Written by Andrew Schadegg
Anyone who fishes for bass on a regular basis, knows how exciting the springtime is. Giant bass are roaming around everywhere making their spawning beds up in the shallows. Once you find one, it’s on!
There’s nothing quite like watching a fish do that spawning dance around your bait and then finally taking it in and setting the hook. Everyone has their favorite baits to incite that reaction, but we have a few that maybe you haven’t discovered yet.
Here’s our top 5 baits for spring bed bass fishing:
Bluegill Swimbait – When you pull up to a bedding area, this should be your first cast, maybe even before you see a fish on a bed. Nothing causes a more violent reaction by a bass, than the presence of a bluegill near their bed. If you don’t get bit blind casting the area, find a bed and bring that bait slowly right over the top of it. Many times, if the female is sitting off in the distance and not near the bed, she will race over and nail that swimbait from many feet away. A couple of good options are the LIVETARGET Pinfish Swimbait, Mattlures Ultimate Bluegill, Huddleston Deluxe Bluegill or the Little Creeper All-American Sunfish.
Topwater – This is a broad category, but a lot of different types of topwater baits work really well during the spawn. When you pull into a spawning area, try throwing ahollow body frog, spook or prop bait. The commotion of a predator coming over the top of their nests can cause some violent blowups. This can be a really fun bite. Some new baits like the Bill Lewis StutterStep or the Jackall Pompadour allow you to work the bait in the strike zonelonger, while still giving it action.
Jig – When fishing a bed you need two things, accuracy and a menacing profile. The jig allows for both. It’s probably the easiest bait to flip accurately, if you’re somewhat new to the game. Let it go past the bed and settle on the bottom, then slowly creep it towards the bed and let it sit on the edge. Almost all spawning beds have a “sweet spot” where the bass get particularly annoyed. A few passes without a bite and you’ll normally find that she gets the most agitated when it is on one side or the other. A regular pitching jig or football head works well. Another tactic is to use a swim jig with a big paddle tail swimbait trailer like you would throw the swimbait mentioned above.
Creature Bait – Bass on beds are aggressive because they are guarding their eggs and their territory from any predators that might come to steal them. A creature bait or lizard fits the profile of something they don’t want near their babies. This is a great time for a big white lizard, brush hog or big worm. However, because spawning fish have a tendency to only bite the tail of big baits, try something more compact for better hooksets. The Damiki Hydra or the Strike King Baby Rodent are good compact options.
Drop Shot – A drop shot absolutely destroys bedding bass. There is something about that bait dangling in the air above their nest that incites big-time bites. One important tip…beef up your setup, especially if you’re fishing for big ones. Try flipping a power drop shot setup with a baitcaster and 12-15 pound test. Use a heavier circle hook and pair it with a compact bait, instead of a worm. Strike King’s Half Shell is perfect, but any reaper style bait will work.
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Try having all 5 of these baits rigged up for your spring bed fishing because every bed you approach will be completely different. Remember to use bright colors like white and chartreuse for your finesse options, so you know when you get those bites. Make sure to wait for the fish to suck it in completely before setting the hook. A good pair of polarized glasses is essential and remember to put those fish back in the water right away after catching them, so they can return to their beds unharmed. Have fun!