Sunday, November 24, 2013

Bass Fishing: Spring Beauty and the Pre-Spawn Beast

March will eventually waddled it's mud encrusted ass across my region of New England, and between dodging puddles and frozen mud slicks, I'll be gearing up for ice-out and the bass pre-spawn once Spring truly hits.

Repeat this over and over- There is no wrong way to go after bass. Have fun fishing.

Spring Pre-Spawn Bass Fishing

Now, I'm not an elitist, nor would I ever come across as a bass fishing pro- but if you know the basics, anyone can catch bass. Those TV shows (I don't think I've ever mentioned I would switch teams for Bill Dance) on the NBC Sports Network are the guys who have the to finesse to target and boat hogs. Sure, it's fun, but the basics are all you need to reel in the average fish day in and day out. You get the excitement and the fight, and don't need a $45,000 platform to do it.

Your best bet is prep two rods- one with a plastic worm, Texas rigged, or a top water. With the worm, your best bet is to reel in slowly, bouncing it off the bottom. With a top water, you want to walk the dog, and pause every two feet or so. You'll want to target water that drops gradually with a sandy, weed lined bottom, or deeper water that holds structure- stumps, brush piles, rocks. Structures draw in bait fish, and they in turn draw in the bass. Pick yourself up a new Minn Kota here, or a $50 electric trolling motor on Craig's List and a deep cycle battery to cruise the shore and islands, tossing your lures to where you feel bass might be holding up. You'll hook up if the water holds bass- trust me.

Gear for Bass Fishing

I run a 14ft Lund with an ancient Johnson 9.9 HP, and a 50lb thrust electric troller. For me, this is more than enough, and if it wasn't for the kids, I might even step down to a square-backed canoe and the trolling rig. For some reason, my local watering hole isn't over fished, and is a great place to hook into smallies, or if I have the kids, a whole mess of pan fish. Once the weather turns to a warmer temp, I hit my local reservoir every chance I get. What better way to sit and dream of duck hunting in the fall?

There's a school of thought that the first place you cast to is the dock. Most fisherman, in my experience, motor halfway to where they figure to end up. My thinking is aim as far out as possible, and work back to the landing. There's a multitude of water types in between, and I ensure I hit them all before loading up for the night. And that reminds me, make sure you have running lights if you find it hard to turn your back on a productive day of bites. No reason to be tied to a clock.

I've recently bit the bullet and joined the North American Fishing Club. In the past, I've been wary of these mail-order groups who send you some product once a month for you to keep and buy, or send back, keeping the free gift. In order to enjoy the benefits, make sure you pay attention to the shipments, or sooner or later you'll start getting nasty notes saying, 'You owe us money. Pay up, chump!' I'm enjoying NAFC so far, as the freebies are more than worth it. Once a month, I receive a book on fishing- Trout, bass, walleye... and a few little freebies. This month, it was a Rapala rattler lure, and some Berkley 12 lb test. More than worth the $12 asked for the book, that I kept and paid for.

Fishing For Bass With Friends?

And as for companions- think of who you would love to spend 4 or more hours with in a small space. Consider if they like to chat, if you like to chat, if they tend to be quiet and soak in the majesty of the great outdoors, how much they might be willing to pony up for gas and snacks... once you know these, then you are set. I wouldn't recommend taking someone that you don't know. A lot of strange things happen on the water. For myself, I spend most trips with my kids. I'll bring my wife along for one or two, and about the same number with friends. Then, there are the magic trips, where I'll hit the water solo at 6 am, and come in sometime a few hours after sunset.

Spring Awaits for the Pre-Spawn

The boat is still in the garage, but you can be sure that as soon as the thermometer rises I'll be in the driveway scrubbing, tightening, tuning, and packing for that first great day on the water.