The snow has melted and the birds are singing. This must be spring. This time of the year can yield you a bass of a lifetime. As daytime temperatures are on the rise, so is the surface temperature of your local watering hole. What does this mean? This means that the mean, green fish machine we all know as “bass”, will be “moving up” to spawn. If you payed close attention to the preceding sentence, I did not mention “lean.” I left this out due to the fact that the big females are loaded with eggs this time of the year. Now is the time that “Ol’ Girl” will be looking to dispense her eggs. The fish will be leaving their winter time depths in order to reach the shallows so that the male and female can do the tango of producing fry in order to pass on the gift of life.
Having that said, though very controversial, it is during the times; leading up to, during, and right after, that an angler has a chance to catch a 10 pound plus fish. Why, you ask; it semantics. The art of courtship, and then the act of spawning proved exhausting for the fish. In order to gain the much needed energy for this ritual, the fish need to eat. And eat they will do. It is estimated that a fish will consume the most amount of food based off of their weight and metabolism, during this time. The fish will need energy to not only perform the spawn, but to guard their precious fry as well. Nest raiders such as bluegill, lizards, and other predators also know that they can retrieve an easy meal during this time. It is Mother Nature’s cruel was of demonstrating the “survival of the fittest.”
In the days before the spawn, the fish are looking for big meals. Lures of choice are spinnerbaits such as the Red DiRt Bait Company’s Double Willow bladed spinnerbait in emerald shad, jerkbaits such as the Unfair Lures stickminno in black/orange, and large jigs such as the Raw Jigs Bullet Jig in green pumpkin .
The reason for these lure of choice is due to the nutritional value of these food sources for the fish. Both crayfish and shad provide the proteins needed in order to give the bass much needed energy in order to spawn and the energy needed to defend their fry. Try targeting lake points entering creeks, secondary points in the creeks themselves and then lastly, shallow areas with structure near the banks. These are known staging areas for the fish that are moving to the backs of creeks to spawn.
I hope this article assists you in catching that fish of a lifetime. As always, Tight Lines!