I catch some of my biggest bass in the spring where I am located. Because Bass spawn in the spring this changes their behavior drastically than any other time of the year. The feeding frenzy will go up and down during this phase of fishing. I like to be careful on my lure selection and my style of fishing in the spring to be successful at getting hooked! The bass feeding habits will change and so must your strategy if you want to keep catching them. I am going to tell you what works for me and you can take what you want from it.
My top lures for spring should have me covered no matter if the bass are biting or not. Temps will fluctuate in the spring and this changes the bass activity that having a wide range is good for honing in on what they want to #GETHOOKED. The baits I am talking about are slow moving too fast moving baits. This will set you up with a great plan of attack!
Springtime is when the water temps and bass feeding is on the rise. Water temperature is very important for determining bass actions. A bass is a cold blooded fish and this causes their body temp to be the same as their environment. I get hooked best when the temps are between the high 50's too low 70's. Once it starts getting hot and temps rise above 80 the bass will seek water that has less temp fluctuation and head for deeper water. When I say "deep" that depends to the overall depth of the lake you are fishing. If the deepest points are 10 or 30 that is where the bass will be hanging out. The water temps at these depths will be more stable.
Even though deep water plays a role in some spring activity. most of my big bits come in the shallows where the spacing will take place.
3. Post Spawn
Bass will behave differently during each phase. I try to have a few lure choices and techniques so I am ready for the change over the course of the season. Keep in mind that the spawn will occur at different times of the year as well as change from lake to lake. A shallow lake will get warm quicker than a deeper one so and this will cause the spawn cycle to begin sooner. I get an awesome spring because I have 3 lakes that are all next to each other to fish. 2 are a lot more shallow so when the chomp its on at the smaller lake and finishes then I can move to the bigger lake and find the same pattern there. This makes for a great start to the season.
Always check your water temps during the spring so you can gauge what phase of the spawn cycle you are in. If you do not have electronics then get a small fish tank thermometer to carry with you. Temps will fluctuate like crazy in the spring so don't just assume the temp is the same from day to day.
As the water starts to climb and reach the high 40's to mid 50's range the bass will begin to slowly make their way to the shallows searching for food to restore energy that was lost during the winter. What better way to get hooked than on one of them tasty custom Lou's Lures. Between this point and the spawn pattern the bass will become very active. When them temps are staying in the mid 50's you can expect them to be feeding. Hold your pants they are not in full chomp mode just yet. Maybe try to keep your lures moving a little slower at this point. This time of year I love one of my 1.5" square bills in bleeding shad pattern.
Try to spend as much time on the water as you can during this pattern to take advantage of every minute because the bite will change drastically when we get to the spawn pattern.
Once the water temps start to reach the high 50's to mid 60's the bass will generally begin to enter the spawn. This means the bite will slow down a bunch. During the spawn the males will make beds. Most times these will be located along the shoreline in about 2-5 feet of water but I have seen them in up to 8 feet of water also. If the water is clear the beds will be deeper. If the water is murky they will be in the shallower water. The males will start to push the females into the beds to get them to lay eggs. Once the girls drop the eggs the male will fertilize them. Once this happens the bite is OFF! This can last 2-4 weeks as the males will be guarding the eggs all the time. The girls are gonna be heading for deeper water to recover. You might as well forget about the females at this point but can still catch the males. While they guard the beds they will be vicious and attack anything that comes into the bed or even close. Some will argue that bed fishing is cheating and I kinda agree. Anglers have been fighting for years over the ethic of bed fishing. To each is own I guess.
POST SPAWN PATTERN:
Once the fry are big enough and active enough the male will stop guarding them. At this point the adult males with abandon the beds and start to feed normally again. When the girls have recovered from the spawn the will start to move back to the shallows to feed as well. In my experience it takes about 4-6 weeks after they spawn for the chomp to pick back up. This is when I tie on a top water popper and start smashing. Late spring and early summer is when the lake will be buzzing and at its peak when its comes to bass fishing. Another good time to spend as much time on the water as possible because it will be a feeding frenzy. Enjoy this time because the summer heat are gonna drive them down and it will get tough again to get hooked!
Bass are gonna be on the move and looking for food to replenish the energy they lost after spawning. Bass will be very active during early parts of the summer but the bite will surely slow down as the heat sets in. When the water temps reach 80 and above the fish will seek out deeper water for the comfort of the cooler water. Bass really don't care what season it is as long as they can find a favorable water temp to chill in. If you can find the spots where the water temps are stable then that is the key to summer bass fishing.
I am a crank bait/topwater fisherman. I like to be a little more aggressive so this is a great time to power fish for me.
Early summer fishing is a bit different than the actual heat of the summer. This is the time when most lakes are at the peak for bass fishing. Most bass will be scattered and actively feeding. Where the bass will be holding during this time is not so predictable as when the summer really kicks in. Some will hold to one area all day where others will travel for miles! Make sure to cover a lot of water in the early summer months for your best chance to get hooked.
Early summer will also bring rain and higher water levels. This is where you want to look for recently covered brush and also any trees that may have fallen. Docks are also great cover for bass, but are much better when the water is higher than normal.
