Spring is a great time for bass fishing because fish activity begins to pick up after the long, cold winter season.
Spring can be both rewarding and challenging for bass fishing as the fish migrates from deep waters to shallow, sunny flats.
The appeal of spring bass fishing is simple; you get to catch an enormous fish. The best time you can catch a huge fish is at this time of the year because a large number of the adult bass population is concentrated near the shore where most newbie anglers can easily get the catch of the day.
The key to predicting the bass movement is understanding why they are active in the first place.
Bass prepare to spawn in spring as soon as the water temperature and the conditions are appropriate. Until that time comes, the fish feed ravenously along their travel route from pre-spawn feeding locations to winter depths.
Focus on locations that are not your regular fishing spots to maximize your time on the water. The exact structure changes from lake to lake; still, ledges, pieces of hardcover, and points are all important locations for finding bass in the spring.
You will catch more bass from March through June by noticing the factors involved in catching a lot of fish.
In this article, we will help you with the best lures and spectacular fishing techniques for a successful bass fishing experience.
The Spring Spawn Cycle
Bass spawns in the spring season; spawning cycle is divided into three phases, and together they make up what is called the Spawn Cycle.
As water temperature rises to the high-forties and mid-fifties, the bass begin making their way towards the shallows.
This is a pre-spawn cycle, and during this cycle, they search for food to restore the energy that was lost during the winter season.
It is between this cycle and the spawn phase that the bass show increased activity, and fishing can lead to many catches.
The bass will be feeding in this phase but not full throttle, so make sure the lures you use are slow-moving.
When water temperatures rise to high-fifties or mid-sixties, it is the beginning of the spawning phase.
During this phase, the male bass makes round-shaped nests called beds. They make them with their tails in clay, gravel, or sand and are located along the shoreline in about two to five feet of water.
The clearer the water is, the deeper the location of the beds gets. Similarly, the murkier the water is, the shallower the beds’ location gets.
When the bed is complete, the male bass will entice the female bass into the bed so she could lay her eggs there. Once the female bass lays her eggs there, the male bass fertilizes them.
During this period, also called the ‘lockjaw’ phase, there is minimal activity.
It lasts for about four weeks; the male bass is guarding the nest, and the female bass heads to the deep waters to recover.
The female bass is unattainable, but you can still catch the male bass. However, in this phase, the male bass is not attaching to feed but to protect its eggs.
Catching males that are guarding the nest is called ‘be fishing.’ It is when you cast the lure at a bed in hopes of fooling the bass into thinking your plastic lure is a natural predator.
Some argue that the bed fishing is unethical and that the bass should be left alone during the spawning season.
Post Spawn Phase
Once the spawn phase is over and the baby bass has grown too big, the male bass will abandon the beds to resume his normal feeding behavior.
Once the female bass has recovered from spawning, they will move to the shallows to feed.
This occurs about 5 to 6 feet after the spawn, and, in this period, bass fishing picks up the phase. This is when bass fishermen unleash their full weaponry of lures.
Late spring and early summer are when a lake is at its peak with bass because they are in a feeding frenzy and make easy targets.
So, you do not want to miss this golden opportunity, especially since the activity begins to slow down as the summer season progresses.
Gear for Spring Bass Fishing
One of the toughest tasks any angler faces is choosing the right type of bait to bring on their bass fishing quest, especially during the spring season.
It stems from the fact that there are too many options to choose from. It can get confusing just looking at and researching the unlimited amount of baits in the market.
The importance of choosing the right bait should not be overlooked.
Below is the list of baits that you can use to appease your ever-hungry bass catching desires easily.
Lures for Spring Bass
These are considered the top spring bass lures for a good reason. They are effective in the sense that they can be easily adjusted to the water conditions. When you are fishing in the spring, the water will be cold but warming up, and the bass will be found on grass patches and other deep points or at the edges.
The most attractive aspect of a jerk bait lure is that they give you control. If you are hunting in deep waters, you can adjust it to go as deep as the fish are.
You can use them in fast, slow, and shallow waters. With jerk baits, you can use your fishing rod to mimic their movement, so they appear like an injured fish that is about to die.
