It’s finally that time of year. April in Western North Carolina was cold and rainy, but this brings warmth to the lakes and streams. For most people it seemed that it only rained on the weekends when you wanted to fish. In this case all you can do is break out the rain gear and go to work or miss the pre-spawn.
It is very important to invest in rain gear once you decide that you’re not a beginner or just a fair weather fisherman. This gear allows you remain comfortable in any scenario the weather throws at you. You will find out you will use rain gear for about any weather other than sunny days. Cold, wind, and rain are what a fisherman deals with on a constant basis, so once you own good rain gear you will be glad you invested in it.
When fishing this time of year be very observant of the clarity of water. The waves of weather can change your circumstances from day to day. With clear water I like to either downsize or upsize. You will notice it’s a challenge to catch fish in clear water, because they spook easy, being able to see for a distance. Downsizing will allow you to be subtle and methodical for catching spooky fish.
Do not forget to use silent lures without rattles especially in calm situations. Big baits are a great way to just concentrate on trophy sized bass with that silent drawing power that only big baits have. This leaves out those normal, conventional sized lures your used to casting. Once the water gets stained then conventional lures with rattles are a must.
If you want to concentrate on those big females, use red or orange lures because this is when the crayfish come out of the clay banks, and the females need that iodine to break loose those egg sacks. For clearer water use a natural red, and for stained water go for the brighter orange. Pumpkin green is a wonderful color to mix and match with the reds. These big females will key in on where these crawfish live and hangout there before spawning. Look for rocky banks to help you locate these areas. Using a jig will help you feel around the bottom to find bass that are deep.
My secret this time of year is to use a kayak to sneak up on spooky bass if you cannot afford the front facing sonars. With bass coming into river arms you do not have to paddle a kayak far to find them. This will also allow you to fish in places boats are not allowed to go. This means low-pressured bass will be in the area. There are pros and cons with boats and kayaks. Just pick the one that suits you the best and have fun this season.
Scott Norton is a Western North Carolina native. Born in Asheville, N.C., he is a long-time hunter, angler and weekend warrior.