Springtime has a reputation for rewarding bass fishermen with some of their biggest catches of the year. That doesn’t mean the fishing is easy. While spring finds big bass increasingly active and hungry, cold conditions often make for a slow day on the water. These seven essential lures can all put bass in the boat during spring, and they more than earn their spot in a well-stocked tackle box.
- Suspending Jerkbaits – These lures might just be the best tool in your arsenal at the very beginning of spring. When waters are still in the 40s and bass are sluggish, a suspending jerkbait can tempt even the most lethargic fish to strike. The secret is a slow, methodical retrieve with lots of starts and stops. Suspending jerkbaits hover in the water column when you pause your retrieve, and strikes often come as soon as you twitch the lure with a subtle flick of the rod.
- Jig-N-Pigs – The ultimate crayfish imitation, jig-n-pigs are equally effective in deep and shallow water when you need to fish close to the bottom. When a cold front drives bass to deep water, try jigging slowly around drop-offs and deep rock piles.
- Grubs – Ignored by many anglers who find them old fashioned, curly-tail grubs are far more effective than they’re given credit for. This is especially true in early spring, when these bite-size baits tempt bass that might be put off by a big, flashy lure.
- Jigging Spoons – There’s no depth limit on a jigging spoon. Much like grubs, these lure aren’t exactly fashionable, but the few anglers who use them positively swear by their effectiveness. Try fishing one vertically near bottom in deep water for a spot-on imitation of an injured baitfish.
- Soft Sticks – soft plastic stickbaits are the ultimate do-nothing lure, and they may be the most versatile bait in your tackle box. Hook one through the middle and let it sink slowly. Put one on a weightless Texas rig and fish it like a jerkbait. Attach one to a drop-shot rig and drop it into deep water. Let one sit on the bottom and do nothing at all. Soft sticks work in almost any situation, and no springtime tackle box is complete without them.
- Tube Jigs – When bass start nesting in mid- to late spring – usually when water temperatures approach the 60 degree mark – bedding bass will viciously defend their nesting sites, and a well-placed tube jig is the perfect offering to draw a strike. Be sure to always release spawning bass to let them complete their reproductive cycle.
- Topwaters – Later in spring, when bass have finished spawning, many of them move into dense weed beds and wood cover. Topwaters create a disturbance that can draw them to the surface, especially during the low-light hours of morning and evening.