Spring Fishing: Tips to Catch Spawning Bass
Catching spawning bass is something that many anglers look forward to in the Spring. It is a key time of the year to catch bass, especially for those who like to sight fish. Not only is it a good time for experienced anglers, but for beginners as well. Here are some tips to help you catch more spawning bass:
Find Areas with Good Cover: If where you live is 65 degrees or higher, you will want to search your lake or pond for bass beds. When searching for a good bed, look in shallow areas protected from weather and next to deep water. Typically, 15 feet of water or less. Backs of creeks, behind bigger docks, and rocky banks are all good places to look.
Patience: Don’t just cast to a bed and watch their bait. Watch and observe the behavior. Spawning bass are usually paranoid and skittish, making them easily spooked by even the slightest disturbance. When targeting these bass, it’s important to go the extra mile to be as quiet as possible. If they leave the nest and come back after a minute or so, typically they will take more time and work to catch. If they swim in tight circles when you cast on the bed, that generally means that’s a catchable bass that will most likely bite. Each bed will have a sweet spot that just drives fish crazy each time a bait gets near it. Work your bait different ways and learn which movements really entice the bass. If you see flaring fins and tight circles, than you know your doing the right thing.
Keep Your Distance: If you approach a bed with no bass, wait a few minutes before moving on. Chances are you scared them away. Drop your line over the bed and then slowly back your boat away while giving more line so the bait stays over the bed. Reposition yourself to where you can see the bed well, but are far enough away that the bass will not become spooked. A good distance is about 7 feet away. At this distance, you are far enough away where the fish won’t notice you.
Polarized Sunglasses: While fishing on a beautiful spring day, you may encounter a terrible glare from the sun. In order to ease this glare make sure you’re prepared with polarized sunglasses that have quality lenses in either amber or green. You may also want to pack a bucket hat, this way you can keep the sun from reflecting off the inside of your glasses.
Sight Fishing: If you don’t get results within five minutes of casting in a bed, move just close enough to see the bass. This confirms that they are still there and lets you see how it’s reacting to your lures. Sometimes you’ve got to show a fish several types to find the one that trips its trigger. Make sure you are prepared with various types of bait & lures.
Lures/Bait: Bass eat a lot less while protecting their nest. Anglers should choose baits that are easy for bass and imitate species that threaten bass eggs. Plastic worms, crawfish, french fries, and floating worms are some great options. Worms also work well too! Small changes in bait selection can prove invaluable throughout the spawning period. What one fish bites, another one may ignore, so studying the reaction to your presentation is important. Line selection is also very important. The only thing you want the bass to see is your lure, not the line. Try using a good fluorocarbon that is abrasion resistant and low stretch.
Remember, fishing for bass on beds is strictly catch-and-release. After you catch them, you must set them back into the water unharmed.