spring baits featured

Five Best Baits for Prespawn Bass

Spring is the most volatile time of year in bass fishing. Being effective this time of year, more than almost any other time, means being unbeholden to preconceived notions and having a wide range of approaches ready to go when you hit the water. Fish will be in different stages of the prespawn and spawn at different times, and they will respond aggressively to even minor changes in weather. 

These are five tried-and-true picks for bass in the prespawn, spawn, and early parts of the postspawn. 

Red Lipless Crankbait

A red trap is such a good bait in the early parts of the spring. As the water temperatures rise into the 50s, the rate of crawfishing spawning and molting peaks for most species, which means an increase in activity and a fleeting period where the crawfish’s exoskeleton is typically a brighter red or orange. Crankbaits that match that pattern tend to excel. 

A lipless bait like a Strike King Red Eye Shad is a personal favorite. The tight wiggle of a lipless bait is ideal for the cooler temperatures, and the versatility of the bait makes it pretty universal. It can be effective on secondary staging points, 45 degree transition banks, and almost anywhere else. Ripping over the top of submergent vegetation at Guntersville was some of the most fun I’ve ever had fishing. 

Strike King REYESD34-450 Red Eyed Shad, Delta Red, 0.065
  • Awesome paint jobs
  • Premium hooks
  • 3D eyes
  • Free floating rattles

Bubblegum Floating Worm

In the later parts of the prespawn, when the bass have crashed the bank, and even into the early postspawn, the bubblegum worm is a great finesse tactic to put numbers in the boat. 

I like to rig this weighless with a smaller EWG offset shank, usually a 3/0, and then basically twitch it back to the boat, letting it slowly sink during the breaks in the cadence. The bright color stands out and can be seen from far away, and it can be dynamite on lakes with a lot of shoreline cover. 

Zoom Bait Trick Worm-Pack of 20 (Bubblegum, 6.75-Inch), One Size (006-039)
  • Package length: 2.286 cm
  • Package width: 14.732 cm
  • Package height: 21.59 cm
  • Product Type:FISHING HOOK
Gamakatsu Extra Wide Gap Worm Hook-5 Per Pack (Black, 3/0)
  • Significantly increase you chances of landing the catch
  • Made environmentally friendly
  • Used by professional anglers worldwide
  • Color is black.
  • Contains five per pack.

Flat Sided Crankbait

Just like with the lipless crankbait, the tight wiggle of a flat-sided crankbait is a key for moving baits in the cold water. When the fish push to the bank and start getting into pockets, but large numbers of them haven’t started making beds yet, I really like a bait like a Rapala OGS. 

The OGS is a big-bodied balsa-wood bait, and it tends to catch large fish. I like to mix up crankbaits this time of year, and there are certainly a lot of effective flat-sided crankbaits, but the OGS seems to connect with more size than a lot of the other baits in my box. 

Rapala Ott's Garage Slim 06 Dark Brown Crawdad
  • Ott's Garage Slim 06 Dark Brown Crawdad
  • Ott's Garage Slim 06 Dark Brown Crawdad
  • Ott's Garage Slim 06 Dark Brown Crawdad
  • Ott's Garage Slim 06 Dark Brown Crawdad
  • Ott's Garage Slim 06 Dark Brown Crawdad

Wacky Rig

The wacky rig is sometimes referred to as the stupid bait because even someone that has no idea what they’re doing could catch a fish on it. It is particularly potent at picking off prespawn cruisers, agitating fry guarders, and can be effective during the spawn also. 

There are a million different wacky worms out there. I really like the Wave Worm Tiki Stick and the original Gary Yamamoto Senko, either paired with a 3/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hook. This is the ultimate “curiosity strike” bait, and the majority come as it slowly sinks on the initial fall. 

  • GREAT FISHING BAIT - The 5" Senko is a staple in the fishing world; The original soft-plastic stickbait is the #1 choice of anglers everywhere; The Senko has spawned thousands of imposters, but nothing beats the original soft stick bait
  • UNMATCHED QUALITY - Versatility is a key attribute of the Senko, allowing it to be fished in a multitude of ways that all end up putting more fish in the boat; The only wrong way to fish a Senko is to not fish with the original Senko
  • PERFECT FISHING LURE - The ORIGINAL soft stick bait is the bar by which all others are measured; The secret sauce to the Senko fishing bait is the formula; We invented it; We perfected it; And no one else has ever gotten close to it
  • BEST CHOICE FOR ANGLERS - Beyond the perfect design and formula lies the Senko's ease of use; There's almost no wrong way to rig it, and whatever your preferred way is, the Senko soft fishing bait is the ultimate fish catcher
  • SENKO SERIES - There's a Senko in the lineup for every possible application; Whether you fish it weightless, wacky-style, on Texas or Carolina rig, on shaky head or flipping jig, this slab of plastic will revolutionize your game and increase your catches
Gamakatsu Octopus NS Black Hook Size 3/0 25 Per Pack
  • Sport type: Outdoor Lifestyle
  • Closed eye
  • Forged steel
  • Barbed
  • Off-set point.Black anodized

Shaky Head

A finesse drag bait like a shaky head is something you don’t want to have to go to most of the time, but you should always be ready to in the event of a spring cold front. Cold fronts, especially earlier in the spring, can push fish back off the bank and onto secondary structure. It also will shut them down. 

A small finesse bait like a shaky head can trigger bites from quiescent bass that have sunk back into deeper water and are just chilling until they feel comfortable getting back on the bank. I like a spot remover from Buckeye and a plain trick worm, and while you can tinker with colors a lot, this 2×2 chart is a great, simple starting point. 

BUCKEYE Lures Spot Remover Pro Model Jig Head with Heavy-Duty Spring & Nickel Hook for Soft Plastic Bass Fishing Baits, 5 Pack, Green Pumpkin, 3/16 oz
  • GREAT FISHING JIG HEAD - The Buckeye Spot Remover Pro Model Jig Head has a heavy-duty built-in spring to keep your worm, craw, or other soft bait locked securely in place, which makes it excellent for skipping
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE - These jigheads enable worms or craws to stand on end and are great for spotted bass; These work well for deep water largemouth & smallmouth bass and are excellent for bedding fish; Best choice for avid anglers
  • TOP QUALITY - The Buckeye Lures Spot Remover Pro Model Jighead is great for skipping under docks and overhangs because the built-in spring holds your bait securely in place, cast after cast; It is also great for shaky head tactics, as it encourages your bait to stand on end while at rest
  • BEST FISH CATCHING TACKLE - The Buckeye Lures Spot Remover Pro Model Jig Head comes with a black nickel 90-degree hook; It is available in a wide range of sizes and in Black, Brown, and Green Pumpkin colors
  • BUCKEYE LURES - Founded in 2000, Buckeye Lures has firmly established itself as a competitor in the national tackle market; With a strong pro staff designing products and giving input into how to improve them, Buckeye Lures will continue to push the envelope for innovative jigs and jigheads
Zoom Bait Zoom Trick Worm-Pack of 20 (Black, 6.75-Inch)
  • Package length: 1.9 cm
  • Package width: 13.8 cm
  • Package height: 20.6 cm
  • Product Type: FISHING HOOK
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