Fishing can be challenging and frustrating. There's no avoiding this from time to time. It can also be insanely exciting and rewarding. These are the moments why we love to fish.
Spring fishing is where we start. It’s the start of the year and with everything in nature, it's all waiting for some special conditions to be perfect. Take a look out of your window in February. It's cold, stark and sad. Ok, snow and winter can be fun, but at this point in the year, id say the majority of people are looking forward to a warm existence and wanting spring warmth to come as quickly as possible. March? March is where things start to really shift but we aren't out of the cold woods yet. I would characterize march and April as the two most transformative spring months, specifically for fishing all year. Not only are temperatures and conditions changing, fish are getting ready to do the most amazing thing. Fish are tracked on one thought …. When the mood is right. SPAWN! They are waiting for just the right conditions to ensure the future of their species and its absolutely beautiful. Big female bass are lurking. Slowly coming out of winter, ready to eat and starting to fill up with eggs. THEY ARE HUNGRY. All bass during times of warm transitions are waking up, hungry and singing, “ Lets get it on". ( use Marvin Gaye's voice here)
These conditions can lead to a small period of time where fishing is incredibly active and some absolute monsters can be caught. Tanks. Tanks are Monsters. Monsters are Footballs. Footballs are Toads and…. Toads are what we are after.
Spring itself is really incredible. Just because our hemisphere is gradually receiving more light day by day, since winter solstice, heat correlation and a general “ warming up “ is occurring, year after year, rinse and repeat. All this temperature, time and light correlation is starting to tell these fish that it's time to wake up and get to work.
Now…. We as fishermen and fisherladies over here, observe this as best we can to match and target movements and behaviors. But where to start?!?! It really does come down to what the heck are these fish eating at this given moment? Are they active or not active? Are they after baitfish or are they after bottom crawly bugs? Is it a slow presentation or a fast presentation that will present the best results? Then….what FREAKING Color?!
Well, I truly think the answer is, stop and think what logically makes sense, but easier said than done. Slowing down and observing the nature around us is a great starting point.
Observing this natural way of things and taking in some weather assessment is step #1. What actions are the local wildlife exhibiting? Its it active both in and outside the water? Or quiet….too quiet?
What is the weather like, water temperature? Obviously, the warmer things are, the more active things will start to get. As a result, spawn will occur with this warm up for most bass fish populations. This spawn transition occurs in temperatures starting at 45F, all the way through 65 to 70F. This is a multi week and multi month process, all dependent on local climate conditions. Largemouth and smallmouth will typically have different time frames within these parameters, but that’s for another segment, Largemouth VS Smallmouth Bass:)!
My main of point of writing this observation of spring fishing is to point out that it can be really fluid and doesn’t follow a solid pattern year to year. Just stop, slow down, close your eyes, listen… feel the body of water around you and assess. “What do I think will be best and how do I match these conditions?” and start there.
It's bound to be frustrating and difficult at times, as well as exciting. Some of biggest fish all year will be caught in spring. Tight lines and have fun!