The Top 5 Baits For Early Spring Bass Fishing

These 5 Baits are the TOP 5 Early Spring bass baits that will help you catch more fish this spring! Ned Rigs, jerkbaits, swimbaits, and crankbaits are all great ways to catch numbers and big bass during the spring!

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Video Transcript

Benjamin Nowak:

What's going on everyone. My name is Benjamin Nowak with Monsterbass, and in today's video we're going to be talking about my top five early spring bass fishing baits. Now what is early spring? Well, if you live down South, this is typically characterized by consistent warming trends. When your days get longer, the air temps get warmer and your body of water starts warming up, these fish will start moving into their early spring locations. And this is really cool because bass are cold blooded creatures. So as soon as that water starts to warm up, their metabolism starts to speed up and they look to feed a little bit more aggressively. Now I'm not saying this is going to be the peak bite of the spring, but early spring can be a great time to catch a lot of really big fish who are starting to feed up and starting to become more active with those consistent warming trends.

Benjamin Nowak:
Now if you live up here in the Midwest like I do, this is characterized by ice-out. I start to look for early spring bass as soon as the ice leaves my body of water. The reason for this is that once the ice is starting to push out, your water temps have to be warming up. That's what melts the ice. So these are my top five baits for those situations to go and target some bass. Now we're going to break this down into two categories: Bottom baits, this is typically what I'm going to when it's a really tough day or it's overcast. Those fish tend to be closer to the bottom because the sun isn't warming up the water as quickly. And moving baits, or baits up in the water column. Now some of these are going to be versatile, and you can actually fish either on bottom or up off bottom, but we'll talk about that a little bit more.

Benjamin Nowak:
We're going to start with soft plastics. A lot of times in the early spring in cold water situations, I don't fish soft plastics a ton, but there's one bait that I love to fish almost all year round, and that is a Ned Rig. Now a Ned Rig is characterized by a small jig head like this, with some sort of soft plastic. Typically it's a stick-style bait. So what I have here is a KVD Ocho, the Strike King KVD Ocho, and this is a do-nothing soft plastic. It's a bait that doesn't really have a ton of action underwater, but the reason it gets bit is because it looks super unobtrusive. Okay, so it doesn't really create a lot of commotion, but those bass can come up to it, it looks really innocent and those fish can come up and grab onto it and get a lot of bites. It's a very small presentation dragging slowly along the bottom. And so this KVD Ocho with no appendages is a really good bait when the bite is extremely finicky. And it's also relatively soft so when you're dragging it along, it'll have a little bit of movement, but really not much movement at all.

Benjamin Nowak:
The other bait that I have really developed a ton of confidence in is the Z-man TicklerZ. And this is a bait that came in the very first Monsterbass box, but the Z-Man TicklerZ has these little tentacles on the end, and I like this bait because I feel like it has a little bit more action and that, to me, just gives me more confidence. So the Z-man TRD TicklerZ is a very small profile and it just looks really good coming through the water. I've caught a ton of big fish on this bait. One thing you're going to notice is that both of these baits are very small. They're only two and a half to two and three quarter inches long. Small profile, small presentation. These fish and all the bait fish that these bass are feeding on are going to be really small because it's been a cold winter, they've not been feeding up a ton. So you're looking for young-of-the-year style forage, so small presentations, typically.

Benjamin Nowak:
The next soft plastic bait, and this is something that can be either fished on the bottom or it can be fished up off the bottom, is a small soft plastic paddle tail swimbait. This is a two and three quarter inch soft plastic swimbait. It's actually a relatively hard soft plastic swimbait, so it's not going to have a ton of tail kick or tail wobble coming through the water. And I'm fishing it on a small ball head. The reason I like the ball head is that it's going to come through rocks or come through stuff on the bottom really well, but I can also swim it up off the bottom. So, I'm fishing this on a spinning rod. I'm fishing this on a seven foot three medium spinning rod with light line.

Benjamin Nowak:
I like that because I can fish it slowly, like I said, along the bottom, and the light line, especially in cleaner water situations, is going to become more invisible than 10/15/17 pound test fluorocarbon that I might normally throw. Now if you guys live down South, you might want to upsize your line, go to maybe a little bit bigger size, swimbait or rig it weedless. But if you live up here in the Midwest, you can drag this along the bottom, hop this along the bottom, or you can swim it up in the water column on those sunnier days when those bass can really look up and key in on the baits up in the water.

