Well, we all asked for it and the lure companies gave it to us. I'm talking about all the different colors lures come in today. How many of us have called lure companies and said. "If you add a little green on the back, this lure would kill 'em." We are all guilty.
The truth is that we do need a good selection of colors, which are fun in the tackle shop. However, with a few tips, you can keep it reasonably simple.
It's the best time for big bass because of the spawn. Springtime means the water is warming, and so is the atmosphere. And that usually means showers and rising water. Most reservoirs will get a little extra water from rising creeks and rivers. This will muddy things up, so now is the time to use bright colors and noisy lures.
I like using Traps in bright red and orange crawfish patterns for the early bite. Many lakes are full of crawfish, a favorite snack for big bass. Remember, bass are opportunists, and crawfish are slow and easy to feed on.
Remember that the Louisiana mudbugs can get really big; the bigger they are, the more color they put on.
When working the banks in the spring, you can't beat a Rat-L-Trap. It's easy to cast and will cover a lot of water quickly. A Trap and a spinnerbait can do a lot of damage in a short time. My favorite color for shallow water is chartreuse or bright green.
Here's why. Have you ever noticed how many small bream and perch are under docks and around the banks of any lake? The majority of them will fall into the yellow or green perch family. It's an endless food supply for any predator. But, if you catch one and look closely, you can see highlights of green and chartreuse on the tips of the scales. That's why chartreuse and white colors work so well in the spring.
An excellent tip to remember is that bait in shallow water are a little harder to catch and usually move quickly to avoid being eaten. Using a faster retrieve can trigger more strikes.
Get ready for things to slow down. Fish will try to find a constant temperature zone with the water warming.
Points or flats close to deeper water offer great holding areas for bass. It also gives them a great ambush point for unsuspecting shad rafting over the edge.
Take notice of where the eyes are located on all predator fish...towards the top of their head. They can see everything that moves above them. Bass can lay and wait off a deep point and rocket to the surface in a split second to bust the school into oblivion. It's a perfect scenario for a Rat-L-Trap. Cast beyond the point and bring it across, then let it fall for a few seconds. I've caught a lot of fish like that.
Three colors work well in this situation; chrome, chrome, and chrome. More fish have been caught on a Chrome Blue Back Rat-L-Trap than any other lure I can think of. It's the no-brainer. There's an old saying, "If nothing else works, tie on a Chrome Trap." I've heard this on the circuit all my life, and it still stands true today. It's the go-to bait for a lot of fishermen.
Cold fronts and cooler temperatures usually mean a feeding frenzy before the front passes through. It's nature's dinner bell. Usually, bass will "stock up" or gorge to protect themselves from long periods without abundant food.
Fish react much like a bear before hibernation when the water temperature starts to fall.
The primary source of food is still shad. However, the water is now super clear from the lack of substantial rain during late summer. As a result, Shad will start to take on a different hue, with sunlight penetrating the clear water. Their scales will appear to have some blue, green, brown, and even red tints.
Rat-L-Trap offers the perfect color series for this bite. They are shad patterns with variations of colors on the sides of the lure and have white bellies with markings like a shad. These natural patterns are perfect for this time of year. I have found that light colors like pearl, bone, and white are also good producers in clear water.
Clean your boat, reels, and camp, and spend lots of time with your bride, not necessarily in that order.
Tommy Martin won his first tournament at 32 on Ross Barnett Lake in 1972. He has been a Pro for 30 years and loves teaching and motivating others to fish for bass and teach others to respect other pros and anglers during tournaments. He is the winner of 19 national tournaments, has had 54 top 10 finishes, was a Bassmasters Classic winner in 1974, and has fished in 19 Classics. He is one of the pioneers in professional bass fishing.