Pre Spawn Bassin’

While Spring time bass fishing can be and often is the best and easiest time of the year for most fishermen to catch lots of Bass, and good Bass, lots of veteran anglers know that "PRE SPAWN" means "BIG" Bass. this can be very frustrating for some fishermen because they will tend to bunch up in certain areas and can be hard to find, but we will cover that later on.
The first thing that has to happen of course is a slow rise in water temp. as the water temp. rises from winter lows the large females and the buck Bass start to move around in the anticipation of water temps conducive to spawning.  The first thing you look for is water that is on the rise (temp.) as soon as the water starts to get into the low 50's bass will start to move towards spawning flats where they will go through the spring ritual of reproducing. Good spawning flats typically will be large flats with good cover and shallow water that is near deeper water, this is a real key as they will stage in these areas well before they spawn. As in the Fall Bass will feed heavily and on large prey at this time, both the females and the smaller male Bass will go for a while without feeding during the spawning process and will need to fatten up so as to retain some energy during this time. And as spawning takes its toll on their reserves , they often are not in the mood to chase prey for a while after the spawn. This is why you can gang up on the big Bass if you can find them.
One of the first productive areas is the secondary point. Now I have heard that all my life but have never seen anyone explain just what that is. The points out on the main lake are of course known as Main lake points. so the secondary points are the points that are up in the creeks, coves and pockets. As Bass move from there Summer haunts out on the main lake they will us" highways " to travel to their spawning grounds. These highways are ditches, River channels, sloughs and  Creek channels. Along these routes are points as the channels bend they will form points. Bass will stop along these points to rest and feed as well as be ready to drop off into deeper water in case of inclimate weather. as the weather first starts to warm, look for the first points off of the main lake "with cover". as the water warms up slowly they will move along these highways farther in towards the back of the coves, so you can pattern them as they move farther back into the cove or pocket.

Now my favorite pattern is Creek Channels that make a swing towards the bank "IN THE BACK " of the cove or pocket. Here you are looking for a channel swing that has a fairly  shallow entrance on the outside bend. this seems to be important for access into shallow water and back out to the channel where they will suspend during cold fronts. In other words they want to be as close to the shallow water as possible and still have easy deep water access. For some reason this seems to be the real key to finding large schools of Females that are often actually chasing even during cold fronts. A few years ago I found such a place on my home lake , Caddo in North west Louisiana. For the last few years my son and son in law and I have had a bonanza for a short time each year in late Feb, early march, winning or doing well in several tourny's each year in this one spot. We have a creek channel that runs back into a popular large creek on this lake, back towards the back third of this creek the channel moves very sharply in to the shallows. On the outside bend the slope is washed out giving easy access to the shallow water. as the water warms up during the day the Bass will move shallow to search out possible spawning spots or feed. Early and late when the water is a little cooler they will suspend over the deeper water in the creek and rest or wait for schools of Shad that are also moving to the back of pockets to find warm water. After the water warms to about 54 degrees they will move to this area and actively chase prey. as the water warms even more they will start spending more time in shallow water. At about 58- 60 degrees you pray for a cold front because if you have located one of these holding area every Bass in the area will come back to this creek bend and hold there until the front passes. These bass will suspend and will also actively feed if you can present the right bait to them.

Now everyone knows that pre spawn Bass will eat  jig & pig during this time, especially when they are in the shallows feeding on early spring crawfish. look for brushy or stumpy areas in the flats and chunk that jig into the tightest cover you can find. I like Black and Blue in clear to slightly stained water, but as you know that time of the year off colored water is the rule more often than not, then I like a little orange or even chartreuse at this time. sometimes these Bass will be very easy to catch, as  they are in a feeding mode if the weather is nice. But: if the weather turns sour they can be very hard to catch. This is when you go back out to the first drop, "your creek channel" and throw a very large , fairly shallow crank bait slowly through the creek. A large Willow leaf spinnerbait will also be effective at this time when slow rolled through these suspended fish. On my lake these bass seem to feed heavily on large Gizzard Shad, if you can find them when gizzards are moving through you can kill them on a large Swimbait in just about any shad color. Make long casts ( easily done with these large baits ) as you bring the swimbait back hop it, jerk it, wiggle it anything to make it look like a wounded shad. Last year my son and I caught 8 overs from this spot in a tourny when second place only caught 3 fish, and this tourny was during a cold front that dropped the air temp. 20 degrees overnight. Those fish were actually on top busting huge gizzard shad for a good bit of the day AMAZING! And we caught all but one on a 6" Storm saltwater swimbait, by normal standards this bait is huge.

Try these tactics next spring when you see the water warming and you will be rewarded with that "BIG UN"
Ernie "Papa" Cella

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