It’s no secret that swimbaits catch bass early in the season. 

It’s no secret that swimbaits catch bass early in the season. 

As the days get longer and water warms, bass start looking to feed and bulk up for spawn, and fishing a swimbait in clear water is a great way to mimic a baitfish-a favorite targets of prespawn bass.

If the water is stained like coffee, I switch over to the black/blue Big Blade Chatterbait.  Last spring, I had the single best fishing day of the year with the Big Blade, catching more than a dozen fish weighing between 3 and 5 pounds each! Matched with a Hematoma (black/blue swirl) Big Bite Baits Kamikaze Swim-On, the fish just could not resist!

I was never a big believer in crankbaits early season until a couple of years ago.  It was one of those early season days where the weather couldn't make up its mind, and I just could NOT get the fish to bite no matter what I threw. 

I pulled out one of Alex Rudd's silent squarebills, and figured I had nothing to lose. Low and behold, I started catching fish!  The action and color of the Mud Hunter color worked like a charm. Chartreuse Black Back is another favorite in stained water.

I switch to a finesse jig when bass aren’t interested in moving baits. I grab a ¼ or 3/8  ounce jig, as I want a slow fall for those lethargic fish. The majority of my bites come on the initial fall. If I don’t get bit after the first hop or two, I’m reeling in and making another cast. I look for shallow areas that will warm quickly. Rocks, stumps, docks pilings, anything that will hold warmth from the sun.

The Strike King Structure Jig and MONSTERBASS Tungsten Football Jig are two of my favorites this time of year.  For the jig trailers, I like to use small profile craws like the Z-Man TRD Craws and Missile Baits Baby D-Bomb.

Sometimes, using a bigger craw like the Z-man Pro Crawz on a small jig will entice a bigger bite, as the fall will be even slower. I’ve also had a ton of success using the Yamamoto Flappin Hawg on the football head when fishing rocks.

Another great early season bait for those slow moving fish is a suspending jerkbait. I love to fish these with a twitch, twitch, pause. I let the bait sit for a couple of seconds. Even longer if the water is still really cold.  Most strikes will come on the pause, so let the rod do the work. The reel should only be used to take up the slack.

Good luck everyone!

-Gramps

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