Spring is full of change. Have it be changes in the weather, locations fished, targeted structure, types of presentations, and simply the color of your lure change is among us.
Key considerations to think about when you are planning your spring time bass fishing trips are critical.
- Location (Ponds, Lakes, Rivers)
- Water temperature
- Primary forage available
Keep in mind when selecting, location that weather patterns affect each on differently based on size and geographic location. Typically ponds and rivers will stain faster than a large lake, causing the water to cool down faster, but keep in mind that stained water will heat up faster than clear water as the sun comes out.
Ensure key water temperature and water quality markers represent such as spawning temperature and dissolved oxygen levels. Fish will not spawn and be active in warm and dead water. If you do not have the equipment and tools to identify temperature and dissolved oxygen levels, simply look for water that has vibrant aquatics plant life, new fry swimming around and water that has current or movement from incoming tributaries and even commercial fountains/ aerators.
As we begin to understand what makes an ideal location to fish, we must also focus on flats, shallow humps, stump fields, gravel bars, points, and riprap all between 1-6 feet. You will find many of the smaller male bass will move into the areas first, leaving the larger females in deeper staging areas from 4-12 feet.
Lure selection can be tedious any time of the year and I approach the spring time stages with an 3 step approach to increase catch rates.
- Topwater presentations
- Mid-column presentations
- Bottom presentations
Considering we are targeting a very defined area we can cover a lot of water quickly. A topwater bait will quickly garner the attention of active and aggressive bass in the area. If you encounter multiple strikes but lack hookups, follow-up the presentations with a swimbait, jerkbait, or even a square bill crankbaits ensuring you bounce it off submerged structure. In areas where the water is very shallow, simply dropping to soft plastics or a jig with a trailer can be deadly.
Remember to try and match the available forage to increase realism. For example, in California a popular pattern would be rainbow trout, Texas would be shad and crawfish, Alabama and the gulf states would be golden shiners etc.