Big swimbaits have made quite an impact over the past few years, and for good reason. What started as a what many considered a “West Coast” tactic, has become a nationwide phenomenon. The bass fishing community has proven on large scale that bigger baits do indeed catch bigger bass. Spring is prime time to chunk around some big baits as the bass move up to feed before going into full-blown spawning stage. Here are some areas to intercept some of those fish and have a chance at a new PR!
Points Leading into Spawning Areas
This is a prime area for whatever bait you may be throwing this time of year, but this could be the hottest spot to pick off big females headed shallow. Especially as the day heats up and they move up on top of the point to feed on whatever the buffet has to offer. In fact, if this point has any of the other ingredients, I am about to mention that will only make it better! Also keep in mind to change up your angles and make your way around the point. Many times, it can take several passes from a different point of view to trigger older, smarter, and bigger bass into eating.
Docks Adjacent to Spawning Areas
This is usually my starting point when trying to determine which stage the bass may be in throughout the spawn. I will locate prime bedding areas and simply fish the docks leading into and out of those areas. Docks offer everything a big bas needs. In the pre-spawn they will use them as stopping points moving into a bay, during the spawn as cover and edges to bed around deeper into the bay, and after laying eggs the females will tuck under the docks to recoup from the process of spawning. A slow moving, big, easy meal is a great way to taunt one of these expecting or freshly delivered mamas into biting.
In some of my favorite lakes to fish, there aren’t really any bays and such to really pinpoint where the bass may be bedding. They are simply bowls lined with grass. And typically, my biggest fish of the year are caught on these deeper grass lines where the big girls will stage before and after the spawn. While the grass can be difficult to fish at first, one of my favorite tactics is to parallel these grass lines with a big glide bait. Especially in the clearer water, the bass in the grass will travel quite a way to attack an easy and fulfilling meal. I will also use slower sinking models to cover expanses of grass flats, keeping it just above the new growth as spring goes on.
Of course, as the bigger fish become more and more active this time of year, it is prime season to chase the trophies. And, while these are the areas I typically look for, they simply scratch the surface of when and where to fish a big swimbait!