Now is a good time to be on the water fishing, because the bass are starting to move to more shallow water to feed and to look for areas to spawn in a few weeks.
The larger female bass will look for shallow soft bottom areas in the back of coves and flats to make their nest and lay their eggs. These areas warm faster and have good stable oxygen levels and offer good places to feed close by. This is the time of year known as the pre-spawn. Bass will also move to shallow water areas to feed and look for warmer water temperatures. These bass can be pretty aggressive at times to a bait.
When cold fronts come through, such as the one earlier this week, you will have to slow down and move back out and fish the deeper cover with slower moving baits like a jig. But as long as the weather is calm and warm and stable, the bass will continue to move in and out of shallow water areas to feed and look for nesting areas.
Several baits work well for shallow water bass. The rattle trap is a good early spring bass bait. You can make long casts and cover a lot of water quickly with this bait. The side to side action of this bait and the sound of the rattles causes a bass to strike the bait with a reaction strike. This means the bass thinks the bait is a hurt or dying shad and will strike it. The rattle trap is a lipless crank bait.
Jerk baits also are top shallow water bass baits. Baits such as the Rapala and the Devil Horse are old favorites. Cast these jerk baits out and wait for the rings to move away from the bait and then start your retrieve with a series of small twitch and jerks. You can best do this by twitching your rod tip to work the bait. A shallow- to medium-running crank bait in a shad or crawdad pattern works good. Start by making your cast parallel with the bank and working several casts close to the bank. If there is no action close to the bank, begin a series of fan casts to the area around the boat. This will cover all the fishable water around you. This is a high percentage way to fish and eliminate good or bad fishing areas.
A spinner bait is a good spring bait. Make your cast in the same pattern as you would the crank bait. Most anglers like the small willow leaf spinner baits in a white or chartreuse color. Some top water baits will start working well soon. I should be able to start doing some filming soon for my new on-line fishing show. I will keep the info posted soon. You can e-mail me at gabbysfishingfever@ yahoo.com