Springing For Big Bass
As winter rapidly disappears, spring is practically upon us. New things begin to blossom, and another season of bass fishing is one of them. I have caught some lunker bass at this time of the year by merely, but carefully, monitoring the water temperature. When the water warms to about 42-45 degrees, big bass will move into extremely shallow flats to sun themselves.
In this article, I am not going to concentrate on just one technique, but several, in hopes that you can utilize all of them and make your spring fishing experience an enjoyable, and productive one.
One of the techniques that I prefer using would be waking a spinnerbait in the shallow water. Using a spinnerbait with a Colorado blade is very productive in the shallows because the melting snow that washes into the water creates a muddy water situation, and the Colorado blade produces enough hard-thumping vibrations to help bass hone in on it when their visibility is limited. As the water warms and clears up, I would suggest using willow leaf blades because they produce less vibration and give your bait a natural appearance.
Another thing that should be taken into consideration is the fact that not all the big bass are shallow. Have you ever fished the warmest water that you could find, and caught nothing but short fish? This is usually a sign that the small males are cruising the shallows looking for nest-building areas, which tells you it is also pre-spawn time. The larger fish are probably under your boat or behind you suspending in deeper water. Well, when this happens, I would suggest switching to a suspending jerkbait.
Wood, rocky bluffs, and points, are other places where bass often stage prior to moving into the shallow spawning areas. Fishing these areas with a suspending jerkbait will not only trigger a reaction bite, but will also give away their location.
Now another tactic would be to fish 8- to 10-foot breaklines. I would start fishing for active fish by using a medium running crankbait, and fishing parallel to the breakline. Now when the fish are at this depth you can cover a lot of water by throwing a lipless crankbait, paralleling the breakline. Be sure to remember that in the spring the bass' attention will turn back to crawfish, just like in the fall. So I would suggest using some type of crawfish-colored pat-tern. One of my favorite would be the Mann's Baby 1 Minus for shallow water in a chartreuse craw color, and the Spro Prime crankbait slow floating model in the gold/black color.
If this does not produce then I would switch to a jig & pig combination or a plastic craw, and cast it onto the top of the drop and slowly inch it off the edge. I would continue this until I locate them, then refine the technique that was used.
Now these are just a few techniques that have really helped me catch big bass during the early spring season. If you stay versatile, and concentrate not on what the fish should be doing, but what they are doing, you will find your arms getting tired from catching those springtime lunkers.
Until next time, stay focused, stay warm, and keep the line tight.