Benjamin Nowak:
Moving to some of the hard baits. The first one I want to really touch on is the Bill Lewis Rat-L Trap. This is a bait that caught me a bunch of big fish last year. This is a bait that creates a ton of commotion. The red is a great color for the spring because it stands out against that typically dirtier water, and you can fish it either on bottom, dragging or hopping it, or you can fish it up in the water column. Now here at Monsterbass we have a couple of other videos specifically talking about lipless crankbaits and fishing this particular Bill Lewis Rat-L Trap. I'm going to leave those linked up here on the corner as well as in the description so you guys can go check those out. Tons of information on the rattle traps, but reds are great colors in the spring, bright chartreuse are great color, just something that contrasts that dirty water really well. And the reason I really like this bait is just the versatility. You can fish it so many different ways, and catch just a ton of fish, whether you're on a grass Lake, whether you're on a natural Lake, whether you're on a glacial-style lake where you have a lot of rocks and sand. You can fish it in all of those situations and it catches fish no matter where you live.

Benjamin Nowak:
Now we're going to touch on one of Alex Rudd's all-time favorite baits, and that is a small body crankbait. Alex absolutely beat my eyes in with the Spro RkCrawler a couple months back. But what makes these baits so effective is their small size and their erratic hunting action. They have a really tight body wobble, which is really important, but when they hit cover they tend to bounce out wide and come back and track true again. That triggers a lot of fish that might otherwise follow this bait and never get it, because as soon as that bait kicks to the side, it triggers that fish in his reaction system, in his mind, to go on eat that bait. Remember, bass can't feel things with their hands, so they have to touch it with their mouth. And when that bait kicks to the side, they can't grab it with their hands, they have to hit it with their mouth. That's when you're going to trigger a lot of bites, is when this bait kicks out, it causes a lot of commotion down there.

Benjamin Nowak:
Again, my colors, I'm going to keep really simple. Baits with a lot of chartreuse or bright red baits. I just want something that contrasts really well. These bass haven't seen a lot of baits. They haven't typically seen a lot of a forage. And, in my opinion, in the spring, those fish... their eyes hurt, they've been in that deeper water and so something that has a really bright hue to it stands out a little bit better. When they can't see quite as well, they're going to smash these baits in red and chartreuse.

Benjamin Nowak:
And finally, a bait that just catches fish all year long, but I like especially in the early spring when that water's still cold, is a deep diving jerkbait. This is a Strike King KVD Deep. This dives to about 12 foot of water on 10 pound test fluorocarbon line, and it's a great bait for covering water, but triggering fish that are looking up in the water column. I'm going to fish this on those clear days, those sunny days. When things get tough, I'm going to go to a jerkbait. Those fish can see it a long ways. They can come in, key in on it and smash it. Now you're going to choose your jerkbait color depending on the water clarity you're fishing, but also the day, the conditions that you're fishing. And I'm typically going with something that matches the hatch, that matches the forage that I'm fishing around.

Benjamin Nowak:
This is a perch-colored jerkbait, which... We have a lot of perch up here in Michigan, so a perch-colored jerkbait works really, really well almost all season, but especially in the spring when those fish are keying in on those perch in moderately shallow water. If you live down South, you might want to go with a shad-style bait. If you're fishing around a lot of bluegill, you might want to go with bluegill, and so on and so forth. But we also have a lot of videos talking about jerkbaits and talking about color selection with jerkbaits. So again, those we linked up here, as well as in the description if you guys want to check out some more information on jerkbaits.

Benjamin Nowak:
But those are my five baits: A Ned Rig, a small swimbait, a lipless crankbait, small body crankbait, and a jerkbait. So if you guys have any questions or comments about how we rig these, how we fish these, let us know in the comment section down below. I'll be responding to each and every one of you personally, and I hope these tips help you guys go and catch some monster bass. Catch you guys next time.


1 comment


  • Andrew Koziel

    You should post links on where to buy these baits.


