Tips on What to Use and Where to Fish for Bass in The Spring

Tips on What to Use and Where to Fish for Bass in The Spring

Matthew Davies image of a bass being caught on spinner bait

March in the southern states is leaps and bounds different from March in the northern states. Of course, this time of year is widely different everywhere in between. It is hard to make a guide to tell people the best time to fish, but I, Matthew Davies, am going to do my best to help all you fishermen out.

There are different places you can fish for bass, and each locale will be wildly different. Nevertheless, there are rules for fishing in the spring that will never change. It may not be the same time of day, the same day of the week, or even the same month, but regardless, these rules hold true everywhere.

Below, you will find the best advice as well as locations and types of bait to use no matter where you are and when spring happens in your neck of the woods.

Tips & Tricks

Let’s start out by watching the weather. Depending on the climate you are having in your area, you may be able to duck out to the lake and get a couple of hours of fishing in. Another thing to consider is the type of water you are fishing. If you are fishing in a big lake or even the ocean, you may have to wait until later in the year. Small ponds and streams will be your best bet in the early days of spring. Remember, you need relatively warm water to attract the bass that you so desperately want to catch.

Next, consider the time of day you are going to fish. While you may want to get up first thing in the morning on a Saturday, it might not be the best time. It takes longer for water to heat up than it does for air. You are going to want to go fishing later in the day when the water is the warmest. At these times, you are going to want to locate yourself near shallow water. This is the water that bass will feed in. The reason is that it is warm, and that is where the baitfish will be.

If you have a choice on where you can fish, I recommend finding the shallowest lakes and streams possible. This will hold true until the weather starts to heat up more. Any body of water more than six feet deep or so will take too long to heat up. Just make sure while you are out looking for these hidden gems that you are within the laws to fish in these locations. Nothing ruins a day of fishing quite like a visit from the game warden.

Following the above considerations, we need to contemplate what rod to use. Depending on if you have more than one rod to deploy, you will want to plan your trip accordingly. If you can only take one rod, make sure it is fitted with a spinnerbait. It takes a little bit extra to lure bass from the depths to your location. When I go fishing in the early spring, I generally fit one of my rods with a ¼ ounce blade tandem model. Attached to it, I have a small Colorado blade that is followed by a larger willow leaf blade. I find this attracts the biggest fish in the lake when all other conditions are optimal.

Should you not have an appropriate lake or no access to spinnerbait, I suggest trying to find a stream and getting some crankbait out. When just coming out of their slumber, bass can be quite hungry. However, since they just woke up, they are not too keen on going through a lot of effort to get a meal. They might just be looking for something to float by in front of them. This is where crankbait comes into play. With its specially designed nose, crankbait will sink down to where the fish are. There are several different models. Make sure you know how deep you want to go to the lake. The colder the water, the deeper you are going to have to go to find the fish.

If you are at a lake with a lot of crayfish, you might also want to consider crankbait or jigs. They work well in rocky areas including along the banks. Remember, it is your job to replicate the surrounding environment to attract the fish to your hook better.

Know the signs you are not fishing correctly. If you are getting a lot of bumps on your bait, but no bites, you are likely fishing too fast. Remember, these fish just went through a winter downtime. They are tired and groggy. They don’t want to have to do too much work to get a meal. To rectify this, cast out and retrieve slowly. You can even pause from time to time or have the rod move in a different direction. Just don’t reel in too fast, or you will be left with nothing to show for your day of fishing.

The last bait you want to consider is jerkbait. These baits emulate a dying fish on the surface. Since the bass wants an easy meal, they will likely hit on this bait quickly. Jerkbait is best used on the banks of rivers and lakes. Not only will this be the warmest area of the lake, but it is also where a fish that really was in distress would most likely be found.


I, Matthew Davies, enjoy fishing in the early spring the best. There is a lot of fish to be caught. Just be sure to check your state and local laws to find out what kind of fish you are allowed to catch or keep. Like I said above, having to justify a catch to a game warden is the best way to ruin an otherwise great weekend. I wish you the best of luck on your next fishing trip and hope you take someone along with you that has never fished before.

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