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5 Best Ways of Catching Bass in Early Spring

What have you noticed in the Delta and lake bass fishing in the early spring months? Feel free to leave a comment below!

Ever since human beings have thrown lines in water hoping to catch dinner, he has looked for tricks, tips, and patterns to get an edge on finding more fish. Today is no different, and with the tricky season of early spring fishing, every angler could use a few tips on how to catch the best bass.

The early months of spring can be extra frustrating for anglers. The water temperature at certain bodies of water is mixed and may change from close to freezing to pre-spawning temperatures in a matter of days. The largemouth bass might be in deep cold water and might be in shallow water. You need pre-spawn season tactics and knowledge to catch the biggest bass as an angler looking to cash in at tournaments. Even with the early season fishing challenges, we have listed some of the best tricks and tips for catching bass in early spring.

Find the Best Spots with Hard Lures

Bass are on the move as the lake's waters start heating up, and so should bass fisherman. This means that finding a spot where giant bass are striking may be difficult because of bass moving, varying spawning flats, and deeper water strike zone during cooler weather.

Hard crankbait lures, also known as "spooks" or "finders," are necessary for finding where bass are reaction striking.

fishing rods ready for big bass fishing tournament
Have several rods ready with "testing" hard lures and other options.

Hard lures with lips dive down and are sometimes just as helpful for finding active schools of striking bass as the lipless crankbaits. Whatever type of hard lure you use, make sure it is rigged to be retrieved at a constant speed so that you can correctively identify the hungry bass behavior and start your early spring fishing season off right.

The idea behind hard lures like crankbaits is that they are suitable for testing out where you think the bass migrate. Catching sluggish bass is difficult, so early season bass fishing is all about testing the shallow water, the deep water, fallen trees, warm water, and cooler water with lipless crankbait or lipped crankbait to find bass and start using other more subtle lures and live bait.

Bouncing the Lure

As large and smallmouth bass begin pre-spawn in the early spring months, they generally travel within 20-30 feet in deep water next to their spawning area. The fish are looking for food while still near the bottom, so crankbaits slowly retrieved and bounced are a great tactic.

Bounce the crankbait along the bottom of rocky steeps and silted bottoms to mimic the movement of crawdads moving along the bottom.

The movement of the bass in the early months of spring(February-March) is a bit unpredictable. However, bouncing the crankbait to mimic crawdad movement will let you know if the reaction strikes are deeper.

Early spring bass are voracious and looking for food moving near the bottom. They won’t eat for the 10 or 15 days that take place during the spawn, so they pack calories in easy-to-find places like bottom dwellers when they can. Take advantage of these predatory patterns and bounce the lures to imitate an easy meal for big bass.

Master the Migration

The pre-spawning season is difficult for anglers becasue the fish are generally on the move. Migrating bass are harder to find but more vulnerable, so mastering the lactations of migrating bass can help you land some of the largest fish of the season.

Bass migrations in early spring are generally confused and difficult to track, but checking rocky points, river inlets, and deeper waters surrounding known spawning locations are all early spring migration hot spots.

The lake's geography can be misleading, so knowing what underwater structures are lurking is critical. Assessing the shoreline can only take you so far. You may want some electronics that give you a clearer picture of the underwater slopes, chunky rock outcrops, or other frequent staging areas for the pre-spawning bass.

On the other hand, focusing on the warmer side of the lake that gets more sunlight during the warming water temperature of spring is an important tip that requires no electronics or technical know-how.

Use a Thermometer

Water temperatures tend to fluctuate quite a bit in the long pre-spawn months. This is especially true if the bodies of water are fed from snowmelt. Most bass strikes during this time of year depend on finding the warmer staging areas. These areas of water are where the bass prepare for spawning. These areas might include shallow shoreline areas, offshore humps, and even deeper areas around future spawning zones.

Using a thermometer is a simple trick for finding areas of the lake where it is warmer, and bass are more likely to gather.

Thermometers don't have to be anything fancy. A pool thermometer works well. It is helpful if you already know the average temperatures for the body of water you are fishing.

Testing the temperature of the water with a thermometer is best done all at once before the sunlight of the hotter afternoon hours warms up the lake. If you can’t test the water temperatures quickly beforehand, move around to your favorite spots throughout the day and test the temperature of the water as you go.

Make sure that you write down the temperature on a map or notepad with details of the location. As you record temperatures, you should be able to find the warmer spots of water where bass are more likely to gather.

Cover A Lot of Water

The spring bass fishing months are a strange time for fishing because the bass are constantly moving around, finding the warmer areas of the lake. Understanding the movement of the bass is very difficult, and you rarely find a spot that produces bass over several days. They are constantly on the move, and you should be too!

Moving around the water and trying different places is crucial during the long pre-spawning periods because the bass are active. Still, the water temperatures fluctuate, and it is doubtful that you find fish in the same areas.
Racing boats finding best bass fishing for tournament
Racing from one point to another on the lake in early spring to find the best location.

Moving from place to place quickly takes some tactical planning but might help you stumble on the bigger fish. Throw a few casts in one position and then move on. You should get reaction strikes quickly if you are on them giving you an opportunity to catch bass quickly.

However, if you catch fish in one place, stay there for a while and fish the area rigorously with everything in your arsenal until you think it is depleted or the end of the tourney is coming.

Be Successful With Early Spring Bass Fishing

Early spring bass fishing is one of the most exciting times of the year. The bass are moving erratically and can seem just as confused as the anglers trying to hook them. Hopefully, these tips and tricks will help you become a successful angler during the early spring months in what is usually one of the most fun fishing seasons of the year.

Make sure that you take advantage of moving around over much of the water, use lures for reaction strikes, mimic the prey of bass, and understand the environment of water temperature and underwater features so that you have the best bass fishing experience in early spring.


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