More Thoughts on Spring Fishing

If you want to catch a big bass now is the time. As the weather warms the water temperature each day, big bass are turning to the shallows to forage on shad and crawfish while looking for spawning areas. Our biggest problem has been cold front after cold front and the shallow water temperatures have been seesawing up and down. The bass are following suit - shallow when it's warm and backing off when it's cold.

Remember one thing it's spring and the big bass want to come to the bank with just the slightest warming trend. Three techniques for big bass at this point are spinnerbait, shallow crankbait, and the Carolina rig. If I find a good flat with a creek channel running through it or a deep cove with a flat near the mouth of it, you're in business. One other good sign to look for is fish birds as this means bait fish in the area.

I will usually start out slow rolling a 3/4 oz. Ledgebuster spinnerbait on 17 lbs. Stren Super Tough line along the edge of the channel or flat. If it's a good looking area and I feel I have overlooked fish, I will go back through with a shallow running crankbait like the Suddeth. I like a flat bait in the early spring (red is a good color). Pay close attention to your Raymarine L470 and try to find a contour line to follow. In other words don't look at the bank, look at your electronics and keep the boat in on the depth zone. I usually try to start in 10 to 12 foot and if this doesn't work I will move in shallower. If I cross a point or hump I will fan cast it with a Carolina rigged Zoom lizard usually green pumpkin with the tail dipped in Spike-it chartreuse or red dye about 1 inch. Alternate between 6 and 8 inch lizards. There is no finer plastic bait in early spring than a lizard for big bass. Spray with Jack's Juice crawfish scent. Use a little longer leader in early spring about 40 inches and a 1/0 or 2/0 Mustad Ultra Point hook. You don't want to use too big of a hook because it will not let your lizard float around naturally.

One key is to work an area thoroughly, if you feel it is good. If you catch fish on one technique and they stop biting try all three techniques before you leave.

One other really good pattern in the early spring is to fish nothing but secondary points leading to spawning areas. You need to concentrate on three sides of these points more so than on the ends. The other thing to remember is with all these fronts coming through, the bass are backing off when its cold and moving in when its warm. So make adjustments with the weather, thinking all the time the fish haven't left the area, they have just moved shallower or deeper.

If it's colder, slow down your retrieves and pick up the pace if it warms up. This applies to all three techniques. I believe the water temp is the most critical thing to pay attention to this time of year and vary your depths and retrieves according and you will do ok.

Good luck in your fishing and try a Gator Grip Pro Series handle on your reel. It will give you not only better grip but a lot more power.

May God bless you and take a kid fishing!

 


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