The amount of knowledge that experienced anglers have is staggering. Gone are the days when tying a worm to a stick with a piece of twine was an acceptable way to fish. With the amount of knowledge that’s out there, it can be overwhelming to try to find the best tips and tricks to catching fish.
Spring is probably the most interesting and complicated time for bass fishing because it is when the fish are spawning. The season is usually broken down into three sub-seasons: pre-spawn, spawn, and post-spawn. Pre-spawn and post-spawn are when the fish are hanging out between eight and 15 feet. While at this depth, they will be hitting on crankbaits, Texas rigs, jigs, and Carolina rigs. During the spawn the bass are usually lying on the beds, so jerkbaits, floating lizards and worms rigged without weights, spinnerbaits, shallow crankbaits and lipless crankbaits are all good choices. The best colors in the springtime are whites, reds, and browns.
During the summer, the bass will move closer to the top of the water and you’ll notice that they are much more active. Plastic worms in black/blue, green pumpkin, watermelon, or junebug are my go-to during this time of year along with other plastics like grubs and tubes. Topwater baits in chartreuse/pepper, chrome/blue, or shad colors will work well at dusk and dawn. Bass are schooling more in the summer than any other season so jigging a firetiger spoon through those schools is almost unfair.
Fall is when the water starts getting cooler and the bass start moving to deeper water. The bass are also starting to feed more often in anticipation of the winter. Spinnerbaits slow-rolled deep and medium- and deep-diving crankbaits in shad, white, chartreuse, or white/chartreuse are good along wooded structures. Jigs, as well as plastic worms, lizards and lipless crankbaits in red shad, watermelon, pumpkin, junebug, and chartreuse/pepper will all work as well.
Bass usually slow down in the winter and their metabolisms are almost nonexistent. Because of this, they are usually not interested in chasing schools of fish, or really chasing a meal at all. The best baits to use are big, slow moving baits to make the bass think it is getting a huge meal without exerting much effort. Any sort of jig with a plastic trailer in dark colors will give you your best odds of catching a lazy winter bass.
Stephen Geri is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys spending time fishing with his grandchildren. Read more about Stephen’s experiences at www.stephengeri.net.