Spring fishing is almost here, and fishermen are coming out of hibernation. Early spring can be boom or bust depending on if you are on the good side of a cold front. This time of year, the weather patterns are somewhat cyclical. We will have three of four days of clear, mile-high skies followed by a low pressure front that pushes through, usually followed by either cold weather or rain…or both. Then the pattern repeats.
Most of us are not individually wealthy and have to work during the week. That leaves the weekend left for fishing. If the Fishing Gods are on your side, the cold fronts will push through on Sunday night leaving Saturday and Sunday day full of great fishing. If you have my luck, the front pushes through on Friday night leaving clear, blue-bird skies, chilly weather and a drop in fish activity.
There are some techniques that you can apply to help pry open the jaws of cold-front bass.
It’s important to scale down your lure presentation. Instead of picking up your baitcasting rod with 15-lb. test, go with a spinning rod with 6- or 8-lb. test.
Stay Tight and Slow Your Presentation
Fish are going to hold tight to cover under cold front conditions. Instead of blowing down a bank and hitting cover with one or two casts, slow down and dissect that cover with your casts. When you are finished, move your boat position and do the same thing from a different angle. The fish are going to be picky, and you are going to have to hit them in the head with your lure. By changing your boat position, you can increase your chances to getting your bait into strike range.
Bass in clear reservoirs like Bull Shoals Lake will move to deep water during high barometric pressure situations. If you were catching fish in five to 10 feet of water before a front, move to 15 or 20 feet.
Drop Shotting has risen to the top of many fishermen’s lists in the past few years when the bite gets tough. Originally started on the west coast, drop shotting has made its way across the U.S., especially in clear water lakes and reservoirs.
4-inch Grubs are also a go-to lure for tough bass. Fished with an 1/8 oz. jig head, grubs have proven their existence for many years.
Suspending Jerk Baits are popular during early spring. These baits can be tweaked to suspend perfectly or fall very slowly. If your jerk bait rises, add weight by up-sizing the hooks, adding lead strips or adding additional O-rings to the hooks.
Don’t let a climbing barometer deter you from hitting the lake. Re-group, adjust and adapt your techniques to compliment the conditions, and you will have better success on the water.