Leave a comment


The Top 5 Baits For Early Spring Bass Fishing

The Top 5 Baits For Early Spring Bass Fishing

Apr 22, 2020 1 Comments Fishing Tips

These 5 Baits are the TOP 5 Early Spring bass baits that will help you catch more fish this spring! Ned Rigs, jerkbaits, swimbaits, and crankbaits are all great ways to catch numbers and big bass during the spring!

Join today and save $10 off your first box. 
Use code SAVE10 at checkout.  JOIN NOW 

 

Video Transcript

Benjamin Nowak:

What's going on everyone. My name is Benjamin Nowak with Monsterbass, and in today's video we're going to be talking about my top five early spring bass fishing baits. Now what is early spring? Well, if you live down South, this is typically characterized by consistent warming trends. When your days get longer, the air temps get warmer and your body of water starts warming up, these fish will start moving into their early spring locations. And this is really cool because bass are cold blooded creatures. So as soon as that water starts to warm up, their metabolism starts to speed up and they look to feed a little bit more aggressively. Now I'm not saying this is going to be the peak bite of the spring, but early spring can be a great time to catch a lot of really big fish who are starting to feed up and starting to become more active with those consistent warming trends.

Benjamin Nowak:
Now if you live up here in the Midwest like I do, this is characterized by ice-out. I start to look for early spring bass as soon as the ice leaves my body of water. The reason for this is that once the ice is starting to push out, your water temps have to be warming up. That's what melts the ice. So these are my top five baits for those situations to go and target some bass. Now we're going to break this down into two categories: Bottom baits, this is typically what I'm going to when it's a really tough day or it's overcast. Those fish tend to be closer to the bottom because the sun isn't warming up the water as quickly. And moving baits, or baits up in the water column. Now some of these are going to be versatile, and you can actually fish either on bottom or up off bottom, but we'll talk about that a little bit more.

Benjamin Nowak:
We're going to start with soft plastics. A lot of times in the early spring in cold water situations, I don't fish soft plastics a ton, but there's one bait that I love to fish almost all year round, and that is a Ned Rig. Now a Ned Rig is characterized by a small jig head like this, with some sort of soft plastic. Typically it's a stick-style bait. So what I have here is a KVD Ocho, the Strike King KVD Ocho, and this is a do-nothing soft plastic. It's a bait that doesn't really have a ton of action underwater, but the reason it gets bit is because it looks super unobtrusive. Okay, so it doesn't really create a lot of commotion, but those bass can come up to it, it looks really innocent and those fish can come up and grab onto it and get a lot of bites. It's a very small presentation dragging slowly along the bottom. And so this KVD Ocho with no appendages is a really good bait when the bite is extremely finicky. And it's also relatively soft so when you're dragging it along, it'll have a little bit of movement, but really not much movement at all.

Benjamin Nowak:
The other bait that I have really developed a ton of confidence in is the Z-man TicklerZ. And this is a bait that came in the very first Monsterbass box, but the Z-Man TicklerZ has these little tentacles on the end, and I like this bait because I feel like it has a little bit more action and that, to me, just gives me more confidence. So the Z-man TRD TicklerZ is a very small profile and it just looks really good coming through the water. I've caught a ton of big fish on this bait. One thing you're going to notice is that both of these baits are very small. They're only two and a half to two and three quarter inches long. Small profile, small presentation. These fish and all the bait fish that these bass are feeding on are going to be really small because it's been a cold winter, they've not been feeding up a ton. So you're looking for young-of-the-year style forage, so small presentations, typically.

Benjamin Nowak:
The next soft plastic bait, and this is something that can be either fished on the bottom or it can be fished up off the bottom, is a small soft plastic paddle tail swimbait. This is a two and three quarter inch soft plastic swimbait. It's actually a relatively hard soft plastic swimbait, so it's not going to have a ton of tail kick or tail wobble coming through the water. And I'm fishing it on a small ball head. The reason I like the ball head is that it's going to come through rocks or come through stuff on the bottom really well, but I can also swim it up off the bottom. So, I'm fishing this on a spinning rod. I'm fishing this on a seven foot three medium spinning rod with light line.

