John Rankin

Tips for Catching Pre-Spawn Smallmouth Bass

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Water temperatures are warming to the critical fifty five degree and up level for pre-spawn smallmouth bass to be moving, and leading the pack will be the monster smallies we covet. So what better time than now to get serious about targeting these elusive lunkers? For those who have yet to hit the water this year it is not going to get any better for hooking a trophy size bronzeback, so let’s look at what areas to seek out and the best lures to use for these heavy weights.

These large pre-spawn smallmouth bass are going to be found along the north side of streams and creeks where the water is warmer due to more sunlight. Also work the shorelines on any body of water be it a lake, large river, or small creek. Watch the fish finder for flats under four to eight feet of water and along drop-offs. These areas will be holding fish.

You might want to toss several different varieties of crankbaits initially as spring smallmouths will actively pursue these. If these lures prove unproductive give spinner baits a shot. If you aren’t finding success with these baits, crawfish baits also can be included in this mix.

Good crayfish lures you to try are the Luhr Jensen Hot Lips in the one quarter ounce range, and the Storm Wiggle Wart. These have been popular with many smallmouth fishermen because they provide more strikes so I would suggest giving them a try. Use the lighter colored ones as they appear more realistic to the bass in early spring water conditions.

The areas to look for when targeting smallies at this time of year are the ones mentioned above and then those spots ideal for the actual spawn. Smallmouth bass prefer to spawn n water from four to as deep as twenty feet depending on the conditions of the water you are fishing. Look for flats leading to drop-offs that contain small pea size rock. Find these locations and mark them on your GPS because they are where the fish are going to be when the spawn actually kicks in.

These tips for hooking up more trophy size pre-spawn smallmouth bass work so give them a try. Chances are you are going to catch some of the largest smallmouths you have ever caught.

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