Enthusiasm for the prespawn period can be found and heard everywhere. Songbirds and waterfowl are noisy, lawnmowers are firing up, and boats begin whizzing on lakes and rivers. This is the time of year when big largemouth bass become their most vulnerable. The warmer water temperatures raise their metabolism to the highest levels in months. Plus they’re fattening up for the spawn.
Bass are cruising the banks in shallow water, so depth finders and expensive equipment are not necessary. Fancy bass boats, pontoon boats, johnboats, or anything that floats will get you to the bass. Here are the top 3 prespawn lures for largemouth bass.
Top 3 Prespawn Lures for Largemouth Bass: Rattle Traps
Few will dispute that prespawn time means rattle trap time. This bait’s profile mimics the main entrée on the bass’ menu: bluegill and shad. As the bass head shallow, so do the bluegill. Like a grizzly bear grazing on berries, bass are constantly on the prowl for an easy meal. Bass will hunker down on structure to ambush unsuspecting bluegill, but they rarely stay long. Bluegill are on the move, so the bass stay moving as well. An angler is wise to do the same – keep moving. When identifying structure, make repeated casts to it, and after catching one off of it, come back to it later. Other bass will take its place, but never quit casting across shallow flats.
Stay in 5 feet of water or less and make long casts. Use a moderate to fast retrieve. In stained or dark water, use a red or crawdad color scheme. When in clear, either use chrome or bluegill colors. The bait comes in several sizes, but the ½ ounce is the most popular. When the bait snags structure, snap it loose – often this triggers a reaction bite.
Top 3 Prespawn Lures for Largemouth Bass: Spinnerbait
After decades of boating monster bass in every state across the nation, this bait is a proven winner. The spinnerbait shines in the same situations as the rattle trap, but it excels in weedier conditions. Treble hooks on the rattle trap make it vulnerable to thick weeds while the spinnerbait is more snag resistant.
Confusion can be caused by the boundless options of the baits – blade combinations, weights, and colors.
Expert Tip: Keep it simple.
During the prespawn, bass are aggressive and not as picky. Because blades come in different sizes, shapes, and colors, an angler can literally come up with dozens of different combinations. Different combinations can make big differences, but it is not as necessary during this period.
In dark or muddy water, use a pair of Colorado blades because it causes more vibration. Bass will use their lateral line to track it down. Also stick to darker colors; bluegill color schemes will work. While in semi to clear water, use 2 willow leaf blades. Willow leaf blades will cause more lift, so a slower retrieve is necessary; however, burning it back to the boat in 2 feet of water or less, can trigger some awesome reaction bites. A 3/8-ounce bait works in most situations.
Expert tip: in ultra-clear water, use an all chartreuse bait.
Warning: if you fish where northern pike are also present, be ready for violent strikes. Pike are suckers for spinnerbaits.
Top 3 Prespawn Lures for Largemouth Bass: Jig
As previously stated, the bass are on a constant prowl, so it is best to do the same. However, there are 2 times to throw a vertical bait:
- As a follow up bait. Whenever missing a strike with the aforementioned baits, two important details are revealed: where a fish is, and what it is eating. Many times, tossing a jig will coax it into biting again. Fire the jig to the exact spot and hop it several times.
- During a cold front. The dreaded spring cold fronts can make bass inactive. Normally, the bass hunker into structure and rely on an ambush strategy. Hit as many pieces of structure with the jig as possible.
Always put a trailer on a jig. Since bass are active now, use a trailer with good action. A wide range of trailers are available, and it is best to choose one with a matching color scheme. Speaking of colors, green pumpkin works everywhere. Since shallow water dominates, 3/8 ounce are prime.
Since so much time is spent in shallow water, keep an eye out for obstructions that can damage your boat or knock you in the water. Protect your boat with a Megaware KeelGuard.