large-mouth-bass

Large Mouth Bass

Spring Bass Fishing

With spring well on its way, I am anxious for some bass fishing.  While I do most of my bass fishing in lakes when the rivers in Colorado are too high to fish from the snow melt, I do love to fish the pre-spawn period as the big bass move into shallower water.  Once the water temperature reaches 55 degrees and holds there, you can bet that the bass will start moving near their spawning areas.  It’s going to be a while before that happens on my favorite bass lake, it was still frozen over when I drove past it yesterday.

bass-spawning-map

Bass Spawning Map

During the early spring bass need to take in a lot of calories to prepare themselves for the spawn, plus they are hungry after the winter months of scarce forage.  They will move to staging areas not far from their spawning grounds, where they still have easy access to deeper water.  Bass spawn in water that is sheltered from prevailing spring winds, has vegetation to dampen wave movements, and preferably with a suitable bottom material for nesting.  Bass prefer a gravel or hard sand bottom, but will also build their nests on hard clay, or even dead vegetation if needed. Knowing where the bass will spawn will help you find them in the pre-spawn period.  This is when finding underwater vegetation is very important.  Look for weed lines that are near deeper water and probable spawning grounds.  When you find that vegetation, look for open areas within the vegetation, either caused by a difference in the bottom material, or logs or rocks which create openings.  These openings are prime places to hold bass.

[imagebrowser id=15]Another thing to look for is creek channels.  As a creek flows into a lake, it doesn’t necessarily stop there; the channel can go on for quite a ways along the bottom of the lake.  In reservoirs creek channels will remain as they were before the land was filled with water.  In fact, creek channels are a good place to fish almost any time of year, but during the pre-spawn these channels create excellent holding areas for bass.

Fishing in heavy vegetation can be frustrating, but if you use the right lures and a sensitive rod, you can learn to sense what lies below the water’s surface by feeling what is going on with your lure.  A Texas or Carolina rigged worm does well in weeds, and a jig-and-pig is one of the best lures to feel out the bottom structure without getting snagged, and also one of the best lures to entice a strike.  If you are using a spinner bait, the ones with two willow-leaf blades cut through the vegetation the best.  I also like a spoon with a single hook and a weed guard; this is a great lure for

jig-n-lizzard

Jig & Lizzard

walking over sunken timber and through weeds.  If you can get parallel with the weed line, fishing a diving crank bait that bounces off the bottom fished just in front of the weed line is very effective.  With any of these lures, a hesitation in your retrieve will often draw a strike, patience is critical.While it’s still a couple of months away for me, I hope some of my readers have the chance to get out for some bass soon.  I would love to hear from you, especially if you learned anything from this post.


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