When the icy cold grip of winter loosens and spring arrives, most anglers dust off their gear and head out with the same tactics as the year before. I like to start each season with the goal of learning a new technique or developing confidence in a new bait. Here are my best early spring transition tactics that I’ve polished each spring.
Understand the Process
I find the early spring to be a game of temperature. If you want to find great success consistently this season, perhaps you need to be more consistent on your observation of water temperatures and weather changes. Rapid rises or falls in temperature will affect how bass stage and progress through the spawn, so it only makes sense that you need to be on your game more consistently to fully understand where/when they will be in the process.
Know Where to Look
As the late winter season begins to change, egg sacs are developing/filling and male milt processes are in swing, fish begin to look for staging areas and temperature will play an important factor. Finding the warmth in the water will find where early vegetation and cover is for when bass begin seeking it. Shallow rocks will absorb and radiate heat. Tributaries will circulate oxygen at the mouth where it dumps into the lake, and will often bring warm water and food. Know the process of the spawn, and monitor the water temperature to better assess where and when to find these places (and the structure they leapfrog from between wintering and spawning zones) in your water system.
I tend to be more experimental than most when it comes to my tackle choices. I believe that most often, if a bass is hungry and you put a bait in front of it, it will eat. Obviously that isn’t always the case, but I imagine that a bass would eat both a squarebill and a spinnerbait if it ran by close enough. I bring different baits to try and focus more on finding fish, than finding the best baits. Once I find them, then I experiment with different techniques and baits until I can pattern my fish.
I hope this helps ease your mind this spring as winter warms. Now get out and hook a monster!
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