As the calendar turns from late winter to spring, it is the perfect time to go after that big trophy bass. This is because bass will be in pre-spawn, a time when bass are vulnerable and hungry.
Prespawn is anytime before bass move up on their beds to lay their eggs or spawn. While it mostly occurs in spring, it is better to focus on water temperature trends rather than any specific dates.
Bass will begin moving to their spawning locations when water temperatures start to climb. Northern waterways may see a prolonged rise in temperatures from May to June while Southern states could see temperature rises beginning in February and running through May.
When bass start to move, they are typically at their heaviest during the season. They are also extremely aggressive because they are actively trying to gain weight before spawning. This makes for the best time to land that trophy fish.
Bass will typically move along a migration route or the path they take between their wintering areas and the shallow grounds where they will spawn. In order to take full advantage of the pre-spawn, it is a good idea to study these migration routes.
So where to find them?
Pre-spawn locations for lakes include grass lines, points, and any structures close to the shallow flats where bass will spawn. Creek channels, ditches, and drains are ideal in reservoirs. River bass will be on rocks, wood, and areas like bays, marinas, and backwater lakes. A rule of thumb is river bass do not like to spawn in the current but will hang out in it until they are ready.
Once you know this information, you can study maps to find flat areas where the fish may be attracted to when spawning. Fishing the body of water beforehand can give an angler a typical idea of where those spawning grounds could be located.
After picking out a spot, you can using lures like swimbaits, spinnerbaits, lipless cranks, jerkbaits, and topwater to find the aggressive fish. If you find the right school, it could end up being a record day on the water.