The spring months are a great time to be a bass angler. The fish are starting to stir after a long winter, and they are bulking up on food before and after the energy-draining spawn. No matter where you live, there are plenty of chances to catch bass in the spring. While it’s one of the best times for largemouth and smallish, the spring season still requires smart techniques and strategic angling.
Don’t let spring slip away, use these spring bass fishing tips and you’ll be catching more bass from March through June…
- Swim Jigs can be an outstanding spring bait when the bass are shallow.
- DRESS APPROPRIATELY FOR SPRING BASS FISHING
Spring weather can be unpredictable, so make sure you are prepared by wearing top-quality fishing apparel. When it’s cold, dress in layers. You can always take a layer of clothing off to stay cool, but you can’t put a layer on if you want to warm up if you don’t have it. And don’t forget your rain gear. if the wind starts blowing hard you could get wet on spray from the boat crossing waves.
- THE WARMER THE WEATHER, THE SHALLOWER THE FISH
After long periods of warmer weather, you’ll likely find bass in shallower water. They love getting into warm areas that help them shake off the winter sluggishness, so after a wee of bright, sunny days, hit the areas that you know are shallow. The opposite is true for cold weather. If it’s been cool and cloudy, the bass will likely be holding in deeper areas, such as original creek beds in reservoirs and deep pools in natural lakes. Stumps on old creek beds are excellent for cold-weather spring bass fishing.
- COVER LOTS OF WATER
Really, this is a good tactic for any season. Using an aggressive, always-moving approach is a great way to be successful fishing. It will result in both quality and quantity of fish. During the spring, you should keep this philosophy close to heart, as bass are constantly moving positions.
Keep your trolling motor going and work as many areas as you can, giving two to five good casts to a spot and before moving on. When you do hook up, slow it down and meticulously work the area.
It might go against common sense, but don’t expect fish to be in that spot the next day, as spring bass are constantly shifting and bustling about.
- THINK “SHALLOW CLOSE TO DEEP”
Transition points are very active areas in the spring, so look for spots of shallow water near deep water and you’ll likely find a few bass. On lakes and rivers, areas near larger creeks are often full of fish. Use your depth finder or a depth map to locate coves, points, and break-lines.
Bass often spawn in shallower creeks, but they love the creeks that have nearby depth, giving them plenty of chances for food.
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- In the summer, first thing in the morning and late in the evening is prime feeding time for bass. As the water warms and the current moves more, the bass will move to those points where they can ambush bait fish. Early morning fishing is best in the shallows with a topwater or buzzbait. As the day warms up, go to deeper water for the fish oriented to the current on the main lake and fish them with a crankbait.
- As the day wears on, the bass start moving deeper. But before you can fish for them, you have to find them. Look for bait that is more efficient in those deeper depth zones. My favorite is a deep diving crank bait. Once you catch a few bass on a crank bait, you can always move to a slower bait like a Carolina Rig, Drop Shot or a Shaky Head.
- Bass will go to where the best food source is at that time of the year. Bass will move with the bait fish, so know when those bait fish spawn and where they are. After the shad spawn, the bass will start to move deeper as the shad move deeper where cooler water is. The bass always relate to structure, which is a depth change or contour change. Look for that structural feature close to a food source when summer bass fishing.
Late fall fishing can be a tough, especially if you are one of the ”lucky” fishermen who live in a state where the water freezes and you have an ice fishing season. If you aren’t, congratulations!!! Every fisherman in the northern Midwest is likely jealous of you. If you are, I am sure you want to prolong the cabin fever for as long as possible. So, you layer up, put on the wool socks and a stash a few hand warmers in your pockets. Time to go fishing! But where do you start? If you follow the three tips below you will undoubtedly put more trophy bass in the boat this fall.
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- Timing It Right While Late Fall Fishing
When you go fishing, you want to make the hours you spend on the water count. This couldn’t be truer for this time of the year. The beauty of fishing in the late autumn is it is better to go fishing during the middle of the day when the sun and temperature are at their highest. This ensures the water is the warmest it will be all day and gives the bass a chance to warm up. Typically 11 or 12-noon are a good time to start fishing.
Additionally, keep an eye on the weather forecast. During the late fall, even one afternoon of low 60-degree air temperatures can make the fish bite like crazy. Typically, the best late fall fishing days are surrounded by days with highs of low to mid-40s. So, while impromptu fishing trips can be fun, it pays to plan in the fall.
- Go Big or Go Home In The Fall
Big baits catch big fish. You’ve probably heard this too many times in your fishing days. However, it remains true, particularly in fall when bass are preparing for winter. Fish know the ice is not far off and once the ice forms a bass’ metabolism slows down, enabling them to eat less often. During this late fall period, bass want to make their energy count. Instead of chasing numerous smaller meals they would much prefer to chase one larger meal. Large profile baits like spinnerbaits and bulky jigs are go-to’s for this time of year.
- Late Fall Fishing: Slow Your Roll
This goes along with going big when it comes to late autumn lure presentations. Because bass want to optimize their energy spent on a larger meal, they would prefer these large meals move slowly. A big meal moving slowly equals a happy trophy largemouth. Again, baits like spinnerbaits and jigs are perfect because they can be fished super slow and maintain a large profile. Try slow-rolling a spinnerbait on the tops of existing green vegetation. The key this time of year is being able to make slight contact with fish-holding cover like weeds, rock, timber, and docks. These slower presentations allow the angler to keep the bait in the strike zone longer and increase their chances of getting bit.