I like to rip a 1.5" crank bait around the shallows. This technique allows you to cover a lot of water quickly, and since they could be scattered you can locate where they may be holding a lot quicker. Spinner baits work well this time of year also. All sizes and blades will be effective. Rubber worms. Not a power fishing lure and probably my lest favorite but are very effective year round.If you tossed a crank at a dock for a while with no luck always try to flip a worm at it before leaving. I particularly like the drop shot for soft plastics.
Mid-summer Bass Fishing:
Here it comes. The heat of the summer. I hate this time of year for fishing! Temps will rise to points that keep this guy and bass in a slow moving state with less energy. Bass are less active but easier to target at this time than they are in any other season. I like to be on the water by 5 am and off by 10. This is a great window for fishing the shallows. Nothing I hate more than sitting in the sun on my boat baking like a potato. The heat from the sun has not made it unbearable to the bass yet and should be the start of every fisherman's day. I love this time to throw on of my top water poppers.
As mid-day approaches when the sun has risen, most bass have made their way back out to deeper water near channels, drop offs, points, humps and ledges. I always seem to find them in deep water with lots of grass. I like to try to draw them up with a popper but the drop shot works well for me here. All these areas have one thing in common and that is protection from the sun. The 2 best places to target mid-day summer bass are in shaded areas and the deeper water. Bass just want to avoid the sun this time of year. The sun over heats the fish and also blinds them too! This is why bass seek out low light areas. The key is to target these areas with the right approach.
As I mentioned before I am a top water assassin! Early Summer mornings are great for this bite. There will generally be more bait fish in the shallows and when the sun isn't beaming down on these areas the bass move in to hunt. Low light and calm water make it optimal for that top water blow up on a Lou's Lure custom painted with the bleeding shad pattern!
If your lake doesn't have heavy matted cover and lily pads to toss at like mine does then you should be targeting docks and low hanging trees and brush. Any shade will work but docks especially. Skipping a rubber worm or a jig under docks and boats is a great technique this time of year. Remember that bass have very low energy this time of year and will only hit what is right tin front of them. Be sure to throw a bunch of casts and take your time casting under and around the trees and docks you find. Bass do not have much energy this time of year and may only hit your bait if it lands pretty much on them. Just make sure you cover the whole piece of structure!
I love to toss cranks! Deep divers are killer for locating them bass down in the deep cooler water. Use the crank to try to feel and see the bottom with the lure. You want to blast through like a rhino and bump and grind everything in your path. bass are gonna hold to the deep structure and cover so they can ambush your crank as it swims through. You can start with a smaller diving crank and work your way deep if you need to check the water column for depth.
When the summer days start to come to an end and the shallows begin to cool then you have great conditions for top water blow ups! I like to fish from around 5pm to sunset when the topwater chomp is at its best!
One thing you can count on if the fall bite is now approaching! The bass will feed heavy to bulk up for winter. Keep your gear out cause the bigguns are about to bite!
Once the weather starts to cool down, some anglers think that bass fishing's over. Lucky for you I fish all year round! If you pick the right lures you can keep fishing strong right into the winter. It all depends on where you are in the country but water temps can reach as high as 90 degrees in the summer. These extreme temps cause bass to get sluggish and have less of an appetite. Luckily big bass prefer Lou's Lures. When the fall air cools the lakes, the bass become less lethargic and start to come out to the more comfy open water. This cool air also lets the bass know that winter is coming and it is time to start eating and bulking up for the cold winter months.Don't be part of the fisherman that are packing the rods up at the end of the summer because you are gonna miss out. When most guys are packing up and there is less fishing pressure, the feeding activity increases and makes for a great time to get hooked on a huge bass!
I have recently started tossing a jig in the fall. I do not like finesse fishing too much but you need to change it up a bit at this time of year to catch them big ones. Bass start to get dialed in to a certain pattern and feed aggressively for the winter. In most cases this will be crayfish or baitfish. I like to trail my jig with a 3" paddle tail swim bait. I like a natural brown and orange color with a minnow colored swim bait. Work them on the bottom slowly!
Also I throw a 5" paddle tail in minnow color with an under spin. These work great. If you want to target the bigger bass them swim baits are what you need to throw. This time of year they are gorging on bait fish and the bait replicates that perfectly. Most people toss the bigger swim baits this time of year too. Moving them very slow to get that big fish to see a great meal and don't need to exert too much energy to have to hit it.
Even though spring is a bit more complex of a season for bass fishing, it is not that much different from the fall. Both seasons introduce more favorable water temps. Bass begin to get lethargic in water temps lower than 65 degrees. As these better water temps move in and the bass knowing the the winter is coming it begins what I call the FALL FRENZY! This is when bass will gorge themselves in preparation for winter. Once the winter sets in the bass become so lethargic that they don't really need to eat at all. They can actually survive a whole month on a single baitfish!
