When the bite is on, it seems that no matter what you throw at them, they’ll bite. But, when that bite is tough, having the presentation and bite dialed in will improve your on-the-water efficiency.
I just returned from my first fishing tournament of 2015, the Bass World Sports Team Championship was held on Kentucky Lake last week and my brother and I had a great trip. We caught some good fish and learned a lot about spring bass fishing.
As you gear up for your next bass fishing trip here are four lure families that can be fished differently based on the conditions you are faced with and will certainly help improve your catch rates.
Spinnerbait–If the water temperatures are cold (below 55-57 degrees), then slow rolling a spinnerbait can produce explosive bites. If the water temps are warmer (above 60 degrees or better) you can burn a spinnerbait for actively cruising bass. In Kentucky we caught the majority of our bass by slow rolling a 1/2-ounce War Eagle double Indiana bladed spinnerbait with a chartreuse/white skirt.
Squarebill Crankbai –Like a spinnerbait, a squarebill can be retrieved slowly or quickly depending on the water temperature. The important thing here is you want to make sure your bait makes contact with the cover you are fishing, such as wood, rock and other fish-holding structural elements.
Jerkbait–It is no secret that jerkbaits are great bass-catching lures during the spring, and this was evident for us during our practice and second day of competition on Kentucky Lake. It is very important to cycle through your lures until you find a model, size and color that the bass want—identify the pattern! If the bite slows down, change the bait until you find their new preference. On all of my jerkbaits, I switch out the stock treble hooks for Lazer TroKar EWG Treble Hooks (TK310) because they are stronger and sharper, which helps me land more bass.
Rattlebait–Again, like the jerkbait, the rattlebait is a common—and very productive—springtime bait. This bait can be burned across a flat, or crawled down the backside of a point where bass have staged before spawning.
Our end result on Kentucky Lake was a respectable 27th place finish out of 180 teams, with a total two-day weight of 27.78 pounds. But, being one keeper short on day two, did cost us a check!
Jerkbaiting legend, Kevin VanDam demonstrates how he works a jerkbait during spring-fishing conditions.