Bass Fishing Early Spring – Tactics to Catch More Fish

Bass fishing in early spring can be one of the best seasons to fish if you know just what the fish want. As winter draws to an end and we transition into summer, we are left with the amazing spring bass fishing bite.

The air temperatures are rising and the water temps are too. While still considered cold water, the bass bite is starting to heat up.

Are you using bass fishing techniques that are catching fish?

If you’re are struggling to land spring bass then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will outline the following topics.

  • Bass Behavior During Spring
  • Spring Bass Fishing Techniques
  • Tips to Increase Success While Spring Bass Fishing
  • Best Lures for Spring Bass Fishing
  • Best Videos for Bass Fishing in Spring

You don’t always have to use the best bass fishing baits or the trending bass lures.

Sometimes using the tried and true, proven producers, are the way to go. Even the slightest tweak to a popular bait can increase you catch rate.

In the following section, we are going to break down the behavior of spring bass. In order to give the fish what they want we have to know what bass eat in spring.

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Characteristics of Bass in Spring

To start, we must understand that bass are cold blooded. Many of us already know this. But do you truly understand what this means?

Cold blooded species have a body temperature of their environment. The colder the water the slower the fish. Respectively, the warmer the water the warmer the fish.

As with most species the colder the body temperature the slower the creature. Cold fish move slower and thus use less energy. To translate this further, less movement burns fewer calories. While bass burn fewer calories they don’t need to replace as many calories.

To add to this, scientists have proven that bass tend to stay in smaller areas during cold water months than in warm water months. They tend to move more vertically than laterally.

This does not mean that bass will not feed. They absolutely still need to eat and consume calories. As the temperature changes in the water column so does the amount of available food sources. Bass follow these food sources up and down the water column as needed to consume calories.

It is at this time of year that our electronics come into play. With a decent fish finder, we are able to find a few crucial “pieces to the puzzle” relatively easily. Even lower priced fishfinders like the Garmin Striker 4 can tell us what we need to know.

What Fish Finders Tell Us:

  • Depth of Fish
  • Water Temperature
  • Identifying Bait Location
  • Bottom Configuration (rocks, grass, sand)

These 4 basic elements can be vital in your bass fishing success. I will explain why in the following sections shortly.

Early Spring Bass Fishing Tips

Most articles and videos you read or watch about tips for bass fishing in early spring will talk about lures and how to fish them. Now don’t get me wrong, I will get into that later.

In this section, I will give you tips to find early spring bass. If we can’t find the fish then we can not catch these fish.

Keeping the Characteristics of Spring Bass in mind let’s deep dive into early spring bass fishing tips.

Shallow Water Near Deep Water

As we have previously discussed, bass move vertically more than horizontally this time of year.

With the spawn fast approaching, bass is going to need calories.

Think easy opportunity ambush points. These are areas where bass can be sitting in deep water and quickly move into shallower water to feed.

Common Ambush Locations for bass:

  • Points with deep water near them.
  • Steep ledges and drop offs.
  • Islands in the middle of the lake.
  • Underwater creek channels.
  • Shallow coves near deep breaks

All of these areas allow the bass to move quickly into feeding areas and then retreat back to deep water to rest.

Cover Vast Amounts of Water

After understanding shallow water and deep water as it relates to bass, we must now locate these areas.

Often times we will not know a body of water like the back of our hand. The only way to find these areas of opportunity for spring bass is by covering water and using our electronics.

Often times anglers will spend countless time putting around in the boat or kayak using electronics to identify these locations. I have spent an hour or more searching for the best places to find these vertically moving bass.

Once we have identified a few of these areas we can start to notice patterns.

Did you notice differences in water temperature?

Have you seen bait isolated in one sport or another?

Are you marking fish in certain areas more than others?

Answering these questions is critical to ensure we find the greatest success.

With these new nuggets of information, let’s move on to our next tips for bass fishing in early spring.

Slower Retrieve for Spring Bass

So you have marked some bait and maybe even some bass. It’s time to put the trolling motor down and get to work.

No matter the lure you ultimately decide to use, make sure you start off by fishing slow. This is especially important in the early spring when the water is still relatively cold.

Just because you have found potential holding locations does not mean that we get to burn a crankbait over the top of these bass and fill the live well.

Although this technique is sometimes effective, more times than not it will leave you with slim to no fish.

Fish baits that allow you to crawl at an almost painful pace. Things such as jigs and worms are a great starting point.

Let’s get into the bread and butter of bass fishing in early spring, and that is technique.

Early Spring Bass Fishing Techniques

Now that we know the fundamental behavior of spring bass we can start to apply techniques to catch them.

