The time that all anglers have waited for is here. The water levels and temps are steadily climbing. A conveyor belt of bass are feeding in from the deep. What plans do you have to put more fish in the boat? The time of preparing is over and now you get to execute your plans for new records and numbers.
Just in case you don’t know what the plan is, make sure you fix and maintain your equipment so you can concentrate on your fishing. I am guilty myself of driving all the way to the lake and conditions were perfect, only to find out mechanical issues caused me to cancel the whole trip. Don’t do that. You have one season this year that the fish are fresh from the deep without pressure. Timing has to be perfect in the beginning for that magical trip. You will be surprised just how many fish you catch when nothing goes wrong.
Warming trends are the signs you look for in pre-spawn. When the water is cold and you have two or three days of warm weather, this can be best time to go before all the crowds start fishing. Once you reach the time where all the bass are shallow, take a chance with baits that are red in color. Remember bass need iodine to break those egg sacks for spawn and crawdads have high levels. Crawdads are red this time of year and bass will feed heavily before they lay eggs. Jigs are not the only bait to simulate crawdads. Red crank baits are deadly for actively feeding bass. You can cover more water to catch the most aggressive fish in the school.
My method for finding early bass is to start in the bedding areas and fish out to the points. You have to know where the highways of travel are from the winter holes to the bedding area. Be efficient when fishing. Don’t spend too much time in one area; cover lots of water. If you have a favorite spot, you can fish it fast and comeback later because new fish will move up in those spots. These spots will be renewed over and over again so you don’t really have to lock it down.
This is also a great time to take new people and help them learn how to catch bass. This is so important to the sport of fishing. The experienced anglers have the keys to the kingdom, so we have an obligation to pass it on to the next generation to keep the sport alive and healthy.
I hope this helps make things easy for some of you. Remember to enjoy this hobby and God’s creation. Interacting with nature will bring you, and others, a better quality of life!
Scott Norton is a Western North Carolina native. Born in Asheville, N.C., he is a long-time hunter, angler and weekend warrior. He is a member of Southern Raft Supply’s prostaff, representing them in his Jackson Kayak Coosa FD.