Spring Spinnerbait Selection
Spring spinnerbait fishing is here. The bass are slowly migrating towards their annual spawning grounds. The migration has actually been going on for longer than you might think. The more adventurous anglers, adventurous could be substituted with crazy if you like, braving the cold weather and relentless cold fronts have been rewarded with many early prespawn bass that move to the spawning areas sooner than other bass. This staggering of the spawn is instinctive and a way to be sure that there is a successful spawn. The numbers are few early on, but it can be a great time to catch a giant.
When Bass Move To Shallow Water
During March and April, the water is beginning to warm and the days are getting longer triggering a wave of bass to move shallow. It is at this time that the spinnerbait shines and when properly applied can get strikes from otherwise lockjaw bass. The good thing about April, here in Kentucky and Tennessee, is that there are about as many days when bass are aggressive and active as there are days that they are lethargic and not so aggressive. The following paragraphs I hope will shed some light on a few of these situations and how to apply a spring spinnerbait fishing tactic to catch more bass.
Spring Spinnerbait Tips For Rising Water
With spring comes fluctuating water levels. The spring rains can cause the lake’s water levels to rise a foot or even more in a day or two making bass fishing tough. When the water is rising look for bass to move shallow. Bass love to get shallow during rising water. I’ve caught bass in 6 inches of water in March when the water is rising. Even when the water is still cold. Casting a spinnerbait to shallow cover during rising water can be deadly. Pulling the spinnerbait through the cover can trigger some violent strikes.
If the target is a brush pile or treetop start by throwing to the outside fringes then throw right in the middle of it. Be sure to keep your spinnerbait up to keep it from hanging. I like to drop my rod tip as the spinnerbait gets to a hole to let it flutter down a split second. This can be all it takes to get a bass to slam it.
Springtime Spinnerbait Tips For Falling Water
I would be remiss if I mention rising water without discussing falling water. Falling water is just as common in the spring as rising water. When the water begins to drop bass quickly abandon shallow cover and move to slightly deeper areas to wait out the drop in water level. They won’t move far and they will still bite. The best way to fish a spinnerbait during falling water is to cast to the bank and allow the spinnerbait to fall along the contour of the bottom. You can do this by pausing your retrieve to allow the spinnerbait to fall a few inches throughout your retrieve. If the water depth is gradual then a slow roll will let the spinnerbait follow the bottom just right. A little twitch with the rod tip periodically can cause a reaction strike from an otherwise uninterested bass.
Skirt Color For Spring Spinnerbait Bass Fishing
Before I go into the spinnerbait blades, I want to mention skirt color for your spring spinnerbait fishing. There are just a few colors that I use in my spinnerbait skirts. When fishing clear water silver or white with some chartreuse is hard to beat. You want the skirt to closely resemble a baitfish and a baitfish is camouflaged for obvious reasons. In clear water you want your spinnerbait to blend in like the real thing.
In stained or dirty water, white and chartreuse is still a good color for your skirt. The chartreuse still has some contrast to the dirty water and the bass can still locate it. This is especially true when paired with a big Colorado blade. Another great color for dirty water is black or black and blue. Black will contrast well in dirty water and is very visible to a bass.
Colorado Blade Spinnerbait
Dirty water is commonplace in the spring. Spring rains can turn an area that was clean one day into murky and dingy the next. Dirty water can be great for spring spinnerbait fishing. The best blade, in my opinion, to use at this time is a Colorado blade. There is something about the thump of a single Colorado blade that drives pre-spawn bass crazy. Another great thing about the Colorado blade is the ability to slow-roll the spinnerbait and still get the blade to spin. With a willow leaf blade, it won’t spin when the retrieve is super slow.
A ¾ ounce to 1 ounce spinnerbait is best when throwing a big Colorado blade. The torque from the blade will cause a lighter spinnerbait to roll on its side and foul the presentation. You want something that swims true at a slow speed. You might be surprised how shallow bass will get even in 45-degree water. This is especially true in the early spring after a warm rain dirties the water. To help keep the heavy spinnerbait from dropping into cover like a rock a bulky trailer is perfect. A matching swimbait as the trailer will help you get the spinnerbait moving before it has time to drop into a treetop and with a boot tail, it can also add a little more vibration to get the bass’ attention.
Willow Blade Spinnerbait
The willow blade is a great way to match the hatch. Matching the blade to the size of baitfish can really make the difference. This is especially true in clean water where the bass can see your spinnerbait well. A willow blade spinnerbait is great when you need to fish the bait a little faster or a lot faster. Sometimes the bass wants the bait moving fast especially as the water warms up into the fifties. The bass can see the spinnerbait good in clear water so your bait should mimic the existing baitfish as closely as possible.
Another great benefit of the willow blade is the ability to burn it through the water. The reduced drag of the willow blade on a spinnerbait, as opposed to the Colorado blade, allows you to speed up your retrieve without fouling the presentation. This is often referred to as burning a spinnerbait and is a great presentation used in clean water. You don’t want the bass to get a good look at your spinnerbait to determine if it is real or fake. By burning the spinnerbait by them they have less time to make a decision and will often react to it burning by them.
Because of the speed that you’re moving the willow blade spinnerbait, a trailer is usually not necessary. If you want to add a spinnerbait trailer then a straight tail fluke style bait works great. A curly tail adds more action to the spinnerbait. While the curly tail trailer adds action it’s also streamlined enough that it works great when burning a spinnerbait. A boot tail swimbait trailer will work. It will create enough drag to make a fast retrieve more difficult.
Don’t get me wrong. A willow-bladed spinnerbait can be slow rolled to a point and is needed sometimes when the water is still a bit chilly. I like to throw a willow blade on 45 degree gravel banks for pre-spawn bass. I always fish a big Colorado blade spinnerbait when the bass is tucked up in the shallow treetops and stumps. The most vital thing about spring spinnerbait fishing is to gain confidence in it by fishing it and learning what you can do with it. I can assure you when you feel and sometimes see that awesome spinnerbait bite in the spring, you will be hooked.