Written by Andrew Schadegg
When the water temperature gets close to 50 degrees, bass are going to start moving into their prespawn areas. This also triggers some of the most aggressive feeding habits that they will have all year as they prepare for the spawn. Though it can be some of the best fishing all year, it’s not always easy. Covering lots of water is key, because bass will school up and move around just outside their spawning areas.
Here are some of the baits that we recommend when searching for prespawn bass:
Lipless –This is probably the most effective bait for finding fish this time of year, because it calls fish from such a long distance. Try varying your retrieve beyond just chunking and winding, like yo-yoing the bait and ripping it out of grass. Once you find a school of fish, make sure you stay on them, because you can catch multiple out of one school. If they stop biting, try switching to a silent lipless bait or another bait all together to keep the school fired up.
Jerkbait – As bass begin to stage up on the primary and secondary points before going into their spawning areas, a jerkbait can be an excellent option. Particularly if you get a spring cold front that might cause the schools to pull back and suspend. Don’t forget to watch for changing conditions too. If the wind picks up, a jerkbait should always be one of your top choices.
A-Rig – Some people avoid the Alabama Rig because of its size, but with multiple smaller versions available there is no reason not to be throwing this super effective bait. The rig imitates a small school of baitfish and an actively feeding bass can’t pass up an easy meal like that. If your state only allow for two or three hooks, make sure to put your “dummy” baits on the top and your hooked baits on the bottom.
Swimbaits – This can be a big category, but try rigging up a few different types and sizes of swimbaits in the spring. The smaller plastic paddle tail baits are fantastic when rigged on a swimbait head or an underspin. However, don’t be afraid to fish a larger 6-inch plus bait, as bass are always looking for a big meal. Glide baits are also a really solid option and can catch absolute giants in the spring.
This is one of those times of year, when fishing can be unpredictable on a day-to-day basis. Everything from a couple degrees of water temp change to the moon phase might put the bass in completely different areas. If you’re not catching them, make sure to keep moving and not waste time. Once you find one fish, they’ll be plenty more in the area!