Pre-spawn bass fishing can be an exciting way to enjoy the arrival of spring, and when you wake your Lund fishing boat from its winter slumber, there’s a good chance those early season bass will be foremost in mind.
How will you make sure your first spring fishing trip of the season is a success? We talked with Lund Boats pro Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson to get five tips for bass fishing during the pre-spawn phase.
Find the secondary points
“Secondary points are the juice,” says Jeff. “Those heading back into spawning pockets or bays are usually high-percentage locations during the pre-spawn period. If there’s a dock or laydown nearby, make sure you drop a cast or two around those, too.”
Fish with suspending jerkbaits
Suspending jerkbaits are one of Jeff’s favorites during this season, and from Canada to Florida, they allow you to cover lots of water with a bait that is proven during the cool water period. “The colder it is, the slower you should fish your jerkbaits,” he notes.
Gustafson is quick to remind anglers that they need to be quiet. As bass get closer to spawning, they will start to stage and suspend around specific pieces of cover like a dock, tree, boulder or anything else they can find. If they know you're there, they become extremely hard to catch, so you’ll need to sneak up on them and make casts at these pieces of cover from a distance.
Keep your eye on the weather
Pro anglers always watch the weather, but Jeff says this is particularly important during the pre-spawn period. When the sun is shining, bass will move into shallower water or shelter near the abovementioned cover where they can gather some heat. On dark, cooler days, you shouldn’t be afraid to fish a little deeper with bottom baits.
Experiment with larger baits
“Don't be afraid to try bigger profile baits, too,” Jeff offers up as his final tip. “As bass are gearing up to spawn, they want to keep their bellies full, especially the big females that are nursing their eggs, so they want to eat substantial meals. Large swimbaits can be good, especially on days with some wind. Larger profile spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and lipless crankbaits can be good as well, particularly in dirtier water. And of course, don't be afraid to try a big jig if you're in water with largemouth.”
Now’s the time to pull that cover off your aluminum fishing boat, prep your gear and get ready for action. The spring pre-spawn bass bite can be a hot one, and with these five tips in your back pocket, you’ll be able to target them like the pros.
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