I see the new lures and the hype for new gear, and I need to get some. Looking at all the new fishing lures and gear, I have to get it. Even though I bought several things last year, I have never used them. If you are a Bass angler, you know exactly what I mean.

Early Bassin season may be the best time of year to catch large bass. They have eaten little during the winter because the cold water slows down their metabolism and now that the water is warming up; they are hungry and ready to eat.

The biggest bass I’ve ever caught was on an opening day of the season, in about 6 feet of water, near flooded trees. I was using an original black and gold Rapala that was wriggling on the surface near the trees. I threw it and let it rest near a tree. I saw the wake coming through the water from about 10 feet away. He hit with such force that his entire body came out of the water. Six pounds 4 ounces. It was incredible

Preparing to spawn.

1. Many baits work well early in the season because most bass will stay in shallow water for most of the day, where the water is warmer. The fish are looking for a place to lay eggs, or have laid eggs and are protecting them. Even after spawning, when they are guarding the fry, they will be close to the chosen bed. They can be aggressive, or they may not move even if you hit them with the lure, I’ve seen both reactions. It can be very frustrating when you see the fish and put the lure in their face and they don’t move.
2. The warmest water will be at the north end of the lake in the spring. The sun is still low in the sky to the south, so the far north will get sun much longer during the day. The sun hitting the lake can warm the water temperature by 5 degrees or more in one day. Bass will go to warmer, shallower waters because there is more activity from small fish, crayfish, and other food sources. Dark-bottom areas at the north end of the lake will warm faster, because the black bottom retains heat better than light-colored sandy bottoms.

where to fish
3. However, do not go through the flats with a sandy bottom. There is a lake that I fish regularly, which I love to get to before the sun comes up. There is an area on the northeast side of the lake, about 10 acres of flat sand, about 3 to 6 feet deep. I can’t even count the number of bass I’ve caught in this area, launching a medium diving crankbait and bouncing it along the sandy bottom. Bass love to cruise the sand flats at dawn, they are aggressive and love to bite.

4. Keep quiet. When you are fishing in shallow water, the noise you make travels a long way through the water and is amplified considerably above what you hear. I have a great radio with a CD player on my boat, I never have it on when I’m fishing. Can you imagine how that sounds to fish?

I recommend that you even turn off the engine before you get to your spot and use the trolling motor to get closer. I think it’s even better if you put the trolling motor on a very low speed and leave it running while you’re in shallow water, so it makes a low, steady sound. If you have it at high speed and keep hitting it, it can also scare fish.

Keep things quiet and move as little as possible when you’re in shallow water, especially if you’re in an aluminum boat. Just think of any noise you make being amplified through your hull and the water.

Structure
5. When you’re in shallow water, look for any structures you can see. A line of brush forms, trees in the water, boat lifts, rocks, etc. Never walk past a pier without fishing it from the front to the shore. If you’ve ever fished off a pier, you know that small sunfish, crappies and other small fish like to hang out on the piers. What do sea bass like to eat? Smaller fish. The Bass knows that the food will be there, so they go there to eat.

Any weeds like the reeds that stick out of the water and grow on the sand flats can be awesome at the right time. There is a lake where my brother and I have fished a lot. There is a reed bed in about 5 feet of water on a sand flat that we had fished before and fished.

One day in a light rain in early June we went to this cane field and over the course of the next 5 hours caught over 80 bass in the 2-4 pound range, not very big but a good size and fun to catch on Minnesota. We trapped them all in bright purple Texas weightless plastic worms. It was the most phenomenal single fishing experience I have ever had. We finally gave up because we were tired of fishing. We have caught many more Bass from those reedbeds, but never anything like that day.

longest throws
6. Cast longer. When you’re in shallow water, and especially if it’s clear, you’ll want to cast longer so you don’t startle fish. If you’re fishing on flat sand, you can switch to a rod with a lighter line, because you don’t have to worry about the fish getting caught in the brush. The lighter line will allow you to cast further and use the smaller baits if needed.

7. Wear polarized sunglasses. You’ll be amazed at how much better you can see through the glare on the water’s surface and see fish if the water is relatively clear. Seeing fish always excites you. I’ve never tried one of the underwater cameras, but that’s why they have become popular. It motivates you if you see the fish. The cameras look great, but I think I’d spend more time looking at the screen than fishing, so it wouldn’t help me fish any more.

Use all your arsenal.
8. Test all your lures. Sometimes any lure will work in the spring. Start with the lures that can cover the most water the fastest. If you are fishing on a sandbar that is open, start with a crankbait. If you are fishing on a weed line or other structure and the water is choppy, start with a spinnerbait or chatterbait. If you’re out when the sun is out, definitely try a topwater that you can throw near the deck and entice them in for a bite. If faster fishing lures don’t work, switch to jigs or worms. Every obvious structure. I start with a spinnerbait and then go to a tube jig or plastic worm before continuing. If you find a lure that works, use it until it stops working. Fish can change what they want several times during the same day, so don’t get obsessed with just one lure. Try different lures and you will catch Bass.

9. Go for smaller lures. If you just can’t find anything that is working. Go for a smaller bait and something that can be fished more slowly. A smaller crappie-sized spinnerbait or smaller tube jig, or 4-inch plastic worms may be just the ticket for finicky bedding or post-spawning bass.

go fishing
10. Go bass fishing. If you live in Minnesota like I do and are a bass angler, you are part of a smaller group of anglers. Most anglers in Minnesota fish for walleye and panfish. There is nothing wrong with Walleye or Panfish or Pike. I catch panfish whenever I want a great fish to eat, there is nothing better than crappie and lightly breaded sunfish fillets fried in butter.

One thing you might not know if you don’t fish for bass is that you catch a lot of pike when you fish for bass. I catch my fair share of Walleyes while Bass fishing. Fishing for kelp lines off the edges of deeper water is a good place to catch good sized walleye to eat, and they will catch spinnerbaits and crankbaits quite easily. My point is to go bass fishing and you will be hooked, especially if you are like me, and hate standing still and looking at a cork.

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