Whitesburg KY
Mostly clear
Mostly clear

Gabby’s fishing fever

Bass starting to move shallow

As nature starts to come alive in the warm spring sun, everything gets on the move including bass.

After spending a long, cold winter in the deeper, warmer water of the lakes, bass are moving into more shallow water areas as they begin to warm.

Warmer temperatures bring several changes. First, the sunlight in the water will start new green aquatic plant growth. As the green plants start to grow, they put out oxygen into the shallow water. Also, the growing plants will provide a hiding place for smaller bait fish and minnows that bass will feed on.

This shallow water situation creates everything bass will need at this time — warming water, better oxygen levels that make bass more active, new plant growth to hold in and feed around and bait fish to feed on. This is the type of shallow water area that will hold early spring bass.

Bass will also be looking for these type of areas to make nests for spawning. This time of moving shallow is called the pre-spawn period.

As bass move into the shallows, the water has a higher oxygen level and this increases the metabolism rate in bass or the activity level of bass. This produces a positive feeding and increased aggressiveness in bass. This will make bass move farther to hit a bait and strike harder.

Look for areas that have the warmer water temperatures and the new plant growth. Watch your water temperature gauge for a change to warmer water, just a few degrees change is all it will take to make a big difference at this time of year.

Use fish baits like crankbaits and spinnerbaits on light, clear line. Make long casts over the shallow water areas. Try to keep your boat in the deeper water and make your casts to the shallow areas and retrieve to the deeper area. By doing this you will do several things. First, by keeping your boat in deeper water you will not spook bass in the shallow water. Also, your cast will be in the shallow water longer and then come across the first dropoff and into deeper water where staging bass waiting to move up may be holding.

By making a cast like this you will have presented your bait to a larger number of bass in several different water depths and types of cover. This is a very high percentage way to fish and to keep your bait in bass’s strike zone longer.

You can also throw topwaters and buzzbaits for shallow water bass. Fish these baits parallel to the bank and close to cover for best results.

If fish just don’t seem to be active in shallow water, back off and fish the first dropoff or the break line or channel edge of a flat or deep side of a main lake point. Fish these areas with jigs or tube baits. A slow-rolled crankbait or spinnerbait will work if bass are more aggressive.

Give these early spring bass patterns a try.

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