WHAT IS THE PRE SPAWN?
Let’s dive into the world of pre-spawn bass fishing. It’s all about understanding when and how bass start moving before spawning. Imagine it like a local or regional journey for bass from their cold water winter homes into the shallows. If you’re in Gauteng, the water might still be around 14-15 degrees Celsius – kind of like late winter and very early pre-spawn.
But if you’re up in Mpumalanga or on the border of Zimbabwe, bass might have already dropped their eggs. Most bass across the country will be in a combination of phases from early pre-spawn all the way to the post spawn. As we head into September and this cold weather subsides and we get a few warm days consecutively, bass will head towards the nearest spawning pockets.
To find them, start looking at the edges of where they’ll spawn: entrances to bays, points, channel bends or large shallow flats with gravel close to deep water. Big hens stage at the first spot, feeding and packing on weight ahead of the spawning ritual. If a big front rolls in and drops temperatures they might move back down a bit, but not too far where they were holding. To catch them, pay attention to how warm the water is or the banks that receive the longest amount of daylight with the right mix of structure and spawning areas, these are key areas you can highlight from Maps on your phone.
Fish a combination of reaction and finesse baits, like a suspending Sensation SD3 jerkbait, weightless YUM Dinger, or a swimbait you can slow roll like a Keitech Easy Shiner in colours you know produce in your body of water. The key is to cover water and cycle areas throughout the day as water temps warm up towards the afternoon, the fish might be in the area but not actively feeding so going back to key areas will eventually deliver. Take note when the bass are feeding and where they are as that bite will likely last a few days until they move up to spawn.