Skip to main content

Early Season Bass

Early Season Bass
Early Season Bass
If you're after largemouth bass in shallow water, keep quiet and the action will improve.

If you're after largemouth bass in shallow water,
keep quiet and the action will improve.

Permitted use provided by: Lake-Link.com

Largemouth bass can be found in lots of lakes, rivers, and ponds across the country. In the southern regions of bass country it's already mid-season for bass catching, but in the Midwest the bass action is just starting. In fact, in some states that have an open and closed season for bass fishing, the legal season for catching bass is just starting. Here's how you can take advantage of the outstanding fishing for largemouth bass that can be found across the Midwest.

The first thing to consider is that much of this early bass action will be in shallow water. Whenever you're fishing in shallow water, for any species, you must be quiet. Fish in shallow water are very spooky, so any loud or unusual noise, and any movement will spook them. Shut the outboard off before you enter the area to be fished and move in slowly with the electric motor. Keep the power on the electric on low: Move in slowly and quietly and avoid giving the electric bursts of power.


You'll also want to make long casts, especially in clear water. Again, if you make long casts and stay away from the bass, you'll be less likely to spook them. Lures that enter the water quietly will be productive. A lure that lands on the water quietly attracts bass, while a lure that splashes down loudly will spook them, especially if it lands close to the fish.


A real winner for bass in the spring is a plastic worm rigged wacky style. Wacky rigging is simply hooking a worm right in the middle. You use a larger sized hook, about a 2/0 size for a five inch worm. You don't use any weight, as you want the worm to sink slowly. Cast the worm around rushes, docks, trees lying in the water, or anything that provides the fish with some cover. Bass like to be around stuff, especially when they're shallow.

This wacky rigged worm is a pretty light bait, so some anglers like to throw it with spinning gear. Fourteen pound test is about the minimum line weight if you're using mono, and heavier will be better in thick cover. If you prefer braided line, try forty pound test Bionic Bass line. It casts well and has the strength to get a bass out of most spots.

An Impulse Dip-Stick worm doesn't have much tail action, which makes it perfect for wacky rigging. Cast it out, let it sink a bit, then start a twitching retrieve. You might want to let it rest on the bottom for a second or two, and sometimes an even longer rest is good, but most of the time you'll want to keep it moving. In colder water give it light twitches, as the water warms move it more aggressively. Experiment with colors, but in clear water start with watermelon. Right now is an outstanding time to be on the water. The weather is usually nice and the bass are biting, and that creates a wonderful afternoon of fishing.

- Bob Jensen


Bob Jensen is the host of the Fishing the Midwest television series, a series of television fishing shows that highlight fishing locations and techniques throughout the Midwest. He also writes a syndicated fishing column and does fishing seminars throughout the Midwest. He is a former fishing guide and tournament angler. Visit Bob's web site at www.fishingthemidwest.com.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

MLF Pro Tips: Go-To Baits for the Spawn

MLF Pro Tips: Go-To Baits for the Spawn

Major League Fishing pros talk about the first lure they choose when targeting spawning bass.

Berkley Hit Stick & PowerBait Pre-Rigged Swim Shad

Berkley Hit Stick & PowerBait Pre-Rigged Swim Shad

The Berkley lineup for 2020 includes a new multi-species lure, the Hit Stick which is available in six different sizes ranging from 1 3/8” to 6” in length along with a variety of color patterns.

G Loomis NRX Rods

G Loomis NRX Rods

Whatever the target species, these rods feel good in the fly shop when you're giving them a test drive.

What

What's New with Abu Garcia Veritas Rods?

There are big changes to Abu Garcia's popular Veritas series of rods. Andrew Wheeler highlights the new features with In-Fisherman's Doug Stange as part of our 2020 ICAST New Fishing Gear Guide.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

If you haven't looked at the smaller urban lakes in your area, you are missing out on some great bass pond fishing.Bass Pond Fishing: Catch Lunkers at Small Lakes Near You Bass

Bass Pond Fishing: Catch Lunkers at Small Lakes Near You

Dan Anderson

If you haven't looked at the smaller urban lakes in your area, you are missing out on some...

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options.12 Great Catfish Baits Catfish

12 Great Catfish Baits

Jeff Samsel

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these great options.

Almost anyone can catch a bunch of small catfish. Hooking a true monster requires a different level of preparation, skill and effort.A Time for Giant Catfish Catfish

A Time for Giant Catfish

John N. Felsher - August 24, 2020

Almost anyone can catch a bunch of small catfish. Hooking a true monster requires a different...

Quick look at common, easy-to-catch fish species (video).Get On Board: Species 101 for Beginning Anglers Other Freshwater

Get On Board: Species 101 for Beginning Anglers

Game & Fish Staff

Quick look at common, easy-to-catch fish species (video).

See More Trending Articles

More Stories

There's no reason you can't be prepared if you catch a state-record fish.Think It's a State Record? Now What? Stories

Think It's a State Record? Now What?

M.D. Johnson - March 26, 2020

There's no reason you can't be prepared if you catch a state-record fish.

Various companies show appreciation to frontline defense – healthcare professionals – against the pandemic with special giveaway.Outdoors Industry Honoring Healthcare Heroes: COVID-19 News

Outdoors Industry Honoring Healthcare Heroes: COVID-19

April 27, 2020

Various companies show appreciation to frontline defense – healthcare professionals – against...

That one little thing we don't think about while on the water, it's what separates the men from the boys.Tough Fishing Lessons Learned – The Landing Part Stories

Tough Fishing Lessons Learned – The Landing Part

Jeff Johnston - September 14, 2020

That one little thing we don't think about while on the water, it's what separates the men...

An hour here, 30 minutes there, 10 casts after work; sometimes that's all it takes.Perspective: Satisfy Fishing Passion When You Can Stories

Perspective: Satisfy Fishing Passion When You Can

Adam Heggenstaller - June 24, 2020

An hour here, 30 minutes there, 10 casts after work; sometimes that's all it takes.

See More Stories

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now