I'll begin to prefish this week for the tournament, which is Saturday and Sunday (May 3-4) and here is a snapshot of the conditions we'll be facing:
Weather: Consistent week day highs in the mid to upper 40's, with lows around 40. Scattered showers and wind will be a common theme as well.
Water Level: An initial spring time crest has occurred, but with recent rains the river is going up slightly.
Water Temp: Main river water temps will be in the 47–49 degree range and backwaters may begin to warm and climb above the 50 degree mark.
As I begin to cover water in the spring when I'm prefishing, I have two lures that I rely on heavily, both help me cover water quickly and locate active bass. When I'm fishing around rock or wood, I'll use a ¼- or 3/8-ounce single Colorado blade spinnerbait. This single blade puts off a lot of vibration which bass pick up via their lateral line, by also using only a single blade, I can slow roll the spinnerbait, which in the spring is sometimes a must!
When the water temperature begins to climb and I can find bass in a backwater area that has some emergent or flooded vegetation, I'll use a ¼-ounce swim jig. Like the spinnerbait, my retrieve can be varied, depending on the bass's activity level, but the swim jig will perform better around the vegetation than the spinnerbait.
The hope of a successful prefishing trip is to find an area(s) or specific type of cover that you can fully dissect later during the tournament to put together a successful limit. In the spring when the water temps are still below 60 degrees, fishing a jig is a great presentation. Depending on the depth of water, wind and if there is any current, will dictate what weight jig I use, but it will more than likely be 3/8- or ½-ounce.