I like to fish for anything, and everything that I can possibly get to bite the end of my line. However over the course of the last few years one of my favorite pastimes has been getting out to some of my favorite spots for Largemouth right after the ice has melted off. The bigger bass move into shallower water to spawn in early spring, making them quite a bit easier to get your bait to. I have several tactics that I like to use in the spring to try and get the monsters to bite. It all depends on where I am fishing and how deep the water is. Initially, I like to cover a lot of water with deep diving crank baits fairly quickly. Usually it is in a bright craw dad type of pattern. Once I start to get a few bites I will slow down and start to work that area slower. I usually stick to 3 main kinds of baits in early spring, the diving crank bait, lipless crank bait, and soft jerk baits.
I am not a huge fan of lipless crank baits, but it is really hard to argue with the results they provide when working bass over in shallow water. The lipless crank bait starts to sink just as soon as it hits the water. I like to work them kind of slow in the shallow water making them look like bait fish in distress, 9 out 10 times the bass just won’t be able to refuse this offering. I do tend to lose a lot of lipless crank baits which is why they aren’t my favorite, but they are defiantly productive. The more you learn the water you’re fishing the less baits you will lose. That is just part of the fun that is fishing. My last mainstay bait in the early spring for me is a soft plastic jerk bait.
There are many times that I cannot get the larger females to bite. I can see them just can’t get them to chase anything, when this happens I go to the soft plastic jerk bait rigged weed less. I love this set up because it can be worked very slow, and you don’t have worry about it snagging up when working around cover. I usually keep several colors of these baits in my box. If I am fishing in clear water I prefer to use a more translucent bait than if I am fishing in dirty or stained water.
I get asked how to know what color bait to use? The simplest answer that I have for this question is literally quite simple,. I try to stay with somewhat natural baits. Match the bait that is swimming in the water, but also have bright colored baits, and baits that are black. If you are not catching anything on the color bait you are using, pull another color out that tackle box and keep on trying. I recommend only keeping maybe 6 different colors in your tackle box one of them will do the trick. Spend the time at the water, and one day luck will be on your side. You will catch a Delaware Monster!
As spring arrives keep those lines tight, and take your kids fishing!