The reason bass fishing early spring is so awesome is that this is the time that they are bulking up. They are slowly warming and burning more calories. Bait is becoming more readily available and thus the bass needs to feed.

Many of the techniques I am about to outline you have heard before. I hope to add some “tools” for your “toolbox” in order for you to have more success.

Techniques for Early Spring Bass Include:

1. Jig and Pig

2. Suspending Jerkbaits

3. Worm Fishing

4. Fishing Tubes

5. Crankbait Fishing

Let’s break these down further in order to add insights to catch more fish.

Jig and Pig Techniques for Bass

The jig and pig technique has been around for decades. It started out with anglers using jigs and adding pork trailers to them in order to add scent and bulk.

Fast forward a few decades and this technique is still alive and well. Anglers have adapted this and added tweaks of their own.

The reason this bass fishing technique is so successful is simply because of its size and speed. The right jig can offer a meaty profile. This plays right into spring bass behavior. Remember that bass are looking for a big meal while expending the least amount of calories possible.

Add to the bulky profile of the jig a potent scent of a pork trailer and even more bulk, and you have a recipe for success.

Another great advantage to fishing the jig and pig is that it can be fished in any water type.

Where to Use the Jig and Pig:

  • Clear Water
  • Muddy Water
  • Shallow or Deep
  • Moving Water
  • Still Water

Recommended Jigs for Spring Bass

Now I would not be doing myself any favors if I gave you all of this information and did not recommend a single jig for you to use.

These recommendations are based on my experiences fishing and catching bass in early spring.

But wait! Let’s not forget about the “pig” trailers. There is a time and a place for each of these trailers and you will have to experiment with them to find out what ones work best for your spring bass.

There are literally hundreds of jig trailers on the market these days. I still like using good ol’ fashion pork trailers whenever possible.

Do you have a favorite jig trailer that bass can’t resist?

Drop a comment below and let me know just what your favorite jig trailer is.

Jerkbaits for Bass Fishing Early Spring

Another great way to catch those monster spring bass is to suspend a jerkbait right over the top of them.

Jerkbaits are a minnow shaped hard bait that is typically retrieved erratically to entice strikes. Although jerkbaits can be fished all year long, spring is by far my favorite season to fish them.

When we talk about suspending jerkbaits I’m not referring to a short pause like normal. I am referring to letting that bait sit for 30 seconds up to a minute or more if necessary.

Try using the following method while fishing jerkbaits for early spring bass.

1. Find yourself a good suspending jerkbait. I will list some for you here in a moment.

2. Use a monofilament fishing line whenever possible. It is more buoyant than a fluorocarbon fishing line and will help suspend your bait. Learn more about mono vs flouro here.

3. Make a long cast with your lure making sure that your retrieve will bring the bait through the desired strike zone.

4. Start off by giving the jerkbait 4-5 hard and fast pulled with your rod. This will get the fishing lure down to your desired fishing depth.

5. Pause that bait for a period of 30 seconds to a minute. It is important to pay very close attention to your line here. Bites will be subtle and you may not feel them right away.

6. Repeat this process until the lure is retrieved back to the boat.

7. If unsuccessful, vary the length of time you are pausing the bait.

You jerkbaits ideally should pause just over the top of the grass beds, rock piles, creek channel, or cut bank.

Recommended Jerkbaits for Spring Bass

This is not an area where you want to cheat yourself and buy cheap jerkbaits. Certain brands I have found will suspend better than others.

While choosing a jerkbait that is right for you, don’t forget to try and match the baitfish that live in your body of water. The colors that work for me may not be the colors that work for you.

While the X-Rap Jerkbait is a very nice lure, I find that the Luckycraft Jerkbaits outperform all others by a long shot. Everything from the realistic paint jobs to the sharper hooks, these are a far superior bait than most.

Rubber Worm Tactics for Spring Bass

Fishing plastic in spring for bass is kind of a given. I mean the worm is one of the safest and most sure fire ways to catch bass any time of year, spring is no different.

While there are many methods to fishing rubber worms for bass, there is one particular method that I love more than the rest.

I’m talking about shaky head fishing rubber worms. This is the only time of year when I will tie on a shaky head and go to work.

Typically I prefer a dart head with its more erratic motion and faster retrieves. The shaky head is unrivaled in early spring, however.

Places to Fish the Shaky Head

  • Spawning Beds
  • When Bass are In the Shallows
  • When Bass are Guarding Young Fry
  • Around Docks or Boat Slips

My favorite place to cast the shaky head is onto an active spawning bed. It’s flat sided head allows it to stand straight up on end putting the worm straight up into the water.

This drives those spring bass crazy and they will eat it more times than not.

Recommended Rubber Worms

Usually, I would tell an angler to use natural colors while fishing rubber worms. In this particular scenario however that is not so much the case. Colors that stand out and are annoying may actually work better.

