Spring Fishing Tips

Spinning for Ultra Spooky Prespawners

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While the spawn is mostly over in the Deep South, anglers in the northern two-thirds of the United States are still encountering the often finicky behavior of bass that are just about to reproduce.

There is a time period in the early prespawn that bass will chew the paint off a jerkbait or whatever you choose to put in front of them.  And then, there is about a week immediately before they lock on to their spawning beds that they won’t hardly touch anything you throw at them, they act freaked out and terribly spooky.

I experienced the “pre-spawn spookiness” last week, and wouldn’t you know it, this happened as I was trying to film two TV shows for Angling Edge.  I’m telling ya’, two weeks ago, the strike zone was anywhere within 10-feet of a bass’ nose.  Then we go out to shoot the TV shows and the strike zone had shrunk to 10 inches.

The first thing I do when this happens is reach for spinning tackle rigged with light line and extremely light lures.  Baitcasting equipment is pretty much not an option.

Spinning tackle is the answer for a lot of reasons. First, it allows you to easily cast light line such as 6-pound fluorocarbon.  Secondly, I was using feather-like 1/16-ounce jighead and tube and hair jigs on these spooky fish, and you can’t cast a

feather with baitcasting equipment.  I was making long cast with a 6′ 10″ Quantum Smoke rod, and a Quantum spinning reel built with a performance tuned drag system. Because when you hook a 4-pound bass on 6-pound line, if your drag heats up and sticks, your line will break.

I was dropping my lures right in front of their nose with as little splash as possible. You’re aiming to keep everything as stealth as possible.  I mean if you lift the rod to cast and throw a shadow the wrong direction, these crazy pre-spawners won’t give you the time of day.

The good news is my extremely subtle approach worked. They ate my tubes and finesse jigs.  We caught bass up to 4 3/4 pounds and made what I think is going to be a very informative TV show.

The same can work for you no matter how freaky these pre-spawners are acting.  If you see bass cruising shallow and they dart away from the splash of more standard-sized lures thrown at them with baitcasting equipment, then back off. Take a suppressed approach.  For me that starts with spinning rods and reels.

-Al Lindner