Benjamin Nowak:
I like that because I can fish it slowly, like I said, along the bottom, and the light line, especially in cleaner water situations, is going to become more invisible than 10/15/17 pound test fluorocarbon that I might normally throw. Now if you guys live down South, you might want to upsize your line, go to maybe a little bit bigger size, swimbait or rig it weedless. But if you live up here in the Midwest, you can drag this along the bottom, hop this along the bottom, or you can swim it up in the water column on those sunnier days when those bass can really look up and key in on the baits up in the water.

Benjamin Nowak:
Moving to some of the hard baits. The first one I want to really touch on is the Bill Lewis Rat-L Trap. This is a bait that caught me a bunch of big fish last year. This is a bait that creates a ton of commotion. The red is a great color for the spring because it stands out against that typically dirtier water, and you can fish it either on bottom, dragging or hopping it, or you can fish it up in the water column. Now here at Monsterbass we have a couple of other videos specifically talking about lipless crankbaits and fishing this particular Bill Lewis Rat-L Trap. I'm going to leave those linked up here on the corner as well as in the description so you guys can go check those out. Tons of information on the rattle traps, but reds are great colors in the spring, bright chartreuse are great color, just something that contrasts that dirty water really well. And the reason I really like this bait is just the versatility. You can fish it so many different ways, and catch just a ton of fish, whether you're on a grass Lake, whether you're on a natural Lake, whether you're on a glacial-style lake where you have a lot of rocks and sand. You can fish it in all of those situations and it catches fish no matter where you live.

Benjamin Nowak:
Now we're going to touch on one of Alex Rudd's all-time favorite baits, and that is a small body crankbait. Alex absolutely beat my eyes in with the Spro RkCrawler a couple months back. But what makes these baits so effective is their small size and their erratic hunting action. They have a really tight body wobble, which is really important, but when they hit cover they tend to bounce out wide and come back and track true again. That triggers a lot of fish that might otherwise follow this bait and never get it, because as soon as that bait kicks to the side, it triggers that fish in his reaction system, in his mind, to go on eat that bait. Remember, bass can't feel things with their hands, so they have to touch it with their mouth. And when that bait kicks to the side, they can't grab it with their hands, they have to hit it with their mouth. That's when you're going to trigger a lot of bites, is when this bait kicks out, it causes a lot of commotion down there.

Benjamin Nowak:
Again, my colors, I'm going to keep really simple. Baits with a lot of chartreuse or bright red baits. I just want something that contrasts really well. These bass haven't seen a lot of baits. They haven't typically seen a lot of a forage. And, in my opinion, in the spring, those fish... their eyes hurt, they've been in that deeper water and so something that has a really bright hue to it stands out a little bit better. When they can't see quite as well, they're going to smash these baits in red and chartreuse.

Benjamin Nowak:
And finally, a bait that just catches fish all year long, but I like especially in the early spring when that water's still cold, is a deep diving jerkbait. This is a Strike King KVD Deep. This dives to about 12 foot of water on 10 pound test fluorocarbon line, and it's a great bait for covering water, but triggering fish that are looking up in the water column. I'm going to fish this on those clear days, those sunny days. When things get tough, I'm going to go to a jerkbait. Those fish can see it a long ways. They can come in, key in on it and smash it. Now you're going to choose your jerkbait color depending on the water clarity you're fishing, but also the day, the conditions that you're fishing. And I'm typically going with something that matches the hatch, that matches the forage that I'm fishing around.

Benjamin Nowak:
This is a perch-colored jerkbait, which... We have a lot of perch up here in Michigan, so a perch-colored jerkbait works really, really well almost all season, but especially in the spring when those fish are keying in on those perch in moderately shallow water. If you live down South, you might want to go with a shad-style bait. If you're fishing around a lot of bluegill, you might want to go with bluegill, and so on and so forth. But we also have a lot of videos talking about jerkbaits and talking about color selection with jerkbaits. So again, those we linked up here, as well as in the description if you guys want to check out some more information on jerkbaits.

Benjamin Nowak:
But those are my five baits: A Ned Rig, a small swimbait, a lipless crankbait, small body crankbait, and a jerkbait. So if you guys have any questions or comments about how we rig these, how we fish these, let us know in the comment section down below. I'll be responding to each and every one of you personally, and I hope these tips help you guys go and catch some monster bass. Catch you guys next time.

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Comments

Andrew Koziel

You should post links on where to buy these baits.