Soft Plastic Stickbaits
This is undoubtably the best time of year to go fishing. Most all the bass are in shallow water, making them easier to find and they are in a feeding mode. I probably put more miles on my Nitro this time of year than any other. My Motorguide also gets a good work out and it is usually wide open, since I will fish faster in April and May than any other time of the year. I'm looking for active fish and usually running a 3/8 oz. Edgebuster spinnerbait or a lipless XPS crankbait. Once I get into an area of feeding fish then I will slow down to a 5 inch Zoom U-tail worm Texas rigged or a Carolina rigged 6 inch Zoom lizard. You want to make sure you have a good set of Trojan Batteries and a good Guest Charger.
Moving fast is the best way to locate an area with feeding bass. Another great technique to use this time of year is a floating worm (Zoom Trickworm). I will fish this on a Bass Pro Shop 6 ft. Med Action Woo Daves' series rod, Extreme reel 40, and 10 lbs. Stren Super Tough line, rigged with a ball bearing swivel about 12 inches in front of worm to eliminate line twist. Just go down the bank kind of parallel casting and hitting each target you come to. Don't let the worm sink out of site, fish on a stop and go retrieve letting the worm fall about 12 to 18 inches then twitch back to the surface. When a fish takes it, let him have it a few seconds before setting the hook.
The hook can be very important as a light wire Mustad Ultra Point hook (1/0 or 2/0) is used for slower retrieves and a heavy gauge (2/0 to 4/0 Mustad) is used for faster retrieves..Keep several different colors ( white, yellow, pink, merthiolate, black) in your Plano box as color can make a big difference and I change until I find one they like. Towards May top water comes into play especially early and late and all day on cloudy days.
One problem most fisherman make with top water lures is they fish them on a heavy action rod. I designed the 6 ft. med light Woo rod for top water lures. The limber tip will give the lure a lot more natural action and keep it in the strike zone a lot longer. XPS top water lures are my favorite and a buzzbait can be real effective. If you try buzzbaits use a 11/8 oz. for a while then try a 1/4 oz., and then a ½ oz. different days or times of the day and use the one which works better than the others. I very seldom fish any top water lures on less than 14 lbs. Stren line. Lighter lines tend to sink and take away from the action of your lure. Again try alternating slow and fast retrieves until you get something going.
Another favorite lure of mine especially in the spring is the 4 inch Possum Shad lure in a pearl finish. This little soft plastic lure can be fished just like a jerkbait and is deadly on bass. Also the Possum Lure bream is deadly around bream beds, boat docks, and in the shallow flats. A lot of time I will just dip the tail section in Spike-it chartreuse dye and this will drive the bass wild. They work best on 12 lbs. Stren line and fish them with a jerking erratic motion (like a stop and go) and hang on.
Two new great products to try are the Reel Thang, a great gadget for putting line on your reels and storing line. For information see their web site: www.thereelthang.com and the Line Keeper a great product for use in dropshotting, Carolina rigging, and just holding your line on your rod. See them at www.linekeeper.com
Be sure and wear your SOSpenders life vest while on the water and may God bless each of you.