Spring Bass Fishing Tips: Pre Spawn
Spring Bass Fishing Tips: Pre Spawn
Do you know the three phases of spring?
Bass fishing during the spring can be some of the most fun and exciting times to fish during the year. The fish are really aggressive this time of year feeding up to get ready for the spawn.
We call this phase pre spawn. Once the fish move are ready they will move shallow and begin "spawning." This is an especially fun time to catch bass because they are really shallow and you can "sight fish" to catch them. After the fish are done spawning they will move into the post spawn phase. This is a time of recovery for the fish. The fish will be lethargic, but they will also feed like crazy! I am going to explain to you these three phases in detail, how to capitalize on each phase, and how to know when the phases are transitioning.
The Pre Spawn
The Pre Spawn is defined as the period in early spring beginning when bass leave their winter locations and ending when they begin to nest and lay eggs. This is going to be a transitional phase the bass are moving from their deep winter haunts to their spawning grounds. The first question that should pop into your head is, "Where are the deep winter haunts?" and "Where do they spawn?" Great questions!
A winter haunt is a place on the main lake that has quick access to deep water, shad present, and structure. The geographical names for these places are going to be main lake points,ledges, humps, and steep main lake banks. I want to add a keyword in here for you as well, "vertical structure." All these places usually have great vertical structure. Vertical structure is anything that makes a sharp drastic drop. The most common type of vertical structure that people see everyday is bridges. Bridge pilings are great vertical structure for the bass to hang out at. It is perpendicular to the bottom and fish can suspend around it waiting to ambush shad.
Bass will usually spawn on a hard bottom "flat" usually near structure. A flat is a span of shallow water that is generally the same depth. It can be anywhere from 10 feet wide to two football fields wide. These are the areas bass are going to spawn. Basically the fish will be moving from deep to shallow.
Where you want to look for fish during this time of year is going to be anywhere between the deep haunts and the shallow flats. These are going to be places like: main lake points, secondary points, ditches leading back to creeks, and spawning flats. Fish places that are rocky or have lay downs near deep water.
This paragraph will give you a quick guide on when the pre spawn begins. When the water temperature hits about 48 degrees the fish will start what I call staging on points getting ready to move back. Great lures to use when the fish are located here are jerkbaits, football head jigs, shaky heads, drop shots, and spinnerbaits. You are going to work these lures extremely slow because the bass are still lethargic.
Once the water hits between 50-55 degrees the fishing will really pick up. There will be more and more fish heading towards the shallow flats. The nice part about this time of year is that there are fish everywhere throughout the lake. All bass do not spawn at the same time so there will be "waves" of fish that move back. When the water temperature hits 50 and there is a full moon. I will begin to look shallow. Another unique indicator is when the first buds show up on trees. That usually means there is a bass on bed somewhere. Mother nature lets the know when its time: the increasing water temperature, longer daylight hours, and moon phases. Even if the water temps not at the perfect temperature doesn't mean the fish won't be moving shallow. The north part of the lake, on the west banks will heat up first. These banks are getting the most sunlight and are generally protected from wind. These will be good starting places when trying to find and catch bass on your body of water.
My favorite pattern to run when fishing Wheeler Lake this time of year is to slow roll a spinnerbait on rocky banks. I have had some really amazing days doing this. I usually use a 3/8 or 1/2 ounce big double willow leaf combination, or a tandem blade combo. War Eagle spinnerbaits are some of the best I have come across. Rarely do you need a trailer because of the perfect skirts. I will add a plastic trailer if I want a bigger profile, or if the water is really stained.
Next time I will be discussing how to catch spawning bass, and how you can catch more fish by narrowing down your search time. Thank you for reading and good luck on your next fishing trip! For fishing trip information please book a guide trip with me. I am the Alabama Bass Guide.
Smart Bass Pro
I hope you like the article! For more awesome bass information please check out our website at smart bass pro! We have all your insider information that the pros have leaked.
