Written by Andrew Schadegg
Nothing is more exciting than springtime for bass fisherman. When the days get longer, the water temp warms up and the fish start moving shallow, it’s time to start making plans to get on the water as much as possible.
However, nothing is more depressing than a spring cold front. Especially if you block out a few days to go fishing, take time off work or plan a trip away and you’re left with a 30 degree drop in temperature and a lake full of inactive fish.
It might be hard, but don’t completely despair! Here are 3 tips to finding them in the spring, even when the weather doesn’t cooperate:
- Look for Deeper Water – When bass move up into shallow coves, bays or protected areas to start the spawning process, a lot of factors go into their day-to-day behavior. Water temp and stable weather is the most important. When that big cold front comes in, some bass are going to leave their spawning flats and search out the closest deep water. Look for the nearest drop and most likely you’ll find the fish. They’re going to be really hard to catch, so downsize and fish SLOW. If they’re suspended, try a jerkbait and let it sit in the strike zone for an extended period of time, sometimes as much as 30 seconds to a minute between twitches.
- Look for Thicker Cover – The bass that are farther along in the spawning process won’t necessarily abandon the shallows for deep water, but they will seek out the thickest cover and get extremely tight to it. They’ll burrow into the smallest nooks and crannies, not moving for hours at a time. In order to get these fish to bite, you might have to make multiple casts to one brush pile or laydown in order to get them to bite (and by multiple, like 20 or 30). A quiet, soft presentation, coupled with a downsized bait and lighter weight can be the key.
- Look for Warmer Pockets – Since we know that the drop in water temp is the primary factor to bass inactivity during a cold front, we also know that the warmest water on the lake will hold more active fish. There are a couple of factors at work here. First, you’ll have fish farther along in the spawn and they tend to not completely bail out on the progress they’ve made or the areas their beginning to protect. Second, the bass in those areas might be more active than other parts of the lake, because the farther along they are, the more aggressive they tend to be.
Let’s face it, spring cold fronts suck! They’re every angler’s worst nightmare. But the next time you’re hit with some not-so-ideal spring conditions, think about these tips and have confidence in your strategy. You might just catch the fish of a lifetime, even when you think all hope is lost.