The spring bass fishing season is one of the most complicated times of year for anglers. Bass are constantly changing their behavior and changing between the three spring phases. In order to have success and catch lots of bass, you need to understand how to approach each phase of the spring bass fishing season.’
3 Phases of Spring
The pre-spawn is the phase of spring where bass begin to migrate from their winter areas of the lake into the shallow water where they will spawn. The pre-spawn starts as soon as temperatures begin to rise in the spring. Bass begin to feed up a lot in order to build up enough energy to spawn. These bass hang out in 4-10 feet of water are very aggressive. This bass aggression is why Matt from https://barbcatchfishing.com/ says that the pre-spawn time period is his favorite time of year to fish for bass.
Best Pre-spawn Bass Lures:
- Lipless Crankbait
- Paddle tail swimbait
- Drop Shot
The spawn is where bass build their beds, find a mate, and lay eggs. Bass make these beds in shallow flats of the lake, on hard bottoms such as rock or tough sand. Bass begin to spawn once water temperatures reach 55-60 degrees fahrenheit. Bass don’t eat much during this phase, but you can still get them to bite. Spawning bass are very protective of their bed, eggs, and fry. So if you are able to keep your lure in and around the bed long enough, you can get them to bite out of territorial instincts.
Best Spawning Bass Lures:
- Drop Shot
- Ned rig
- Wacky rig
As you probably guessed, the post-spawn is the phase when bass have finished protecting their young, and begin to focus on feeding again. These bass will hold tightly to shallow cover or cruise a bit deeper in the water. By this time of year, the temperatures have gotten quite high and there is lots of vegetation in the water. Bass are primarily feeding on bluegill and amphibian creatures.
Best Post-Spawn Bass Lures:
- Bluegill Swimbaits
- Swim Jig
- Wacky Rig
- Hollow Body Frog
Spring Ponds vs Spring Lakes
As far as behavior goes, bass will act the same in ponds and lakes. However, the changes in the three spring phases will occur much faster. This is because small ponds warm up much faster than the big lakes.
Locating Spring Bass
During the spring, bass undergo specific behavioral patterns tied to their spawning activities. Shallow water areas become prime locations, as bass migrate to these flats, coves, and protected zones in anticipation of spawning. Identifying spawning beds is crucial; these circular depressions in the shallows, often near cover like rocks or vegetation, indicate active bass preparing to spawn. Warmer water zones also attract bass, prompting anglers to focus on shallower bays and sunlit shorelines where the temperature is slightly higher. Bass frequently utilize underwater structures like rocks, fallen trees, and submerged vegetation for cover and ambush points, necessitating the use of fishfinders to pinpoint these key locations. Transition areas, including points and drop-offs, are significant, as bass move between deep and shallow waters during their spring migration. Observing baitfish activity, such as surface disturbances, diving birds, or schools on fishfinders, provides valuable cues, as bass follow their food source. Lastly, understanding water clarity is vital, with bass favoring clear water during the spawn for optimal nest visibility.
Spring Bass Fishing Tips for Beginners
Navigating the intricacies of spring bass fishing can be both exciting and challenging for beginners. As you embark on your journey, consider the following tips to elevate your chances of success:
Patience and Persistence:
Spring bass can be elusive, requiring patience and persistence. Stay committed to exploring different techniques and areas until you find what works best.
Learn from Each Fishing Trip:
Treat every fishing trip as a learning experience. Take note of successful techniques, locations, and conditions. Over time, this knowledge will contribute to your overall proficiency.
Seek Advice from Experienced Anglers:
Don’t hesitate to seek guidance from seasoned anglers. Whether it’s local knowledge, bait recommendations, or general tips, the fishing community is often eager to share insights with beginners.
Understand Bass Behavior:
Familiarize yourself with the behavior of bass during the spring. Knowing when and why they move to specific areas can significantly improve your ability to locate and catch them.
Adapt to Changing Conditions:
Spring weather can be unpredictable. Be prepared to adapt your techniques and lure choices based on changing conditions, including temperature, wind, and water clarity.
Explore Various Lures:
Experiment with a variety of lures to understand what appeals to bass in different situations. Lipless crankbaits, jerkbaits, jigs, and soft plastics are all valuable additions to your spring bass fishing arsenal.
Focus on Structure and Cover:
Bass gravitate towards underwater structures and cover. Target areas with rocks, fallen trees, and vegetation, as these serve as prime locations for bass to hide and ambush prey.
Time Your Outings:
Pay attention to the time of day. Early mornings and late afternoons tend to be more productive during the spring. Bass are often more active during low-light conditions.
Stay Safe and Mindful:
Prioritize safety on the water. Be aware of weather forecasts, wear appropriate gear, and follow boating regulations. Additionally, practice catch and release responsibly to contribute to conservation efforts.
Enjoy the Learning Process:
Embrace the learning curve. Every outing, whether successful or not, contributes to your growth as an angler. Enjoy the process of discovering the nuances of spring bass fishing.
Reeling this In
So while there are lots of swimming parts during the spring, each phase provides unique and thrilling fishing opportunities. Bass are the most popular sport fish for good reason. They are incredible fun and rewarding fish to catch, and give anglers incredible outdoor adventures. The spring bass fishing season is hard to beat when it comes to having a good day on the water.