Zoom Magnum Shakey Head Worm

zoom magnum shakey head worm

Daiwa Yamamoto Neko Fat Worm

daiwa yamamoto neko fat worm

Yum Pumpkin Ed Jig Hook

yum shaky head jig

If I were to venture away from shaky head fishing, I would gravitate more toward Texas Rig Tactics for Bass.

A Texas rigged floating worm fished near the surface is another way to catch a lot of fish. Casting along a weed line or dock, retrieving it parallel to the structure would be ideal.

Tube Fishing for Early Spring Bass

Tube fishing has been one of those tactics that are tried and true. Time and time again tubes have proven that they will catch bass.

For me, I like tubes when the bite is tough. A smaller tube can be just what the doctor ordered.

Where to Fish Tube Baits:

  • Steep Ledges
  • Soft Bottom
  • Submerged Island Tops
  • Weed Lines
  • Under Docks

When fishing tubes I prefer scented tubes. Scented tubes add just a little more reason for a bass to strike. There are three main ways to fish a tube.

3 Techniques for Fishing Tube Baits:

  • Texas Rig
  • Carolina Rig
  • Jigging

Make sure when fishing tubes that you are using a spinning rod. This will allow you to make more accurate casts in order to hit target areas. Placing your tube exactly in the right spot will be critical while fishing shallow.

gitzit fishing tube

Keep in mind that if Texas Rigging or Carolina Rigging, sometimes a floating tube works well. In order to make a tube float, you cant try sticking an earplug deep into the tube.

You may have to trim it some depending on the size tube you are fishing. Other tubes have chambers pre-made into them that help the bait float. In my experience, this is only effective while fishing small tube baits for bass.

Crankbait Fishing for Early Spring Bass

You could write a book on Fishing Crankbaits for Bass. In fact, there are a few out there already. Instead, I will limit this section to my personal fishing techniques when fishing crankbaits in spring.

I especially like fishing crankbaits for bass when the water temperatures start ti rise and the reaction bite starts to pick up some.

When the water temperature reaches 45-60 degrees I live to fish a lipless crankbait. This can be a great technique for fishing earl spring bass that will fill the live well quickly.

Techniques for Fishing Lipless Crankbaits

What I love about these baits is that you can fish them in almost every situation. They are versatile bait that allows you to cover water quickly.

Remember earlier in the article we talked about covering water?

Well, while you can put your trolling motor down and kick it into high speed, why not tie on a lipless crankbait and make a couple of casts along the way.

Where to Fish Lipless Crankbaits:

  • Above Grass
  • Through Rock Outcroppings
  • Parallel to Docks
  • Over Sharp Drop Offs
  • Around Wood

My favorite way to fish these great bass lures is by making long erratic retrieves similar to the jerkbait. The only difference here is that we won’t pause for nearly as long.

How to Fish a Lipless Crankbait:

1. Start by making a long cast past your target location.

2. Immediately begin your retrieve. Do so for approximately 5 feet or so.

3. Speed it up in order to give the illusion of fleeing bait.

4. Give a short 1-second pause.

5. Begin the retrieve again with a fast reel.

6. Pause again after 5-10 feet or so.

7. Begin your slow retrieve again.

Make sure that you are mixing these steps up so that you are retrieving erratically. We do not want to have a steady pattern over and over again. Remember, the purpose it to imitate fry that are frantic.

Recommended Lipless Crainkbaits for Spring Bass

The following lipless crankbaits are ones that I have found to be especially useful in fill the live well. These baits have a great realistic design as well as loud rattles to attract bass.

Early Spring Bass Fishing Videos

Everyone likes videos am I right? Well, I couldn’t write this whole article and not show you some of my favorites of Bass Fishing in early Spring.

The following Video is a comprehensive breakdown of jig fishing for spring bass. He goes over all types of jigs and just how to fish them.

In this next video Matt Allen from breaks down lipless crankbaits in spring time. Matt has some amazing how to videos for bass fishing.

Conclusion – Bass Fishing Early Spring

I sure hope you enjoyed this article as much as I did writing it. More importantly, I hope you learned a thing or two along the way. Real quickly let’s go over what we talked about here today.

Bass Fishing Early Spring

  • Characteristics and Behavior of Spring Bass
  • Techniques to help You Catch More Bass
  • Best Tips to Catch early Spring Bass
  • Recommended Lure in Spring
  • Best Spring Bass Fishing Videos

Do you have a Bass Fishing Tip or Technique for early spring bass that was not mentioned in this article?

I would love to hear from you. Drop a comment down below or contact me using the contact form. I would love to add your thoughts to this article as well.

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