Pre spawn Bass tactics


At BlackOps Fishing our prime goal is to teach anglers that there are fish to be caught all year round.
The 3rd Saturday in April is the traditional “opening day” of fishing season but that applies to trout stocked lakes ponds and streams and even some stocked trout waters known as TMA’s, Trout Management Areas, are open year round on a catch and release basis but other than Trout stocked waters most fishing in CT is open year round.

This year I already have well over 60 fishing trips and “opening day” is still a week away. My point here is many people think you start fishing on opening day and the truth is you never have to stop fishing! I get asked ” Hey Al, you ready for opening day”. And receive a look of shock when I reply that I’m already fishing!

As soon as the ice is too thin to support my weight, I switch to open water fishing,
this year we have been targeting Bass, both Large and Smallmouth with great success!

Water tempetures are usually around 39 degrees soon after ice out and bass are still in their winter modes at this time I find vertical jigging with a Blade Bait likre the
Heddon Sonar Flash pictured below, a great way to catch schooling bass.


Bass will still be lethargic but can be caught in good numbers by marking schools and vertical jigging with Blade Baits.


As soon as the water temperateness rise to the low 40’s Bass are starting to think about spawning and are beginning to go into their pre spawn modes, the smallmouth Bass action picks up first as they like to spawn after the water hits the 58 degree mark, while Largemouth Bass prefer water temps of 62 degree’s before they start to get busy.

As the water warms to the low 40’s my lure of choice is a jig tipped with a soft plastic offering. My favorite is a black and blue football jig with a black plastic creature and that’s what I would start fishing with for 15 minutes or so, if there are no takers then I play with color and size until I find a jig that works.

Big pre spawn bass can be caught on jigs worked very slowly in areas where deeper waters transition to spawning waters which are normally 3-6 feet deep and not usually more that 15 feet from shore, Bass will lurk in these deeper areas and begin to feed more heavily as they enter their Pre Spawn patterns.

Bass instinctively know they need to fatten up because they won’t be actively feeding during the spawn. That’s what makes pre spawn Bass fishing one of the best times to catch Bass!


The Hitman shows off a Big Pre Spawn Bass that fell for a slow rolled Mepps inline spinner, water temp was 51.4 she was in 3 feet of water.

When the water temp hits 47 degrees I add Spinner baits, lipless cranks and inline spinners to the arsenal.
These lures will produce very well during the pre spawn period and allow you to cover more water, then the Blade baits and jigs.

I work these lures very slow at fist, slow rolling the spinner bait or my favorite a big Pike size Mepps inline spinner, as temps increase and Pre spawn bass become more aggressive, I will speed up my retrieves.

50 degrees!!! Is when pre spawn bass become quite active, venturing from deep to shallow, scoping out their spawning areas and feeding much more aggressively, this is a great time to hook up with a Lunker!

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