As February fades and we move toward spring, many anglers come out of hibernation and get trigger happy to be back on the water.
Some of us have braved the elements and fished through the winter but with a new season, comes new opportunities.
Let’s take a look at some spring smallmouth fishing tips on how to catch more smallmouth bass just after ice out!
Spring Smallmouth Fishing Tips
In this article, we are talking early spring, pre-spawn conditions. Water temperatures are going to be in the 40s and 50s, depending on where you live.
Location, location, location
The first step to increasing your odds of a successful trip is to think about where you will find bronzebacks. They will be transitioning from their wintering holes and spreading out to eventually get to spawning areas and areas that hold food.
In lakes, they will often move to deep water main points. They often like a harder bottom with gravel or chunk rock but will often be near schools of baitfish.
In rivers, they will begin to move to shallower areas adjacent to their wintering holes. Areas where springs or feeder streams come into the river can be key. Avoid muddy bottoms or areas with dead leaves, etc. Look for pea gravel as well or rip rap banks.
There are a number of baits that you can use just after ice out and you never know from day to day, what is going to be your top bait but I would start with these three and move on from there if you aren’t having any luck
I love using jerk baits in these conditions. There are so many great ones out there, it is hard to choose sometimes. My top three brands are X raps, Lucky Craft and Luck E Strike. You can see those baits by clicking on the links. The key here is to fish them slow when the water is cold. Jerk the bait a couple of times and let it sit for varying amounts of time until you see what the smallies want. This can vary from 2 seconds to as long as 2 minutes. Keep changing it up all the way back to the boat.