Spring Bass Fishing
Spring bass fishing is about as good as bass fishing gets. The bass are hungry, aggressive and easy to catch. This is when the bass move from the depths into the warm shallow water where they will feed for the first time in months and spawn. It is also a time when hormones activated by the warmth cause some very aggressive behavior in males. They will strike your lure even if they aren't hungry at times, simply because they won't tolerate the presence of other fish around it, especially if they are still guarding their nest.
Make sure you check your local regulations for spring bass fishing season before heading out because it is illegal in most states to fish during the spawn.
As soon as the shallow water temperature reaches 60 degrees, spawning commences. The biggest bass are the first to start constructing their nest. They build their nests in 2-8 feet of water by sweeping an area with their tail. Bigger bass usually spawn in the deeper areas. Bass are naturally inclined to choose a rocky or gravelly spot to nest but will spawn on sand or soft bottoms if required to. Remember that the big bass get first pick at the best spots. Bass will start to spawn if the temperature stays around 60 for a few consecutive days, if there is a cold spell during this period they will retreat back to deep water and have to start all over again when the weather permits.
During the spawn, females will continue to feed after they have laid their eggs while the male will not. He will guard the eggs and the fry (baby bass) without eating until they are ready to go on their own. That doesn't mean you can't catch a male though. Simply putting a lure in its nest area may cause it to attack. It must defend against all intruders and if that intruder is your lure then he will attack it. This may take some persistence on your part but it is a proven method. Just make sure it is legal to be fishing during the spawn in your area.
The males will guard their fry for two to three weeks, but lucky for us, their aggressive hormones will last a bit longer. When spring bass season opens, the bass will still have their super charged aggressive instincts left over from spawning which makes spring bass fishing so much fun.
Start your spring bass fishing efforts in 2-8 feet of water on the northwest banks of a lake as well as major creek arms. Look for places with lots of cover and structure. As in any time of year, bass need things to hide around to hunt effectively.
Spinner baits and jigs are my bait of choice for spring bass fishing, but crankbaits, jerkbaits and topwater poppers are also effective, just remember to retrieve them slowly - more so in the early spring then later. In the early spring, bass are still a bit sluggish. They are still shaking off the winter blues but their energy levels pick up as the water gets steadily warmer and they eat more.
For more information, check out this article: Spring Bass Fishing
Tom Rittenhouse is an accomplished bass angler with several tournament wins. He also authors on the subject and hosts the website: http://www.championbassfishing.com where you can find videos, articles, books and more on everything to do with bass fishing. This website is designed to take you from average to pro!
Lipless Rattle Baits For Early Spring
Bass - Another Bass Fishing Trick!
If you are looking for another bass fishing trick for early spring bass fishing try using a lipless rattle bait. Yep, that's right. Lipless rattle baits in early spring can be very productive and can often times out produce most other lures under certain conditions.
As warmer spring weather approaches and the water temperature begins to rise, largemouth bass will begin their crusade towards the shallow flats, coves, and channels in search of food and spawning grounds. This is the perfect time of year to intercept these crusading bass with a lipless rattle bait.
There are many lipless rattle baits available on the market today. I would recommend going to your favorite tackle store and picking out a few different sizes and colors to add to your tackle box, and experiment with them to see which one works best. These types of lures are designed to sink until you begin your retrieve. Once you begin your retrieve these lures will run at a constant depth unless you stop your retrieve to let the bait flutter down into holes in weed beds or down the sides of wood cover. The rattle in these lures is more than just a gimmick designed to catch more fisherman than fish. The rattle alerts fish more than silent crank baits do, so the fish may begin zeroing in on the noise of an approaching lure even before it is visible to the fish.
Also, the lipless rattle bait has no diving bill, however, the slanted nose on the lure will deflect it over snags. These traits make these types of lures very versatile for covering both shallow and deep water. Try casting a lipless rattle bait into a shallow weed bed during early spring and let the lure sink down into the weeds. Then rip the lure out of the weeds, pause, and repeat. This tactic can produce some violent reaction strikes and can be deadly on early spring bass. If you haven't tried lipless rattle baits on early spring bass than you are missing out on another bass fishing trick that you can use to put more bass in the boat or on the stringer.
Are you looking for more bass fishing tips? If so, visit bass fishing tricks at http://www.squidoo.com/largemouth_bass_fishing_techniques
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