Wild Northerner Magazine Spring 2017 - Page 65

are ready and the water temperature and conditions line up as good as they can get to spawn. Bass are usually going to hit several secondary points along the way to spawning. This is often one of the best times of year to bass fish and is a time of year when you can really find the big females schooled up together.

Covering water this time of year is truly the name of the game. Now is the time to put your bow mount on full and go. You may cover a couple miles of shorelines before you connect, but usually when you connect these fish are not alone. Once you have located fish, whether through a follow up or bite, slow down and start to thoroughly work that area.

This time of year is beyond a doubt a power fisherman's dream, as casting and winding can work quite well. Casting lipless, square bill, and a mid to shallow running crank bait is a great way to cover water and catch a good number of bass as well. Although covering water is the goal, you want to make sure to do this effectively. In saying this, play with your retrieve to really find what the fish are keying on that particular day. Sometimes, they want a crank bait moving slowly deflecting off bottom, while other times they want a rattle trap buzzing past their face not leaving them a choice but to react.

Another great way to target these early spring bass is by using a jerk bait. There are many different types of jerk baits, and during the spring they all have their time to shine. From deep to shallow, use the water temperature as a guide of what jerk bait to use and how hard to work it. Colder water may require a deeper diver to be worked very slowly with lots of pauses, where in warmer 55 degree plus water you may want a shallower diving bait that you work harder and quicker with less pauses. In the spring when the water is in the 50's start your cadence with a jerk-jerk pause and work forward from there. Generally, start with a two to three second pause and again use that as a starting point, then work it less or more according to how the fish want it that specific day.

One of the biggest things to remember this time of year is that bass are looking to do two things, eat and spawn. If you put yourself in the right places this time of year, it can truly serve as your best chance to get a true northern giant.