The product recommendations on our site are independently chosen by our editors. When you click through our links, we may earn a commission. Thanks for helping us do what we love.

4 Tips to Find and Catch Spring Smallmouth Bass

It’s a challenge finding smallmouth bass on the move between wintering areas and spawning grounds in the spring, but fish finder technology coupled with moving baits (swimbaits in this case), makes the job a lot easier. Wired2Fish’s Kobie Koenig gives a detailed breakdown of how to use Humminbird’s MEGA 360 Imaging to identify prime spots (sand/rock transition zones) in front of the boat to make accurate casts to boulders and individual bass on the move.


He provides 4 tips to find and catch nomadic prespawn bass:

  1. Find sand-to-rock transition zones using MEGA 360 Imaging. Kobie starts by dropping 360 Imaging on the bow to scan for key structure in front of the boat. One-Boat networking allows him to pipe this imagery to his console fish finder and keep scanning using the big motor. Once he sees rocks or fish ahead, he starts fishing from the bow without ever driving over the spot, which prevents spooking bass. 
  2. Make casts to fish and key structural elements. Koenig increases the scan rate on 360 Imaging to track moving bass and cast to them. Just as importantly, he makes accurate casts to isolated boulders, laydowns and other key fish-holding spots; baits placed on target get bit when strike windows are narrow.
  3. Use paddle tail swimbaits for maximum efficiency. Moving baits like swimbaits are excellent forage imitators while being extremely versatile. Koenig explains how finesse paddle tails allow him to immediately vary his retrieve based on where bass are positioned and their mood.
  4. Use a medium-power spinning rod with a light braided mainline and fluorocarbon leader. A quality spinning rod and reel combo paired with an 8-pound braided mainline to 8-pound fluorocarbon leader provide the optimal combination of power, sensitivity, stealth, and casting distance for bass in clear water.