Tips for Catching Bass in the Spring

Spring time for anglers means it is time to get ready for bass fishing. Now is the time to start getting your gear ready. At this time of the year, the ice is starting to melt and it is time for spawning. In the winter with the cold water, bass get cold, move slow, and do not feed as much. When springtime comes around, they start to feed more and become more energetic. There is more competition for food. So pack up your gear and get ready to catch some bass.

Facts to Consider for Catching Bass in the Spring

Water Temperature

Bass does not care what season or time of year it is. Their biological clock is determined by the temperature of the water. It also affects their breeding and feeding habits. To catch bass in the spring, the key to being successful is to understand their breeding and feeding habits. The two major things that happen in the spring are the pre-spawn and spawning periods. Once you understand these events, you will be able to catch more fish.

  • Pre-spawn: This happens when the water temperature is between 48-55 degrees Fahrenheit in early spring. This when they are most hungry so they will be easier to catch. Since they are preparing for spawning, the biggest ones will be aggressively feeding. Focus on fishing in and around shallow pockets and in the backs of creeks in the shallower water. Keep an eye on the weather as more fish can be pushed into the shallower water during a warm front.
  • Spawning: This period happens when the water is 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit. At this time they will be found in sheltered areas with a gravel or sandy bottom in water that is quite shallow. The fish caught at this time should be released after being caught so they can successfully reproduce.

Tips for Catching Bass in the Spring

Get in the Boulders

During pre-spawn, both largemouth and smallmouth bass will frequent the slopes and rocky flats not that far from where they spawn. They will be about 20-30 feet deep underwater. Use dive crankbaits and let them sink just along the bottom and bank your lures up against a large chunk of rock. Then you need to create some type of slit as doing it this way will mimic a crawdad as he is going back to their hideout. You have to let your bait sit for a moment but in no time you should have a large bass mesmerized by the lure.

Check out Small Lakes

A good place to catch smallmouth bass is in small lakes. When fishing on a small lake, use shore fishing to catch bass in that narrow body of water. If you want to be out on the water, use a canoe. The reason is that it is quiet. You can also use a kayak. Bass are elusive fish and if you can keep a low quiet profile, you will have a better chance of catching them. If you take out a large boat with a motor, you are just going to scare them away.

Look for Prime Locations

The best location to find bass is in slopes or hillsides with chunk rocks or boulders, which are where the pre-spawn bass feed. What you need to do here is to cover cast and then wade quietly.

Shallow Water

This is where you will find the bass in the spring from the back ends and mouths of creeks. You may also find them at banks, coves, and points close to the shallow water. If a cold front should come through in the spring, then they will be 10-15 feet deep but as the water and temperatures start to warm up, you may find them 4-8 feet deep. Another decent spot to fish is near a break line. When you find bass, slow down and work that area. There should be schools of bass around these areas. When you head back the next day, most likely they will not be where they were the day before. Some may still be there but most will have moved to a different spot.

Top Water Fishing

Using top water lures are the best lures to use during this time. It will help to produce numbers of fish that are a good size and the strikes will be more exciting. In the middle of the spring is a good time to use top water lures. The wind is calm and temperatures are around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Look for areas that are flat and shallow and the aquatic vegetations are just starting to appear. At this time the smaller bass will be out and as the sun starts to go down, the bigger bass is starting to come out. 

Best Lures to Use

  • Jigs: The jig is for those that want to be in control of the action. It is a bit tougher to deal with than the lipless crankbait but an effective lure. There are different sizes of this lure. It mimics the slow motion of the crawfish.
  • Lipless Crankbait: This is the perfect bait to start with if you are a beginner bass fisherman during the early spring. There is nothing too complex about this jig. It is easy and simple to cast out and retrieve. This is a good jig to use around vegetation. The lipless crankbait requires you to use a slow and steady retrieve. 
  • Senko: These can be rigged up in multiple ways but you should get the one that is weightless because it is the one that is most deadly for the short-striking bass.
  • Jerkbait: This lure presents a dying shad’s appearance and requires a bit of work in order to get it to work right. The strikes happen during the pause.


  • Fishing for bass in the early spring is very rewarding but also challenging
  • You can get bass in shallower water during spring time, especially pre-spawning
  • For the best catch, make sure that the temperature of the water is warm

You might also like to learn: How to Catch a Peacock Bass


The founder of Catch and Fillet, “Chum Charlie”, has been writing articles within the fishing community for over 9 years. He got his nickname due to his preference for chumming while he is fishing. Chumming is a common practice that is used in the ocean to lure various types of fish to the boat. Chum can consist of various fish parts that attract fish due to its overbearing odor.

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