3 Early Spring Shaky Head Tips

bass fishing

Check out these 3 early spring shaky head Tips. Spring is the time when bass anglers are itching to get on the water and catch some bass. Early spring can be great or a dud depending mostly on the water conditions. Old man winter can be lingering or warm spring rains can blow out and muddy up your favorite spring spots. Winds from those springtime cold fronts can make fishing a tough endeavor for sure. For those willing to get out there and deal with these difficulties can be rewarded with some excellent fishing. Sometimes surprisingly good.

3 shaky head tips
Nice shaky head largemouth. Ken McBroom


My favorite presentation during early spring when bass are seeking spawning locations is the shaky head. The shaky head has become a very dependable bait for pressured bass as well as those not in the mood to bite. Its subtle yet enticing action has proven to trigger bites when the bite is slow. This is no exception during the early spring transition period that bass are in as the water begins to warm and the days get longer. A time when those ever changing weather patterns have the bass in a less than active mood the shaky head can shine. Here are a few ways to fish a shaky head during early spring that produces results.

The shaky head inevitably got its name from some tournament anglers in the north shaking the jighead with a worm attached to locate where hard bottom met grass. This is where the bass were sitting and by using the lead head with the streamlined worm it made it easier to feel the transition. This shaking and dragging technique worked so well the shaky head was born and I am willing to bet it’s here to stay.


Obviously the shaking and dragging technique is at the top of the list of presentations with the shaky head. Oftentimes there are transition zones near spawning areas that concentrate bass, especially during early spring before they have committed to the shallows. When this is the case a 1/8 to 1/4 ounce shaky head with a straight tail finesse worm like the Yum Mighty Worm or the Gene Larew 6″ Tattle Tail Worm is the ticket.

During the early spring transition the bass are often lethargic and need a finesse approach with a subtle bait lingering in the strike zone for an extended period of time to get them to bite. This finesse worm rigged on a shaky head can do just that as well as locate bottom composition transitions. These transitions can hold bass until they’re ready to move in to spawn.


A great shaky head tip during early spring that seems to be overlooked is swimming a shaky head. Swimming a shaky head through cover can trigger some violent strikes from pre-spawn giants that have moved up to prepare for the spawn. These bass will sit in heavy cover near their spawning areas and feed up while they are there so they are strong enough to handle the upcoming spawn. A great combination for swimming a shaky head is the Gene Larew 5” Biffle Big Bug. Rig this bug on a Gene Lerew Biffle Hardhead with a glass rattle inside the bug and you have a lethal combination for swimming into cover. The hardheads allow the baffle bug to move freely giving it plenty of action and with the rattle plenty of noise to trigger those reaction strikes when needed.

A shaky head can be rigged weedless and is a great bait to work through the tops of brush piles or over a big stump. The contact made with the shaky head is the trigger that drives bass crazy, whether they are hungry or not. Running your shaky head into the side of a stump can be all that’s needed to bring that bass up to take a look and eat your bug. There are times when bass are looking up and will respond better to a bait worked above them than on the bottom. You can keep them honest by swimming your bait through visible cover as you encounter it.


There is one thing I have learned fishing for bass in the spring and that is they love lizards or is it they hate lizards? Either way they eat lizards and sometimes a lizard will get you not only more bites, but more violent bites from early spring bass. My favorite shaky head lizard is the 6” Yum Lizard in green pumpkin. Another great shaky head tip is that a lizard dragged, swam or shook anywhere near a bass can often be money in the spring. This is when bass are feeding up and protecting their area for the spawn.

There you have it. Three great shaky head tips to use during early spring. A shaky head is the perfect option when the bass are staging for the spawn and moving baits have stopped working. The shaky head is also a great way to catch pressured bass any time of the year but that’s another article itself.

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About Ken McBroom 307 Articles
Ken McBroom is an accomplished outdoor writer and photographer. Growing up in Lynchburg Tennessee allowed him many opportunities afield as a boy and young man. Later in life, after Desert Storm, Ken’s wanderlust took him to Alaska to live and work and experience the last frontier. Married now with two beautiful children, Ken now calls Kentucky home where he continues to communicate our American outdoor traditions and the lifestyle it offers.