Don't forget the jerk baits! As winter starts to turn the corner and the water temps are down in the 40's the jerk bait is a great lure to use to get the bass to bite. By using this lure you want to get that reaction bite. The jerk bait has always had a strong rep for being great cold water baits. Jerk the bait sparingly and then let it stand still for a few seconds. The colder the water the longer the pause. You will find your ideal action after trying a couple of times. If it is super duper cold you may want to just use the soft jerk bait with no weight. The natural falling of these look like a dying minnow just laying around waiting to get slurped up! Don't let the cold stop you! There is no bass season cause you can fish all year long. Even if we need to drill through the ice.
The winter is the bomb! For me anyway. I love the cold and also the ice. This brings on tough fishing conditions though. Most people, especially the greenhorns, think that bass season actually ends after the summer. We know by know that bass are going to be super lethargic and hard to catch. You are going to need a lot of patience. This is where I lack! I hate fishing slow. Anyhow bass metabolism slows down substantially when them water temps get into the 30s and 40s. Once this happens energy conservation is the bass main focus. A bass will determine how much energy it will need to exert in order to pursue prey and if the presentation and bait are not right then its gonna be a tough bite.
Of course I will try the jerk bait this time of year. Arguably the best cold water bait around and they are fun to paint. Jerk, jerk, pause 1234. Jerk, jerk pause 1234. The colder the water the longer the pause. Be creative.
I also like to grab the 5" paddle tail with an under-spin and even a 3" paddle tail to drop through the ice if the lake is frozen. Jigs will also work with that super slow retrieve. Leaving them at rest will cause them to move slowly with the water and create a life like presentation. 20 seconds would be normal between each twitch! You will figure out the pattern.
I just started tossing blade baits. These are also kinda fun to paint. I toss them and let them drop to the bottom and sit. Most times they will pick it up right off the bottom. These blades will flutter as you pull up on them and will vibrate making some noise and commotion to lure in a close bass. Most of the time you are going to be sitting still in the winter for long periods of time with no action. There is an upside to this though. You can catch HUGE bass during the winter months. Fishing pressure slows down on most bodies of water so this is a big plus!
When all else fails and the lake is frozen over then it is time to break out the auger and drill yourself a hole. The lakes where I live tell us if it is safe to fish through the ice so you may want to be safe and find out the rules. Always wear a life vest on the ice in my opinion. Once you get your hole drilled (a 6" hole is a good size) some guys drill a 12" hole and they are very easy for the next guy's foot to fall right into!!! Be safe. I use a small ice fishing rod with a 3" Keitech Tennessee shad wit5h a 1/8 oz jig head and absolutely slaughter the perch and crappie. Can catch 50 a day sometimes.
#gethooked #louslures #fishingfiends
Have you ever been out on the lake and the bite is sooo good one day and you go back to your spot the next day and the bite is gone? You use the same presentation as you did the previous day and nothing works. Then you switch up and try something new. Still no bites. One of the leading causes of this is due to barometric pressure. All anglers have heard of this at one point or another.
Barometric pressure also know as atmospheric or air pressure is the weight air pressing down on everything on earth, including fish and anglers. Understanding this important piece of fish behavior may help you catch more fish.
Along with altitude, high- and low-pressure weather systems will affect the barometer. There are also two daily fluctuations due to heating from the sun, which peak around 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., and bottom out at 4 a.m. and 4 p.m. The smallest change in barometric pressure can cause big variations in fish behavior. When the pressure changes everything in the water either sinks, suspends, or floats to the top. When there are changes in the pressure it acts like changes in gravity, upsetting this delicate balancing act on a regular basis. Such rises and falls are compounded because objects weigh less underwater, which makes them more prone to ups and downs.
The bass are way more in tune with the environment than most of us fisherman know. They have very sensitive pressure sensing system. For example their lateral line. Its is used to detect movement and vibrations in the water and they are easily able to pick up changes in the atmosphere. It works like a chain reaction. A light drop in pressure will cause the tiniest of particles of sediment and other debris to float up off the bottom of the lake and rise higher in the water column. Plankton are the building blocks for the food web. They can regulate their buoyancy with built in mechanisms like little air bladders. When these tine little creatures are caught off guard by quick changes in barometric, it pushed them out of their comfort zones and sparks a feeding frenzy among bait fish. Well we all know what comes next! The bigger game fish like largemouth bass to join in on the chomp. Most fish will strap on the feed bag with these slight pressure changes.
This is a great time to have an awesome session if you are an aggressive fisherman like me. Time to put the finesse goodies away! I am a top water fisherman and this is a great time to dance a popper over the feeding flats or ripping a crank bait along the weed lines will cause a huge vicious bite!
Keep in mind that some of the best fishing is when the pressure has been steady for several days or more. Extended periods of fair weather will allow the bass to find the best blend of conditions like water temp, oxygen levels and other factors. This will cause the bass to fall into a predictable feeding routine.
A moving barometer needle means different weather systems are coming and it will affect fishing. This means low pressure systems like cold fronts may shut the fishing down but in late summer a cold front may drop the surface temps a few digits and may cause the sluggish slabones to cause a bump in the feeding.
Also try downloading a barometric pressure app so you can watch on the daily!!
This is the one I use: Barometer Plus