It gives a natural appearance, and any predator like a bass would take advantage of such a situation. You will eventually land the fish.
If you are new to bass fishing and came across a spinner bait for the very first time, chances are it would be hard for you to believe that bass would ever fall for such a trap. Spinner baits look unnatural compared to other baits.
What makes these baits effective is how they use both light and vibration to attract the attention of the bass to help you make a huge catch.
Buzzbaits are fast-moving baits and make a great and interesting lure for the spring. They are bent wire, which has a jig attached to the end.
They are surface baits that tend not to stay on the top and float. They need to be constantly moving, and, for that movement to happen, a propeller is attached, which helps lift the lure.
When the buzz bait is in motion, it makes a splashing sound on the water surface long enough to attract the bass without scaring them off.
Most fishermen would say jigs are the epic ‘king of lures’ and a weapon every angler should have. Jigs are not only limited to bass fishing in spring, but they are also good for all seasons.
This lure type is also not limited by the water conditions and bass love jigs, so you can never go wrong with it. With some of the jigs, you can hop on to your boat in the winter season with the temperature of the water being 25 degrees and return home with as much bass as you would catch in summer.
Jigs pair well with most types of soft plastic baits.
Soft Plastics for Spring Bass
Crawfish Bass Lures
Bass have many options when it comes to feeding; however, they tend to enjoy crawfish, especially in springs, because this bait always gets a bite.
Bass tend to search for food in shallow weeds and rocks where the crawfish reside. If you use crawfish in those areas, you will easily catch the bass.
For the lure to be more effective, attach a plastic crawfish at the back of a jig. The jig will lure the bass towards it, and the crawfish will do the rest.
The senko is a soft plastic that is the most common and easiest to master. It is regarded as the most effective soft plastic bait in the market. The best thing about this bait is not the fact that they are enormous but the fact that they get bitten all day under any condition.
You can use them all year round, not just in spring. For it to be effective, you must twitch the worm weightless around vegetation and covers, such as docks and boat wrecks, to catch bass if you are hunting in warm waters.
Spring Bass Fishing Rods, Reels & Line
Spring is great for power fishing so a high gear reel ratio is the way to go. Top waters, Jigs, jerk baits, plastics, and even lipless crankbaits work best with a high-speed reel.
A medium to medium heavy rod that is 6’-6 to 7’-6” works well with these types of baits. You’re looking for something that is short enough to cast accurately, while being long enough to handle a larger bass.
Both baitcasting and spin casting rods and reels work well in spring. Which one you go with is based 100% on personal preference and what equipment you own.
How to Catch a Bass in Spring – Tips & Techniques
Shallow Water to Deep
The transition period is where you will find a few bites because the fish will follow underwater canals, ditches, and ridges to get to the shallow water.
Finding the bass migration route is going to lead you to catch bass. They make their way through shallow waters and tend to linger in sports along the ridges to feed.
Using a depth finder or a depth map to locate break-lines and points can help you to locate these areas.
Cover Lots of Water
Use an aggressive, always-moving approach to catch spring bass successfully because they are constantly moving.
Keep your motor going and try to work as many areas as possible; you never know where that hidden gem might be. Give a few good casts at a particular location and then move on.
Once you do hook up, slow the motor down and then work the rest of the area thoroughly.
Do not expect the bass to be at the same spot the next day as bass are constantly on the move. While this applies most of the year, it’s especially true in spring
The Warmer the Weather, the Shallower the Fish
Bass love getting into warm shallow waters to get rid of the winter sluggishness. After a week or so of bright sunny days, you will find bass in the shallow waters.
The opposite is true for when it’s been cold. If it has been a cold, cloudy day, the bass will move to the deep pools in natural lakes and creek beds.
Slow Things Down
This is an early spring tactic. Before the warmth sets in, slows down your retrieve speed.
At this point, bass are sluggish because of the winter season and might be slow in catching your lure. The cold water slows down the fish’s metabolism; they possess less speed and energy, so they will avoid the fast-paced lure.
When equipped with the right tools, anything you do like spring bass fishing can be a satisfying and joyful experience. All you need to do is choose your spring bass lures carefully and follow the guidelines above to help you catch the bass of your life.