One of my favorite times of the never ending fishing season, is spring. I love the warmer weather, the blooming trees, the daffodils, and all of the beautiful lakefront scenery. But what I love the most is THE SPAWN!!!. Though it’s a somewhat controversial tactic, I love it! I usually write about sight fishing for bedding bass during the spring spawn but I thought I’d change it up a little. After all, there is “more than one way to skin a cat” or “catch a bass”.
Some people get a little chapped when talking about sight fishing for bedding bass. They tend to think it’s “not right.” My point of view on fishing during the spawn is even if NOT sight fishing for spawning fish, the bass being caught are still in the spawning phase. So, for the purpose of not talking about sight fishing in the spring, we’re going to “skin the cat” a different way.
During the spring months the water is still usually in the sub 60s but still warmer than it has been. It’s the bass’ cue to start looking for shallow hard rocky bottoms, dock poles, stump fields, etc…to start laying their eggs. They want close cover and access to deeper water so they can go out to eat but get back in a hurry to protect their beds. Ideal places to start fishing are coves close to a channel, secondary points, stump fields and rip rap walls. I usually start midway in a cove and dissect my way back to the shallows. If I find a secondary point, I’ll fish all sides of the point as well as on top, especially at first light. My ideal places are stump fields and rip rap. Both of these hold heat and fish tend to stack up there especially with our unpredictable cold fronts in the spring.
If I had only one bait in my arsenal during the spring it would have to be a crankbait. Particularly a Stump Jumper by Brian’s Crankbaits. Depending on water color and baitfish I typically go between Crystal Craw or Natural Shad. Basically, using this as a “search bait”, intercepting bass as they move in, and move out of their spawning areas. It’s insane when used on rocky points, rip rap, and stumps. It’s not accidentally called the Stump Jumper. Since bass tend to bed next to stumps, it is crucial to make the lure literally hit the stumps. These lures are designed to deflect off the stumps and other wood most often producing a strike from a bass. The same applies with rip rap and rocky bottoms. This bait needs to hit the rock to entice a reaction bite. It’s also a great bait to simply “search” with. I like a slow steady retrieve unless the fish tell me something different. I rig this on a 6.10, medium, Powell Inferno crankbait rod. I find this rod gives me all the versatility I need for casting in all of the situations discussed.
This time of year, it’s all about interception. If you’re not going to sight fish, then you can catch a boat load of fish intercepting them on the way to their beds.
Now go catch a fish,