Ah, Spring that time of year when…. WINTER JUST WONT GIVE UP! Ha, well it can feel like that sometimes, but that’s because the warmer weather is returning and we get excited about the fishing action to come. However, when a cold front decides to sweep back through, we can get a little “perturbed”. That’s cool though, we love Spring – it’s time to start thinking about long days on the water, and going after our favorite fish species for the Summer months to come. In the meantime, the fishing does get steadily better across the board during Spring, so we do find ourselves out there quite a bit.
Springtime Bass Fishing
Springtime for bass is all about water temps – and this can change rapidly as fronts move in and out. A basic rule applies: if its cool – slow it down. If its warm – speed it up. During this time of year, you get both pre-spawn and spawning seasons happening. This again is dependant on temp, but just a few tactics can help you grab a lip without much effort. I would suggest planning on trying all of these during a single trip until you find the one that works for that given day.
Slow and Low
Moving a slow bait across the bottom can be the ticket for cooler water or lethargic fish. Lures like a weighted crawfish bait will work just fine for this. Let the lure sink to the bottom and slowly retrieve it. During this retrieve, let the lure dig and bump across the bottom.
Stuck in the Middle with You
If the bottom isn’t working, time to suspend your twitch. A suspending twitch bait or stick-bait is mainly best during the spawn. This type of lure will represent a threat to bed gauding bass, and they will lash out to annihilate this little predator. But, even if you’re not sure if they are bedded up, give this a go when the bite seems to be off.
Let’s Top it Off
My favorite summer-time bass tactic working the surface with a topwater. Unless you’re in Florida, it may not be time for a frog lure yet, but a topwater chugger can be just what the (bass) doctor ordered. You may want to try two approaches with this. One, twitch and pause. This method is basically a slow retrieve for topwater. You are not looking to make a bunch of racket, but you are looking to spit up a little water and then give it a sec before the next. The second, keep it steady. Again, not quite to mimic the full-on summertime top speed effort you may use with a topwater, but the idea here is to keep it moving- Steady and Slow.
Springtime on the Flats
For saltwater inshore guys, especially in the southeast, Spring is just awesome. This time of year you get really aggressive seatrout, black drum pushing through, snook start to reveal their hungry side, and redfish are still abundant. Again, you want to investigate what the temps are doing on any given day to better plan for your presentation choices, but overall springtime on the flats means the fish are getting more aggressive and your opportunities grow exponentially. If you have a coastal marsh system, exploring the “canals and creeks” within these systems can pay off really well. This is when having a versatile fishing boat really comes in handy.
It wouldn’t be prudent to try and list all of the lures and baits that may work because this is extremely dependant on area and location. Knowing what the fish are eating by studying your area is going to be key. Ask yourself, “Have baitfish shown up yet?” “Are redfish still tailing?” “Do I see many surface explosions when I scan the flats?” and so on. These are all key indicators for what you may want to use for your targeted species.