Shallow Water Spring Bass Fishing

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Spring bass fishing consists of three stages or phases, pre-spawn, spawn, and post-spawn. Shallow water fishing for bass requires adjustments in technique for each phase. Here, I'll try to break them down for you.


As the water temperature warms to the mid 50's as spring comes on, a lot of bass are still in the deep water. But a lot of the more aggressive fish are likely to be chasing bait in the shallows. When the bass hit the shallow water early like this, they are in search of warmer water and this means they have a higher metabolism.

If the shallow water is clear, try suspending a finesse jig or jerkbait just over the bottom. Also try to wind a flat-sided crankbait around any cover that might be in the shallow water. It's best to use a shad colored crankbait until water temperatures reach 60 degrees, then switch to crankbaits that imitate crawfish. However, if the water is stained, spinnerbaits are a better option for open water, or for cover that is isolated. Use a jig for heavier cover. If the lake or pond has aquatic vegetation, try to concentrate on that first. Big bass love hydrilla because it draws in more bait fish due to it's oxygen producing properties. Hydrilla with the brightest green growth really seems to be an important factor in attracting bait fish and where there's bait fish, there's big bass. Look for rock cover as well. Rocks retain heat and aid in warming the water which attracts those bass with the high metabolism. Then try finding the wood cover during pre-spawn.

As water temperatures warm into the 60's, largemouth bass hang in the shallows longer. This water temperature affect how the bass react to weather fronts coming in and out. As long as the shallow water stays in the mid to lower 60's, the largemouth bass will not move out of the shallow waters as they will in colder water temperatures. They will stay in the shallow water. A prime time to fish combinations of wood and grass cover is when bass move in seeking spawning areas and the water temperatures are in the 60's. Fish the grass first then wooden cover instead of rock covers. Don't neglect the rocks, but hit them only after the hydrilla patches and wood cover. You may find you'll be catching a lot of 2 to 3 pound male bass, but the larger females can be found around prime cover right outside of the spawning areas. So fish prime cover such as blowdowns or a dock that is near the spawning areas.

If the water temperature is in the 60's but the bass in the shallow water don't seem to want to chase what you throw at them, try plastics. Otherwise, try a jerkbait in clear water or a spinnerbait if the water is stained. If the water is really stained bad you may want to try a spinnerbait with a Number 4 or number 5 Colorado blade so that you can get plenty of vibration.


The full moon can have a big effect on the largemouth bass that are spawning as long as the weather is stable. But when weather is in consistent and sporadic, bass will spawn on the warming trend no matter what the phase the moon is in. So when the surface temp is in the upper 60's, the largemouth bass are spawning. A good bait to use during this time is Berkley Power Bait Power Hawg Bait 4-Inch. Try a black and blue combination when the water is dirty; grass or pumpkin green in clear water. The depth you fish should also depend on the clarity of the water. If the water is stained, bass will spawn in 4 feet or less. if the water is clear largemouth will spawn in water up to 8 feet. You should adjust your fishing as the water clarity changes.

You can catch a large number of bass this time of year, but if you're out for the challenge of finding the hawgs you'll need to fish the edges of the spawning areas along the prime cover. the smaller bass will be scattered along the bank and in the various cover. But the big bass will be in heavier, darker cover and closer to the deep water. Smaller fish are just not a picky about the cover they use, but the big bass are much more choosy. For the big female bass that get into the heavy cover, your best bet is a flippin' stick. From time to time a spinnerbait or crankbait will bring a short strike from a spawning bass. If you do get a short strike on one of these baits, follow up immediately with a soft plastic lure.


After the spawn comes the post spawn and the beginning of topwater season. Topwater lures are effective during this time because male bass are protecting fry and the topwater lures are offensive to these male bass. And the big females who have finished spawning are still lurking in the shallow water and respond well to large top water lures. During this time, big lures catch big fish. Buzzbaits and stickbaits such as the Zara Spook work well during this phase. Floating jerkbaits, large double willow-leaf spinnerbaits, and full size jigs work well to catch big bass during this period also.

Soon after the largemouth bass have spawned, many will return to the deeper water. But several fish will stick in the shallow water as long as there is abundant shade. Use your flippin' stick and a jig around thick trees and along and under docks. Try flipping in the thickest and nastiest stuff that other anglers won't touch. Get that jig as far back in the nastiest stuff as you can and you might be surprised at the big bass you catch.

Source Url: http://redneckknowhow.com/2015/06/08/shallow-water-spring-bass-fishing/
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