One of the funnest ways to catch spring time bass is sight fishing. Sight fishing is an exciting way to fish because you get to see the bass react to your bait from the time it enters the water till the time it engulfs it.
One of the most important pieces of equipment that you can have is a good pair of polarized sunglasses. If you forget your sunglasses this time of the year you are at a great disadvantage. Polarized sunglasses allow your eyes to cut the glare and see a lot deeper into the water. Make sure you get two types of lenses. Gray for sunny days and tan for cloudy days. Flying Fisherman makes some great sunglasses at affordable prices that will last you a long time. Most tournaments out their require you to hook all bass sight fishing in the mouth. Sunglasses help you see if the bait is in the mouth our on the side of the fish so you ensure your catch counts.
When it comes to bait selection make sure that you have a whole bunch of different offerings tied on. I like to use soft plastics for my sight fishing. For sight fishing it is hard to beat a texas rigged tube, lizard, or sweet beaver. Honey Hole Hooks has come out with a new hook called the Spring Hook that is just a really sharp and strong hook that makes rigging plastics a lot easier. The built in screw keeps your bait perfectly positioned so that you can spend your time fishing rather than messing with your bait. The new hook will make your texas rigging a breeze. Make sure you check them out at www.honeyholehooks.com
Also you want to make sure that you have a shakeyhead rigged finesse worm and a jig on your deck. A shakeyhead does a great job of making the bass angry as they often can’t stand a worm sticking up on the bed like it’s feeding on the eggs.For all my shakeyhead fishing I use OMEGA Custom Tackle’s The Savior.
A full skirted football jig can also be great too on spawning bass. This presentation is often overlooked but does a great job of imitating a nest robbing bluegill. OMEGA Custom Tackle has a great football head jig in the Derek Remitz Signature Series. It’s got a great hook in it to get those big females in the boat.
Something different to try is a drop shot rig with a finesse worm. You can take that rig and pitch it into the spawning nest and keep it on the bed for eternity to entice the fish into striking. While I don’t have that much experience with spawning small mouths I’ve heard that the technique is really deadly on them.
Lastly don’t count out floating stickbaits. I saw the potential of working them over spawning beds last spring. For some reason bass hate stuff worked over their heads just as much.
Whatever baits you decided to toss to the bass make sure that you have some bigger ones and some smaller ones. One trick that will help you put some more spawning bass in the boat is to pitch a larger bait into the nest first to make the bass angry and if you don’t get bit take a smaller bait and pitch it into the nest. Sometimes that can be the trick to getting them to react.
Spawning bass can a lot of times be tough customers so when you find them try and get a feel for which ones you can catch in a reasonable amount of time. If a fish swims off when your bait hits the water it’s going to be a lot harder to catch then one that is locked onto the bed. Bass that are sitting on the bed at a slight angle with their nose down are usually the easiest to catch.
Spencer Clark is a collegiate angler who is sponsored by Naked Bait Company, OMEGA Custom Tackle, Flying Fisherman Sunglasses, Honey Hole Hooks, Tru-Tungsten, AiRRUS Rods, and Smack Tackle.