Tips

What You Need To Know About Bass Fishing in the Spring

This is a great time of year to get out on the water and catch some bass. Get the most out of your time on the water by learning when and where to fish, and what baits to use. Read below for some of the best insights on spring time bass fishing.

Everything You Need To Know About Bass Fishing in the Spring

While the weatherman may say it’s springtime, bass fisherman know that there are certain cues to look for that signify the start of the spring fishing season. From water temperatures and fish behavior to the type of bait you use, everything changes in the springtime.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about bass fishing in the spring, from the best times to fish to the best baits and colors to use.

By the end, you may not be an expert, but you’ll definitely know a lot more about spring time bass fishing!

What Makes It Springtime?

To a bass fisherman, springtime is more than just the date on the calendar. There are certain environmental cues that signify the start of spring.

One of the most important factors is the water temperature.

As the water starts to warm from its winter chill, bass will begin to change their behavior. They’ll start to move shallower and become more active in preparation for the spawn.

Another factor is the length of the day. As the days start to get longer, bass will be active during a larger portion of the day and start to feed more.

These factors and more come together to create the perfect conditions for bass fishing.

Big largemouth bass being held up

Tips for Spring Fishing

Now that we know what makes it springtime, let’s discuss some tips for spring fishing.

The Weatherman's Role

While the weatherman may not be able to tell us exactly when bass will start to spawn, he can give us an idea of when the water will start to warm.

This is important because it will help us determine when our odds have increased for catching bass.

The best way to do this is to check the weekly weather forecast and look for a week when the highs are in the 60s. This is typically when the water starts to warm and the bass start to become active.

Another way to use the weatherman to your advantage is to look for fronts.

Fronts can have a big impact on bass fishing. The key is fishing the day before and the day after a front. This is because the barometric pressure changes that occur during a front can cause the bass to increase their activity.

The Best Times to Fish for Bass in the Spring

The best time of day will depend on how far along in the spring season you are, along with your current geographic location.

This is because you’ll want to be fishing when the water temperature is ideal. If it’s too cool, the bass won’t be very active. If it’s too hot, the bass won’t be very active…

See a bit of a trend here?

The key will be the water temperature. If you’re very far south, you’ll likely want to start fishing early morning or later in the evening.

Far north where it’s still pretty cold at spring time. Best bet will be to wait until it’s a little later in the day and the water has had a chance to warm up a bit.

Bass swimming underwater

Water Temperatures and Bass Behavior

As the water starts to warm, bass will begin to change their behavior. They’ll start to move shallower and become more active in preparation for the spawn.

This is why it’s important to fish when the water temperature is ideal.

The Pre-Spawn

The pre-spawn is the period of time when bass are moving shallower in preparation for the spawn. This is typically when the water temperatures are between 50 and 60 degrees.

During the pre-spawn, bass will be feeding heavily in preparation for the spawn. This is the perfect time to fish for big bass!

Fishing in Different Water Conditions

pring brings with it a variety of water conditions. From clear to muddy, there are a number of factors that can affect the water. The key is to be prepared to fish in any condition.

Catching Spring Bass on Any Bait

While there are certain baits that are more effective in the spring, the truth is that you can catch bass on just about any bait. Crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, and soft plastics are all effective during spring.

The Importance of Reaction Lures

Reaction lures are any lure or bait that elicits a reaction strike from a bass. This can be anything from a crankbait that deflects off of structure to a topwater bait that makes a loud noise.

Reaction bait can work great in the springtime because it gets the bass to strike out of instinct rather than hunger alone. While bass will be feeding heavily in the pre-spawn season. They will be actively defending their nesting zones during the actual spawn. This can be a great time to break out the reaction lures.

Baitfish Patterns

Baitfish, like shiners, are one of the most common food sources for freshwater bass. Bass will be heavily feeding on bait fish because they are feeding heavily in preparation for the spawn and are looking for easy meals.

Replicating the patterns, appearance, and behavior of real baitfish can be a highly effective tactic in spring.

Try using shiner colored baits and lures like spinner baits that create a lot of motion in the water and appear like multiple bait fish swimming through the water together.

