Spring Bass Fishing --After the Rains
Spring Bass Fishing --After the Rains
By Danny Russell
April showers bring muddy water and rising water (as well as May flowers). When springtime rains begin, a bass angler has to adjust to changing conditions in order to be successful. Immediately after heavy spring rains anglers can enjoy some of the best fishing of the year. There are several things one must consider when fishing after the rains.
Initially fish may hold at the original water level before moving shallow. But soon afterwards bass adjust to rising water, presenting opportunities for catching aggressive feeding bass by following the water as it rises. "Follow the water" is often a phrase we hear with rising water. Bass follow the water as it rises into newly flooded areas of shallow water. First start ultra-shallow (if the water temperature permits) and work to deeper water. Fish visible cover such as trees, buck brush and lay down trees as well as lawns, pastures and other clean areas with "search lures" such as spinner baits, buzz baits, top water baits and shallow running crank baits. When contact is made with a fish take note of the depth, type of cover, lure retrieve, and how the fish took the bait. Then slow down and repeat the scenario. Use slower baits such as jerk baits, lizards, worms, jigs, etc. to pick off any of the less aggressive fish and to find larger bass that may not have bit on the first pass.
Another consideration when fishing after heavy rains is the influx of muddy water. For me muddy water is when visibility is restricted to 12 inches when using white bait. Bass in lakes that are clear will be affected more than the bass that live in stained water. When a lake muddies the fish "should" move shallow and tight to cover. Bass will follow the water in search for food. This makes it easy for an angler to locate fish. Look for any visible cover such as logs, stumps, and laydowns. Also, consider fishing vegetation. Grassy areas help filter the water and will clear up faster than non-grassy areas. When fishing, remember to slow down and try to keep the bait in the strike zone as long as possible. First try horizontal baits such as spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, and crank baits and top water baits. Spinner baits with chartreuse blades and skirts as well as black spinner baits with copper blades. Chartreuse and bright reds and black for jerk baits and crankbaits are preferred. Use crankbaits with rattles and a wide wobble to displace lots of water to help bass locate the bait. If these baits don't produce, try bulky vertical baits such as jig-n-pigs, brush-hogs, worms and craw-worms that stay in the strike zone longer. Shake the plastics while fishing cover to trigger a strike and help bass find your lure. Also remember that scent and sound become more of a factor when water muddies. Try using rattles on soft plastics or use baits that make a lot of noise. And, use scent on plastics to increase your chances of a strike. FISH SLOWLY!
When waters begin to recede fishing can become really tough. Fish will become inactive and suspend. Often bass will move into deeper water suspending around cover or near break lines away from the bank and shallows. Try moving out to the next line of visible cover away from the bank in your search for fish. Use a slow methodical approach to your fishing. Remember to try to appeal to the bass' senses of sight, sound and taste as well as reaction to baits. If a reactionary flash of a spinnerbait doesn't produce, try vertical plastics and jigs fished slowly, making repeated casts to cover and to entice a strike. You have to be confident the fish is there, be patient and persistent. Keep the bait in the strike zone and keep your confidence up. If the fish are there they will bite sometime during the day.
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