Pre-spawn Bass Tips

Targeting pre-spawn bass as spring begins to approach is a great way to catch a lunker; follow these tips to fill your smartphone with plenty of giant-bass grip-n-grin photos

(Photo courtesy of SkipperMark)

Fishing for pre-spawn bass can be difficult until the days become longer and the warmer sunnier days begin to increase the water temperature. The later part of February and into early March warming trends bring changes to the behavior of the bass. The sluggish, lethargic fish begin to move as they seek out warmer water. In this blog I will share some tips and techniques to help you catch more bass at this time of the year.

Pre-spawn Bass
(Photo courtesy of SkipperMark)

Once the water temperature rises to 55 to 60 degree range, bass will begin moving. The warming trend and longer days let the bass know when to begin the to move toward the spawning areas. However a cold front will send bass back into deep water. The cold front also means they will feed less. As the water temperature in the coves maintains 60 degrees, bass will start moving in to spawn. This is when the bass will be hungry.

(Photo courtesy of SkipperMark)

Creek channels are a likely place to find bass at this time of year. The channels are like nature trails for moving bass. Keep in mind that the points on the creek channels are holding areas for the fish. Fishing the points with a crankbait by letting it scratch and bump along the bottom around points and drop offs is a very effective presentation. In late February I prefer using green and crawfish colors.

(Photo courtesy of SkipperMark)

Fishing ledges, old roadbeds, rip rap and grassy areas with close access to deeper water, but near spawning areas is also a productive method as the water gradually warms. In the shallow coves, the water will warm more rapidly and the baitfish, followed by the bass will seek out this warmer water. The bass will be looking for schools of shad and other baitfish as well as crawfish. A jig and pig fished in these areas can be effective. I often use a small jig with a craw trailer using a slow dragging and short pop retrieve to resemble a defending crawfish.

(Photo courtesy of SkipperMark)

Another place often overlooked in late February is weed beds. These weeds that survived winter usually hold big bass. If the water temperature is 55 degrees or above, fishing a topwater lure, a big worm or lizards will work well for catching these bass. Another tactic some of the pros use for fishing wed beds is throwing a slow-rolling spinnerbait.

If you remember a place from last spring where the bass were spawning, fish the deeper channels into these shallower areas, if the channel has a sharp bend or even better a hump bass will be holding there. A point close to a spawning flat is another hot spot for pre-spawn bass. Fish a crawfish type lure along the bottom slowly. A good color choice for these areas is pumpkinseed and crawfish colors.

Pre-spawn Bass Tips
(Photo courtesy of SkipperMark)

After a few good warm days, known as a warming trend, bass will move in on stumps near spawning areas. Throw a crankbait bumping it off of the stumps, slowly, or use a spinnerbait between them. A topwater lure fished near cover in spawning areas has been proven to work as well. I will often fish.

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