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Early Spring Bass Fishing Tips

Mark Armstrong
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Spring can be a great time for bass fishing but first you have to know where to find them. Locating bass during the spring can be difficult, as their location will often depend on the weather, as well as your geographic location.

But to give you a better idea of where you might find bass and how you might catch them, we’ve put together some spring bass fishing tips to help you out.

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Tips And Techniques To Catch Bass In Early Spring

Check The Water Temperature

Checking the temperature of the water can be a good indicator for finding fish and it can also give you an idea of whether the bass are in pre-spawn mode and have left the deeper waters where they spend the winter months.

Usually, largemouth bass begin their pre-spawn stage when the water reaches around 48 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit, with smallmouth bass often starting the pre-spawn when the water gets over 40 degrees. Spawning will generally take place when the waters are around the high fifties to low sixties.

Early in the season you might find bass hiding out in the northwest areas of ponds and lakes, as this is often where you’ll find the warmest water because it will usually have had the sun shining on it for the longest.

If you don’t have a thermometer to test the water yourself, you’ll often find the temperature stated on websites that relate to that particular park or, if it’s a state park, or a popular fishing spot, you may find the water temperature stated in a particular area of the park, such as a ranger station, bait shop or launch ramp.

> How Does Barometric Pressure Affect Fishing?


The pre-spawn is the time when the bass move out of their winter hiding areas and begin to head towards the shallower bays where they will spawn. This means you can often find them in the migration routes, between the winter zones and the spawning zone, as well as closer to the banks.

Areas such as channels and ditches in lakes, and in rivers you might find them close to bays and other spawning areas but often still in the current.

This can be a good time to catch big bass, as this is when they tend to be in an active feeding mode before the spawn.

What Lures For Spring Bass Fishing

During the pre-spawn in early spring, you might want to try faster lures, as the bass are actively feeding at this time of the season and reaction strikes can be one way to catch them.

> Best bass lures

Spinnerbaits, particularly if you slow roll them just below the surface, can be a good choice, as can jerkbaits and soft plastics, such as worms and stickbaits. Texas rigs and wacky rigs can be ideal ways to rig soft plastic lures at this time of year.

Video: Prespawn Bass Fishing Ponds With MUST HAVE Lures!

What If It’s Late Winter And The Water Is Still Cold?

Deeper Water

If the water is still too cold for the bass to have started their pre-spawn stage, you may have to target them in their winter zones.

Bass can often be found in deeper water during the winter but they usually remain close to drop offs or ledges where they can feed easily in the shallows without having to use too much energy.

Slower Presentation

When the water is cold, bass may still be in their energy-preserving winter mode, which means they are probably less likely to chase a quick bait. So slower lure presentations could work better in these situations, as the bass may not be feeding as much as they might during the pre-spawn.

Crankbaits fished along the bottom can be a good technique to use when the water is cold, as this can encourage a hungry fish to strike.

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Rounding Up

Spring can be a great time for bass fishing, especially during the pre-spawn while they’re actively feeding, meaning they can be more likely to strike.

Depending on your geographic location, the time of year when the bass will hit the pre-spawn stage will vary, so it can be a good idea to keep your eyes on the weather and water temperature in your local area, as this can be a better indicator than the season alone.

Have you got a go-to bass lure for this time of year? Tell us about it. And if you found this guide helpful, share it.

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