaning their body temperature matches the temperature of their surroundings. Bass instinctively gravitate to warmer water in order to maximize their feeding opportunities — to “fatten up” prior to their upcoming spawning season. Even a one-or two-degree water temp difference can be huge during the spring months.
Volatile weather patterns typical of early spring also impact bass behavior. Heavy rains send muddy water gushing into reservoirs, this murky runoff is often considerably warmer than lake water and can draw bass surprisingly shallow. A cold front – typified by bluebird skies north winds and a sharp temperature drop – commonly follows spring rainstorms; here, bass will usually hold tight to rock and wood cover and remain there until conditions stabilize.
Early Spring Lures For Bass Fishing
- Squarebill crankbaits
- Use across submerged wood and rock cover in murky reservoir tributaries.
- Lipless crankbaits
- Comb reservoir flats, near rocky points and weedlines in natural lakes.
- Swim jigs / Jigs
- Pitch jigs to isolated stumps, logs, and rocks, especially during cold fronts.
- Use on steep banks in clear lakes with a jerk/pause/jerk retrieve.
- Shaky head finesse worms
- Target submerged rock and wood. Using a hop/stop/shake retrieve.
Where to Cast In Early Spring
North Shore – In early spring, the water on the north shore of the lake is often 5 degrees warmer than elsewhere. Hit this area hard on your first bass outings of the season, keying on isolated cover in protected coves and pockets.
Riprap – Rock often trumps all other bass cover in early spring. Riprap at the mouths of murky reservoir tributaries can be a major bass magnet now. Bass stack up here to gorge on crawfish, a perfect scenario for a squarebill crankbait.
Channel Banks – Bass follow submerged reservoir channels like highways, using them to move progressively shallower as the water warms. In clear lakes, slice-cast a jerkbait to these structures, in murky lakes, target scattered rock and wood cover along the bank with a jig.