Find Early season bass noW
This is one time of the year bass and boat anglers are likely to be on a level footing, bass are headed towards the bank and you’re going to find them in all three stages of the spawn, some still feeding up, those already on the bank and big fish moving back to deep water while they recover.
HOW BASS MIGRATE
Think of every potential spawning area with concentrations of fish as a funnel onto flat, where bass move out from deeper water to spawn in shallow water, preferably gravel banks. Types of funnels include points, channel bends, shallow bays and any shallow hard bottom area like rock walls, ledges and even slipways.
HOW TO FIND THEM
When you’re at the dam open up the map app on your phone, switch to satellite mode and check prime areas close to you. Even on a very flat, seemingly do nothing bank you will still find subtle topographic features. If there is grass or rock mixed in spend some time in the area and mix up your presentation between reaction style baits like a jerkbait or slow down with a light weighted or weightless plastic.
3 TECHNIQUES THAT SHINE
Weightless: A weightless jerkbait like McArthy’s Tiddler, Stumpi or YUM Dinger are solid options. Early morning and late afternoon fish will feed aggressively and as the sun gets higher, especially in clear water they’ll move to the closest depth change they feel comfortable at.
Mojo Rig: One of the deadliest rigs year-round, a Mojo rig offers a slower rate of fall than when fishing a Texas Rig, is less prone to snagging and fish don’t feel the weight as soon as they bite. All key features if they are receiving more pressure than usual as it warms up. Baits to try include: grubs like a McArthy Gambit, Damiki Mr. Jumbo or even a lizard and if they’re being finicky switch to a stickbait or jerkbait with less action. On grassy dams look for sparse cover around gravel, bass will want the best light penetration and the warmest water to nest on. Make long casts past prime targets and work the bait slowly past where you think they should be. If you don’t catch fish ultra shallow keep moving deeper until you get a bite.
Jerkbait: A jerkbait will fool hungry pre-spawn fish as well as those moving out to deeper water but finding the right cadence is key. Try a twitch, twitch long pause cadence to start and experiment what triggers a bite.
So get out on the water, enjoy some early spring bassing and remember to put those big fish back.