Fishing the Spring Thaw: Everything You Need to Know

It’s the time we’ve all waited for, spring. While heading down to the basement or into the garage to take a look at the fishing gear, realize there is no need to wait another month to start fishing.

Many bass anglers don’t understand how extended cold temperatures impact the bass. Anyone can have success fishing the spring thaw, it’s time to get in on it.

Understanding the Science

Weather affects bass habits This is an area a lot of bass anglers fail to understand.. It’s important to know bass are a seasonal fish and as a result, the temperature, pressure, and humidity will impact how they bite.

Bass are most active during periods of extended low pressure and high humidity. The best time to fish for bass is right before a storm on a warm summer day.

An example of the worst time would be dry, cold air, with cold water temperatures; otherwise known as winter. This is the reason bass don’t bite much during the winter and it’s much more challenging to find them.

So, when the pressure is high and the temperatures are low, a bass’s metabolism slows down. As a result, they don’t eat as much, they feel lethargic, and they tend to stay close to whatever structure they’re using as cover.

In comes spring, the temperature is warming up a little, they’re moving back into shallow water, and they’re ready to feed again. They’re also preparing for spawning season. Just before the spawn bass are feeding pretty heavily but they’re still not venturing too far out of their cover.

Understanding the science behind bass behavior is the key to being able to successfully catch fish during any season. Based on everything I just covered, here are some of my top tips for bass fishing in the early spring.

Fish Around the Weather

At this point, we know our best fishing will happen on warmer days. Find unseasonably warm days leading to a cold front. Where I’m from in Northeastern PA, we always have a week or so of these days in March sometime.

We’ll have a stretch of 60 degree days when the bass start feeding heavily. These are some of the best days because it’s generally followed by a cold snap.

Fish the Afternoons

This tip is the opposite of what my dad and grandfather always told me, but they were only ever fishing in the middle of June and July. When it’s still in the 30s in the morning and late evening, fish the middle of the day. This is when the water will be the warmest. Even the slightest change in water temperature will trigger the bass to start feeding.

Size Down the Lures

Bass are much less aggressive during the early spring so decrease the size of your lure down to something around the 4-inch mark. Creating a challenge for them is setting up for failure. If chasing the bait becomes a chore, they’ll let it go and wait for something easier to come around.

They’re lethargic and their metabolism is slow so they’re not feeding much, make it easy for them.

Pitching in Cover is a Great Strategy

Pitching is one of my favorite methods of fishing in the spring. It involves holding the lure in one hand and opening the bail while holding the line with the other hand. Troll slowly along until finding a spot to drop the lure and fling it over.

For this to work anglers need to know exactly where to fish. Knowing how to read a fish finder is helpful.

The key to success during early spring bass fishing is really hitting them on the head with it.

Have a Patient Hook

Even though the water is starting to warm, bass are slow to bite and extra slow to eat the lure. They’re not going to come from 100 feet away and snatch it up like they would in the summer, they’ll be more cautious. Don’t be so quick to jerk the rod on the initial nibble. Give it a second, feel another nibble, and tighten the line until feeling some resistance.

I hope these tips will help some of anglers get out on the water earlier this season. There’s plenty of bass fishing to enjoy. Understanding how cooler temperatures and barometric pressure impact their habits will improve the chances of catching more bass.

Tight lines,
Coty Perry

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.