Spring bass fishing is about as good as bass fishing gets. The bass are hungry, aggressive and easy to catch. This is when the bass move from the depths into the warm shallow water where they will feed for the first time in months and spawn. It is also a time when hormones activated by the warmth cause some very aggressive behavior in males. They will strike your lure even if they aren’t hungry at times, simply because they won’t tolerate the presence of other fish around it, especially if they are still guarding their nest.
Make sure you check your local regulations for spring bass fishing season before heading out because it is illegal in most states to fish during the spawn.
As soon as the shallow water temperature reaches 60 degrees, spawning commences. The biggest bass are the first to start constructing their nest. They build their nests in 2-8 feet of water by sweeping an area with their tail. Bigger bass usually spawn in the deeper areas. Bass are naturally inclined to choose a rocky or gravelly spot to nest but will spawn on sand or soft bottoms if required to. Remember that the big bass get first pick at the best spots. Bass will start to spawn if the temperature stays around 60 for a few consecutive days, if there is a cold spell during this period they will retreat back to deep water and have to start all over again when the weather permits.
During the spawn, females will continue to feed after they have laid their eggs while the male will not. He will guard the eggs and the fry (baby bass) without eating until they are ready to go on their own. That doesn’t mean you can’t catch a male though. Simply putting a lure in its nest area may cause it to attack.
It must defend against all intruders and if that intruder is your lure then he will attack it. This may take some persistence on your part but it is a proven method. Just make sure it is legal to be fishing during the spawn in your area.
The males will guard their fry for two to three weeks, but lucky for us, their aggressive hormones will last a bit longer. When spring bass season opens, the bass will still have their super charged aggressive instincts left over from spawning which makes spring bass fishing so much fun.
Start your spring bass fishing efforts in 2-8 feet of water on the northwest banks of a lake as well as major creek arms. Look for places with lots of cover and structure. As in any time of year, bass need things to hide around to hunt effectively.
Spinner baits and jigs are my bait of choice for spring bass fishing, but crankbaits, jerkbaits and topwater poppers are also effective, just remember to retrieve them slowly – more so in the early spring then later. In the early spring, bass are still a bit sluggish. They are still shaking off the winter blues but their energy levels pick up as the water gets steadily warmer and they eat more.