Seeing Red in Winter and Late Spring
What is with the appeal of red lures in Late Winter and Early Spring? I mean, for years we’ve heard arguments that red attracts bass and triggers a predatory response. We’ve also been told red line is practically invisible because bass can’t see red. So, what gives? Without delving into scientific reasoning, we can conclude that it just flat out works. Red lures catch fish early in the year more so than any other time. The biggest factor is that it matches the hatch, especially crawfish. And, whether or not bass can or can’t see the color red, and whether or not red disappears the further it gets into the water column due to light penetration; crawfish are red, bass eat crawfish, thus chunking a red colored bait where bass are hunting red crawfish is going to increase your odds of enticing the bass to eat your bait. I do believe there’s more to it than that if we were to dive into particular theories, but let’s not overthink the situation. Let’s get to the point; which baits should I be throwing?
This time of year, the crankbait becomes a particularly useful tool because it checks off the two boxes of late winter and early spring. We want to cover water to find groups of fish and we want to try to make those fish react once we do find them. While crawfish love to hang around clay banks, rocks, wood, and other cover, a crankbait designed to run that depth can create mad hysteria when it bangs around that cover.
My grass fishermen know what’s up here. If you can find any remnants or new growth of submerged grass leading up to the spawn, it has the potential to house the entire food chain. And, where I’m not a big fan of struggling with a lipped bait in these areas a lipless crankbait can killer and this case has been proven on the professional circuits for years and years.
The beauty of a bladed jig is that it can take the place of bother crankbaits that were mentioned and then some! Steep banks, rocks, wood, grass, docks, flats, you name it. It wasn’t long ago that a certain pro fisherman set the world on fire at the Bassmaster Classic with a Firecraw colored Jackhammer. This bait has been one of the most sought-after baits since that day, and for good reason.
Now is the time to don your red gear and go after these pre-spawn gorgers. So, paint the lake red this spring to put more—and bigger—fish in your boat.