Finding Bass in the Spring

Largemouth Bass 800

Spring Largemouth Bass return to the shallows during the brief transition period between the end of the cold-water season and the beginning of spring. The frigid water warms just enough to release spring bass from their winter sanctuaries. But these fish, seemingly afraid of their own shadows, are no easy catch.

Rod: 6 1/2- to 7-foot spinning rod.
Reel: spinning reel with a long-cast spool.
Line: 8- or 10-pound-test limp mono.

Finding spring BassRigging
Baits for early season should be small and subtle. Rig a 3-inch tube bait or 4-inch plastic worm on a light-wire hook and small bullet sinker or a 1/16-ounce jighead. Keep hook points needle sharp to ensure a solid hookset with light tackle.


Bass in lakes move into backwaters as soon as the ice leaves. But not all bays are created equal. Bass often hold in less than a foot of water, though some of the water in the bay should be at least 3 feet deep to provide sanctuary from predators and changing water temperatures. Since northwest winds are prevalent during spring, bays on the northwest side of the lake tend to warm first. Bays with a broad mouth also warm quickly, but lose their warmth if shifting winds push the surface layer into the main lake. Bays separated from the lake by a narrow channel retain their warmth from day to day and often hold more bass.

Finding spring Bass ReservoirsSpring Bass

Some reservoirs offer the same features that draw ice-out bass in lakes. The upstream end of an impoundment is usually shallower and subject to higher flows, so ice leaves earlier. Creek arms with little running water, especially those oriented in a northwesterly direction, also warm faster than main-reservoir areas. Bass move into the dead grass in these areas and behave much like fish in natural lakes. Fallen trees and other shoreline cover may look attractive, but in most sections of the reservoir, they lie in water too deep and cold to attract early season bass.

Seasonal Bass Presentations
In-Fisherman July 6th, 2016 | More From In-Fisherman

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Don McDowell, Arizona native, is an avid outdoorsman and has been an active bass pro fisherman for over 16 years and in the past 15 years has developed his own radio show promoting bass fishing and conservation efforts for bass fishing that escalated to nominations with several bass groups and organizations. In the past 12 years, Don has pursued his conservation agenda through AZBFN-TBF as Conservation Director and with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, in the spring of 2014 redesigned his website to include those efforts highlighted below and has increased the AZGFD exposure, public education of the AZGFD and Commission issues on his radio show and website soliciting local and national support for Arizona. 2014 has seen the founding of SRT Outdoors, Inc., 501 C3 organization, “Not for Profit, for Conservation” which is concentrating on grants for mitigating the effects of Gizzard Shad on Roosevelt lake thorough habitat enhancement, Florida Strain Bass stocking, lakes bottom mapping, etc. and feral hog research.

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