In the early spring bass are on the move from their winter habitat to where they will soon spawn. Despite the changeable weather, this is an excellent time of year to fish for them. The bass angler realizes that it pays to listen to the weatherman in the early spring. She also knows how to fish in the often less than clear waters, what lures to throw and how to employ them.
It is of paramount importance to follow closely the weather patterns in the early spring. A seasoned bass angler knows that the cold winter slows down the metabolism of bass but that as spring finally warms the water, bass transition from winter mode to warm weather mode. This occurs slowly and over time but eventually the bass will migrate from the deep waters to the shallows in pursuit of a meal. While there is nothing set in stone, a typical smallmouth will head from the depths to the shallows when the water reaches between 50 and 58 degrees Fahrenheit. Largemouth bass require a bit more warmth, moving after baitfish into the shallows when the water warms to between 55 and 63 degrees Fahrenheit. An angler keeping track of water temperatures will know when to head out to the lake for hungry bass.
The water in the springtime in many lakes and rivers tends to be muddy. Frequent rains and runoff from melting snow turns the water from clear to cloudy. The ideal bait for such a setting is a spinnerbait. To allow bass the best chance to see and feel the vibrations early spring anglers often choose a white spinnerbait with Colorado blades. These are the widest blades available on a spinnerbait and send off the most vibrations as the spinnerbait comes through the water. This kind of spinnerbait will stay close to the top, creating a wake as the angler reels it in and attracting bass. Once the water begins to clear up, anglers will switch to a willow bladed spinnerbait, which has a much more natural appearance to bass.
In the period between when bass begin to feed again in the early spring and spawning bass are very vulnerable to nearly every type of lure. Bass will strike a lure because they are hungry and out of instinct to defend their territories. At this time the larger the lure the better the chances of catching a trophy bass. Plastic worms should be at least 7 to 8 inches long. Jerkbaits should also be oversized. Anglers that have the luxury of fishing from a boat should get into the middle of a river or close to shore on a lake and cast to the shoreline. Often large bass are hanging close to the bank or shore.