Just before bass move up on their beds to lay their eggs is a great time to fish. 1/2-ounce Bill Lewis Rat-L-Traps are a great choice if you hope to get the best of pre-spawn bass. Go for gold or red-colored option for even better results.
The realistic paint combined with the “dinner bell” sound of this lure is hardly irresistible for predator fish such as bass.
If you prefer a lipless crankbait with the loudest sound in the market (actually, bass are attracted to sounds), the 3/4-ounce River2Sea Ruckus plugs are a great alternative. The big profile of this big baitfish appeals to larger bass that is in the mood for big bites.
Catching pre-spawn largemouth requires a more “deadly” fishing tactic, and the Spinnerbait from Strike King is designed for such missions. This bait works great for a wide range of applications, from deep water to finesse. The first-rate pre-rigged hook together with the top-of-the-line skirt makes this one of the best baits for spring bass.
Strike King’s spinnerbait series is a huge collection of baits with different features and come in lots of different sizes. Consider models in the 3/4- to 1-ounce size for pre-spawn bass. Pair that with an Indiana-style willow blade (usually plated in 24K gold) for the perfect fishing lure.
Go for spinnerbaits with more white in the lure if you are fishing in clear water. Models with more colors are more suited for fishing in stained water.
You are likely to be more successful if you use a spinnerbait in deep stump and timber waters or slow-rolling grass beds during the nearly bass season.
If you plan to fish bass in clear waters, a muted or light lifelike baitfish color will be your best bet. That’s where the Luck-E Strike Rick Clunn Stick Jerkbait excels.
The half-ounce, 4.5-inch suspending plug model is one of the best baits for spring bass in clear water, especially when you use them with a 10-pound-test fluorocarbon fishing line. This will considerably impart any irregular stop-and-go retrieve.
Fish up to 6 feet deep for spring bass with this suspending jerk bait. You will recognize strike triggers when using the lure – lookout for frequent pauses during a retrieve.
Soft plastic baits tend to be more productive when the water temperature hovers around the 60s. One of the best baits for spring bass in this category (and one of our favorites) is the Zoom Bait Salty Super Fluke.
The salt-impregnated bait makes bass hold on a bit longer so you can get more hook up. The pack of 10 fluke baits can be fished on a jig head or weightless. You can also use this on Umbrella or Alabama rigs. If you want to fish this like finesse Carolina Rig, use it with a 1/8-ounce slip sinker just about a foot above a 3/0 River2Sea hook.
This plastic fluke is like candy to bass. Just remember that the more stained the water is, the darker your lure should be. A watermelon red works great in many conditions, but a black-colored option works best in overcast days or other low light conditions.
Modular concrete blocks, granite, and other rocky structures that form ripraps underwater tend to heat up rather quickly. This characteristic makes these spots some of the choicest locations for early spring bass. Fishing in these areas will yield better results with an all-around lure such as the Zoom Swimmer.
The hollow-body plastic bait works well if you rig it with a 1/4-ounce jig head. While there are several colors you can choose from, clear color or Guntersville shad color closely imitates the real herring-like fish. If you use a jig head, make sure it has a natural lead head color, as this will increase your chance of success.
You can also use the Zoom Swimmer in other locations where bass chase baitfish, including inside standing timber or around bride pilings.
Fishing bass in the last phase of the spring cycle works great if you use soft plastic swimbaits like the Gambler EZ Swimmer (that comes in a pack of 7).
This incredibly lightweight swimmer has a small profile in the water, with the tail part providing lots of swimming action. This lure’s vibration or erratic swimming action instantly attracts fish due to the flared tail design, especially when fishing scattered cover for post-spawn bass.
For greater success, rig this model weedless Texas-style. Make sure the hook goes through the swimbait body so that it completely penetrates the lure when the bass bites. You can also rig it on a belly weighted hook.
If you plan on catching bigger bass, the larger Gambler Big EZ Swim Bait should do the trick. The Skinny Dipper model from Reaction Innovations and the Naked Swimmer by Bitter’s Bait & Tackle are other great swimbaits, too.
Searching for bass when the water temp tends toward 70 degrees gets a bit easier with speed worm. An excellent choice is the Zoom UltraVibe Speed (pack of 15).
Anglers looking for higher chances of success with heavyweight spring bass in vegetations should consider getting this lure. A good example is springtime fishing in Florida or other Southern waters where there are plenty of weeds.
A slow, deep retrieve works exceptionally well with this bait. You can also use Speed Worms just about the same way you would use swimbaits for bass.
If you are looking to perfectly mimic fleeing shad, you will need to add the Smithwick to your tackle box. The Devil’s Hose is famous among anglers because it works incredibly well, which is why it deserves a spot on our list as one of the best baits for spring bass.
Fishing spring bass in clear waters is usually productive with long pauses in a retrieve. But it is best to quickly rip the Devil’s Horse across the water surface when it comes to attracting the fish in shallow stained waters. This is particularly true when you search for bass in the late afternoons when they are chasing baitfish.
Baitfish is usually active when the temperature of the water rises during late afternoons, so there is a high chance the fish will assume that the surface-churning propeller of the lure is an active shad. This model works best with a stop-and-go motion.
The Zoom Brush Hog is a commercially made water-displacing “creature” that works excellently, especially for spring bass near or on spawning beds. You no longer need to connect different soft plastic lures to form water creatures; you can get this model for under $10.
The good thing about creature baits is that you can fish them in any way you want. The salt-impregnated Zoom Brush Hog design includes a slightly beefy body with several wiggling parts that serve to displace enough water. Bass are sensitive to water displacement and can quickly get attracted to the bait.
Dark color options are generally great, although pumpkin and watermelon colors also work great. You can rig this bait Carolina, Texas-style, or with a jig. The most important thing about fishing with the Zoom Brush Hog is finding a good spring bass cover and let the bait do the rest.
Our last entry (but definitely not the least) is the cigar-shaped Rover is a great choice for topwater fishing and is more productive for spawning and post-spawn bass. If you want to get the best results fishing with this plug, ensure that you keep it moving in a steady retrieve.
Even when the bass strikes and miss the Rover, it is important not to make the mistake of halting the lure retrieve. Keep in mind that baitfish never stops when trying to escape bass, so pausing will make the fish suspicious and refuse the lure.
Continue sliding the Rover’s nose from side to side at a steady speed, even when the chase is on, and the fish is striking at it. This will keep the bass fully interested in hitting the bait.