3 Spring Staples
As Spring is coming, is here, and is in the process of leaving depending on where you’re at in the country; our minds like to focus on the idea of looking for bass that are doing the deed, making spawning beds, and dropping eggs. I mean, that may be my favorite way to fish. While all of Spring revolves around that act, for the most part, the majority of bass for the majority of the time are either pre- or post-spawn. Which means that we need to head to the water more prepared than simply having a couple soft plastics to toss at bedding fish. The chances of having a grand day go up when you can find a way to target these pre- and post- bedding fish. Here are 3 baits to have on the deck to cover water and up your odds of a very productive day on the water!
I leave these categories fairly broad because a “crankbait” could mean different things depending on where you’re fishing. In Florida, this could be a lipless crankbait like a Red Eye Shad. On hard bottom/rock-oriented reservoirs this could mean a 3XD or something that dives deeper. None the less, as fish make their way to and from a spawning flat, it is a great idea to target that first deeper water along their route. Whether that be a rock bank or a point, a crankbait is a great way to tear into a group of fish, and a lot of time BIG FISH, either on the front end or the tail end of the spawn.
A bladed jig (looking at you Mr. Z-Man Jackhammer) has become the token bait of covering water and catching large-in-size as well as large numbers of fish, especially during the Spring. I have to admit I was slow to come around to the bladed jig craze, but the more I talk to pros, local sticks, and see the success of others on a bladed jig it has become hard to deny it’s effectiveness. In fact, it has become so convincing that you could really just pick one up as the only rod on your deck and have great confidence that you will find a way to catch them, and this is exactly what I would recommend to anyone who hasn’t jumped aboard the Jackhammer train yet. It can be fished in the same areas as any crankbait that was mentioned, as well as offer a triggering profile to bass further up on the spawning flats.
One thing about pre- and post-spawn bass is that, for those who love topwater action, this may be the very best time to find it! While many believe that topwater baits are for dawn-and-dusk summertime bass, it is hard to beat in the Spring and can be an all-day affair. For lakes where points, rocks, and even flats are going to be where the fish are holding, a walking bait like a Heddon Zara Spook can be dynamite. For shallow, flat, grassy lakes, I am already holding a frog this time of year. Some of my biggest Springtime bass have come on a topwater and I would highly recommend having one available!