Spring Bass Fishing Secrets From the Pros
“Tournament veterans reveal their favorite early-season hotspots and tactics
The first hint of spring’s warming weather gets bass anglers going because it gets bass moving toward shallow water, where they’re more accessible. However, they’re not necessarily easier to catch. Even pros admit that spring bass fishing can pose a real challenge when it comes to locating and catching fish. That’s why most of them keep notes on how they do it. Below, five of America’s best bass anglers, including the 2020 Bassmaster Classic winner, share their top spots, favorite tactics, and best baits for finding and catching bucketmouths now.
1. Target mud lines and floating docks when spring bass fishing.
“Mud lines along wind-blown banks are excellent places to key on for spring bass fishing,” says Hank Cherry, who won the 2020 Bassmaster Classic in March. Fish will often hunt and feed aggressively in this off-colored environment, and the pro uses crankbaits, bladed jigs, spinnerbaits, and standard jigs to take advantage. “Usually, when you find one fish along a mud line like this, you’ll find others and will get multiple bites.”
A second favorite spot of Cherry’s for big early bass is floating docks. “Bass will use these for cover during all phases of the spawn,” he says. “You can fish them with a variety of baits, depending on the spawning phase, but two of my favorites are jigs and a weightless, whacky-rigged worm or stickbait. Just skip the bait beneath the floating dock, and let it settle.” Most bites will come on the initial fall. “It’s a very easy presentation that can produce incredible results.”
2. Jig for bass in shallow woody cover.
“Even when water temperatures are still in the low to mid-50s, I look for spring bass around stumps, flooded trees, laydowns, and brushpiles in coves where the fish will later spawn,” says Texas pro Gary Klein. “This type of cover provides enough protection that the bass can suspend near the surface, where the water is warmest.” Without such places to offer security, the fish will often stay deeper.”
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