The Best Lures for Springtime Bass Fishing
Last time I talked about the best fishing knots. Since spring is just around the corner, today I'm going to discuss some of the best lures for the pre-spawn season and give some tips on where, when and how to use them.
Lets start with early pre-spawn, which has already began in the southern states and will soon begin in the northern states as well.
If you have some experience or have studied some of the bass fishing literature such as Learn to Think Like a Bass that I recommend, you probably know that when the daylight hours start to become longer as springtime approaches, the fish start to become much more active and visit the shallow water and look for spawning area's. They'll be feeding heavily as the water warms and will much more readily chase faster moving lures than during winter.
There are literally hundreds of lures which will catch bass during early spring. However if you try them all you'll spend all of your fishing time tying on, and casting different lures instead of catching bass.. So my approach is to keep things simple. I base my lure choice as well as presentation on fishing conditions.
As I have talked about many times, bass are very moody creatures.. Basically there are two moods which dominate in early Spring, either the bass are active or inactive. The variables which determine the mood of the bass are almost endless; and much too extensive to begin discussion in this article. However I'll say this. whether the bass are active or inactive is basically controlled by weather conditions.. For example if the weather has been consitently warm and stable for several days, I expect the bass to be crusing shallow water, ready and willing to pounce on a fast moving lure. If the weather has been consistetnly warm and suddenly turns nasty or cold just before my fishing trip, I expect the fish to be deeper staging on structure and not very active.
Best lures for inactive Bass
When bass get in the inactive mood. they simply move tight into cover or some type of structure and sit there. they're not interested in feeding. However this doesn't mean that you can't catch them. Bass are opportunist; even though they are not actively seeking food, if given an opportunity to eat a nourishing meal without moving off of their resting spot they'll usually eat it. and that meal could be your lure. In this situation I choose a lure that I can fish with a very slow and deliberate presentation.
Here are my best lures for inactive bass in Springtime
This lure has been one of my favorite lures for spring bass fishing for many years. When a bass see's a lizard in the spring, he has two great reasons to eat it. one, lizards are an enemy to bass because they are notorious for eating fish eggs and the bass are about to spawn. Two, the lizard is a nice meal for the bass and full of nutrition. The plastic lizard lure can be rigged and fished in several different ways. Two of the best rigs for spingtime are the carolina rig and the texas rigg. The texas rig will work best when the bass are tight to cover such as brush or tree limbs. The carolina will work best when the bass in grass, weeds or structure such as points, humps, or stumps. Both riggs are finesse lures and fished basically the same. For info on how to rig and fish this lure see plastic worms
Jig and Craw or Jig and Pig
The jig and craw and jig and pig are basically the same; both are crawfish imitations. the difference is the trailer which is hooked onto the jig which gives the lure a more natural realistic appearance. the jig&craw has a plastic crawfish trailer, the jig&pig uses a trailer made of pig skin. In recent years the plastic trailers have become much more popular; but personally I prefer pork. Both will catch fish at any time of the year.
Just as with the lizard, crawfish are a favorite food of the bass and they also are known to feed on fish eggs making them an especially favorite food of bass in springtime.
Both these lures can be fished slowly on bottom or in cover making them very effective lures for inactive bass.
Best lures for active bass
Most diving crankbaits are meant to imitate baitfish such as shad, small perch or other types of fish which bass feed on. These lures are extremely effective when bass are actively feeding. Because most crankbaits are equiped with multiple treble hooks they can be tough to fish in thick woody cover. However, when bass are active, they will readily come out of the cover and smash a bait which is moving past his hiding place.
The term jerkbait refers to the action which the angler uses to make the lure act erratic and trigger a strike. Jerk baits cover a wide variety of different lures but there are two basic types. one is the hard lure which resembles the crankbait but will normally have a much slimmer profile and smaller lip than the diving lures. The other type is the soft plastic jerkbait. to simplify, her are a few of my favorites of each type. In soft plastic I like the Senko and Zoom trick worm. For the hard baits, the 4 or 6" Bomber long A, or Cordell Redfin. Rapala also makes a number of very good jerkbaits.
Choosing the Best Lure Color
I could write a book on this one element of lure choice; and there have probobly been a few written. You can buy any of the lures mentioned here in most any color in the rainbow and some colors not in the rainbow. Ask 10 different fishermen what's the best lure color for bass and I can almost guarantee that you'll get 10 different answers. Lure color is important but don't let this make bass fishing complicated for you, as so many fishermen do. Keep things simple and basic. Let the water conditions tell you what color to use; It's as simple as that..
As a rule I keep in my box 2 to 3 different colors of each lure. If the water is clear I normally stay with natural colors. By natural I mean matching as close as possible the actual color of the prey which the bass are feeding on, such as the darker greens, pumpkin or whites.. If the water is stained or muddy then I'll start with some of the brighter or more exotic colors such as chartreuse, red, pink or blues. If your unsure what color to use, you normally you cant go wrong with either chartreause or white in any condition your faced with.
Hopefully this will help you be better educated on choosing the best bass lure this Spring
Until next time good luck and good fishing.