Prespawn bass fishing is about to take off in full force.
It’s officially spring everybody. If you are like us, this winter couldn’t have ended fast enough. Now is the time fishermen all over the Midwest start to focus on prespawn bass fishing. If you know what you are doing, you’ll simply find more and bigger fish than most. It’s for this reason we contacted Brad Garrison. As you are about to see, he’s a bass fisherman that just might know more than most when it comes to this special time of year.
If Garrison’s name sounds familiar, well, it’s for good reason. He is the man behind Shield Outdoors, a popular and growing YouTube channel that focuses on all things outdoors. When we approached him for a few ideas about what works for prespawn bass, he was quick to answer. Here’s what he had to say.
“Bass have a winter time “home area”….but like humans that have cabin fever…at the first sight of nice weather and warmer temps they try to get out and about and move to shallower water”, Garrison said.
#1. Depth and Temp
Most water that Brad fishes is shallower. As he mentioned to us, 25 feet is about the max depth he goes. So when fish go shallower, that means in the 8 – 15 foot range. However, more so than the depth, the key is to just watch the temperature gauge to see temps on the rise. That is the main trigger to get prespawn bass to move. The 50 degree mark is the biggest factor though. That temp is right before the 55 degree range bass start to actually spawn.
#2. Finding fish
Brad prefers a “power fishing ” approach. If you aren’t familiar, that means covering water and looking for active fish. More often than not, prespawn bass will be tightly packed or schooled up. If you can find one, you’ll find several. That’s when the fun begins.
There are certain lures that go well with this style of fishing. As Brad says, he tends to focus on crayfish and shad colors though. Per the crayfish specifics, this is where things get technical. Dark reds, dark oranges, or even a green and red all work. However, crawfish can be blue, green, light red, pinkish, and a mixture of all of the above colors. Knowing what colors natural crayfish are in your water will pay dividends.
When it comes to actual lures, Brad’s first pick to throw is almost always a shad color suspending jerkbait, specifically the KVD jerkbaits. These can get down into that 8-10 foot range and if they are hitting on that, then he’ll stick with it until the bite stops.
“You will want to keep slack in the line and make “pops” or “jerks” with the rod tip”, Brad said. “Work the lure slower, and slower, and if you need to go deeper, switch it up.”
#4. Lipless Cranks
It’s no secret that lipless cranks are a great way to chase down bass most times of the year. However, for prespawn bass, it’s particularly deadly.
“If the fish seem deeper or need it slower, my second favorite is a lipless crank, either shad color or silver”, Brad said. “This is a 10-20 foot bass slayer. If they want it slow and water is clear…I use no rattles.”
Most of the time when Brad is throwing a lipless crank, he prefers the yo-yo technique. From there, he just goes slower and slower bouncing the lipless crank off cover until he gets a commit. If no strikes occur, then varying the retrieves even more is necessary.
#5. Jig Fishing
Finally, the last lure that Brad focuses on for prespawn bass fishing is the classic jig, but primarily in a blue and black pattern. With this, it is fished incredibly slow with light lines and a light rod. Full concentration is required and light bites are expected. A missed bite is a missed fish, plain and simple.
“Focusing is possibly the most important tip for this because if you miss the bite, and they spit it out…you likely wont get that bite again”.
Thanks Brad for the tips! If you would like to see more of what Brad Garrison is up to, be sure to follow Shield Outdoors on Facebook as well.