Prespawn bass fishing is something that every bass angler looks forward to. After battling cold temperatures and slow fishing throughout the winter, anglers nationwide are chomping at the bit to get back on the water. Believe it or not, great bass fishing isn’t very far away. As you ride out the last bit of winter weather this year, now is a great time to start gearing up for big, prespawn bass.
Phoenix Boats pro and former Bassmaster Classic champion Davy Hite looks forward to prespawn fishing every year. When he hits the water, you can be sure he’ll have these five prespawn baits rigged up.
Jig to catch the big females
TheBuckeye Mop Jig will catch monster bass all year long, but Hite most often turns to it during the prespawn. When the bass begin their migration toward staging areas, such as primary and secondary points, he targets several different types of cover and structure with it.
“I’ve won more money with the Mop Jig than any other bait,” Hite said. “Duringthe prespawn, I like to use it anywhere around deep water. I’ll hop it around chunk rocks and pea gravel, drag it around wood structure and grass lines and even cast it on points to intercept transitioning bass.”
For his trailer, Hite primarily uses a Trigger X Aggression Flappin Craw. While at rest, the bait’s pinchers rise to emulate a threatened crawfish and kick when retrieved, making it hard for a big bass to resist.
Spinnerbait to cover water
When the water temperature is below 70-degrees, Hite uses a Terminator Spinnerbait as a search bait for prespawn bass. Not only does it allow him to efficiently cover water, but it also catches a lot of big bass.
“Whether I’m fishing rock, grass or laydowns, this spinnerbait is a big player in my prespawn arsenal,” Hite said. “Terminator designed the head to rip free of grass and roll over cover without breaking or getting snagged.”
Hard jerkbait to fool cruisers
Throughout the prespawn, bass don’t always position tightly to cover, or to anything at all for that matter. As they suspend and roam the shallows in search of suitable bedding areas, Hite gets on their level with a Rapala Husky Jerk.
“There’s something about a Husky Jerk that bass can’t stand,” Hite said. “I retrieve it with a ‘jerk, jerk, pause’ retrieve and when it gets close to a cruising bass, I let it sit right in front of its face. More times than not, these wary prespawners will crush it.”
Soft jerkbait for cooler water
In colder prespawn conditions, Hite uses a Trigger X Drop Dead Minnowto target the same cruising bass he would normally fool with a jerkbait. This slow-falling soft jerkbait perfectly imitates a dying shad, which are often prevalent in the very beginning of spring.
“I fish this bait very slow in the prespawn,” Hite said. “It has a very unique, quivering fall to it and it shakes side-to-side as it falls in a big circle. If you give it a few soft twitches and let it settle, you’ll notice that it’s not your average soft jerkbait.”
While many anglers watch the bait to detect strikes, Hite keeps a close eye on his line when looking for bites. If he notices even the slightest movement or twitch, he immediately sets the hook.
Crankbait for rocky areas
Rocky areas have long been known to be extremely productive areas throughout the prespawn, and to effectively fish these rocks, Hite relies heavily on a Rapala DT10. Similar to the spinnerbait, he is able to both cover water and fool monster bass with this crankbait.
“Rip rap, rocky points and shallow gravel bars are all prime areas for the DT10,” Hite said. “Adjacent deep water is very important to this technique. Channel swings near shallow flats give prespawners easy access to both deep and shallow water, and this crankbait will catch them.”
Before you know it, spring will arrive and it’s always best to be prepared so you can make the most out of the good fishing. As the bass start moving shallow, these five baits will help you catch more fish.