Smallmouth bass being retrieved to the boat

The Best Baits for Spring Fishing

Now that we know the importance of baitfish patterns and reaction baits, let’s discuss some of the best baits for bass fishing in the spring.

Skirted Baits

Skirted baits are versatile and effective in the spring. From spinnerbaits to chatterbaits, these baits come in a variety of colors and sizes. Skirted baits are effective because they offer a lot of flash and vibration, which can attract bass from a distance.

Lipless Crankbaits

Lipless crankbaits are a great choice for spring as they can be fished through brush, along the water bottom, around logs, rocks and other water obstacles. They are designed to bump off of surfaces, which helps to keep them from getting stuck. This makes them great because they can be fished in a variety of water conditions.

All of this activity makes them look like easy prey to any nearby bass.

Rattlebaits

Rattlebaits are another great choice for spring. They are similar to lipless crankbaits, but they have a rattling sound that helps attract surrounding bass.

The sound is produced by a small metal ball that moves around inside the lure’s body.

Topwater Baits

Topwater baits are a great choice. They are designed to float on the surface of the water and make a lot of water motion and commotion that draws bass in.

The most popular topwater baits include frogs, buzzbaits, and poppers.

Chatterbaits and Spinnerbaits

Chatterbaits and spinnerbaits are also great baits. They are similar to topwater baits, but they are designed to be fished just below the surface of the water. This makes them a great choice for fishing in areas with thick vegetation.

Jigs

Jigs are a great choice for fishing in the spring. They are designed to imitate a crawfish or other small baitfish. Jigs are effective because they can be fished in a variety of water conditions and around a variety of structure.

Jigs are one of the best lures to use when trying to focus on a very specific spot in the water or to reach hard to get places, like under fallen trees, docks, or other structures that require hopping the lure along the top of the water surface to reach your destination.

Soft Plastics

Soft plastics are also a great choice for fishing spring. They are designed to imitate a variety of baitfish, worms, and other bugs.

For more lure ideas, check out our article: 20 Best Lures For Bass

Man fishing with a spinning reel and rod combo

The Best Places to Fish for Spring Bass

Now that we know the best baits for spring fishing, let’s discuss some of the best places to fish for spring bass.

Fishing Around Cover and Structure

Bass will often congregate around cover and structure during springtime. They are looking for places to hide from predators and to ambush prey.

Good places to fish include docks, piers, logs, rocks, and brush piles.

Creek Bends and Channels

Another great place to fish is around creek bends and channels. These areas are full of bait fish, and bass will often congregate here to feed.

Grass Beds and Hydrilla

Bass will also often be found in grass beds and around hydrillas in the spring. This is because the vegetation provides cover and ambush points for bass.

Docks and Other Sunning Areas

As the water temperature starts to warm, bass will often be found basking in the sun to raise their body temperature. Docks and other sunning areas are great places to fish.

Lily Pads and Aquatic Vegetation

Lily pads and other aquatic vegetation are also great. The vegetation provides cover and ambush points for bass, and the pads also absorb heat from the sun, making them a favorite basking spot for bass.

Frogs and bugs also frequently hang around in these areas, which will naturally attract the bass. This makes it easier to blend your lures and bait into the natural surroundings.

Man holding up a largemouth bass

The Best Colors for Spring Bass Fishing

Let’s look at the best colors to use when fishing in the spring. Due to the natural occurrences in the spring time, there are a few types of colors that will work best at this time of the year.

The Power of Red

One of the best colors to use for spring bass fishing is red.

Red is the color of crawfish, and bass will often be targeting crawfish in the spring. Red is also a very visible color, making it easy for bass to spot. This makes red an effective color choice.

Natural and Subtle Colors

Another great option for spring bass fishing is to use natural and subtle colors.

These colors are less visible to bass, and they will often be more interested in bait that is less conspicuous. Natural colors include green, brown, and black.

Small bass being held up

Conclusion

Spring bass fishing is a great time to get out on the water and catch some big fish. By following the tips in this article, you’ll be sure to have success. So get out there and start fishing!

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