Fishing Different Angles / Baits

The competition is tough out there. Tons of other people out there want to be the best at bass fishing.  Trying to win the tournament and cash that big check.  While pre-fishing you want to make sure you fish the areas you are finding as thoroughly as possible and sometimes that may take some time to learn.  Fishing the same spot from a few different angles can be the difference in placing in the middle or being in the money.

When I fish a spot, especially a new area I am not familiar with, I try to fish it from as many different angles that seem fit.  For instance, lately I’ve been fishing some milfoil and coon tail edges.  When I come to a new area I will start far away and then make perpendicular casts at the weeds. Then as I either progress along or move closer to the edge I will start to make casts parallel to the edge.  Sometimes that seems to be the difference between not catching a fish and moving on or hauling in a tank.


Same goes for other spots, you can fish rocks, other weed beds, and trees with the same approach, start far away then work your way in.  Fish it slow and don’t be afraid to throw something different.  Sometimes after catching a few off one spot you can throw in another bait and it will fire up the school again.

So get out there and try something different and see if you can’t light the spark to firing up a school of donkeys!


Reaction Baits for Pre-Spawners

The ice is finally gone, the water temperature is going to start to rise and pre-spawn bass are going to begin looking for the warmest water.  Along with these rises in temperatures the bass’ metabolisms are going to increase and they will begin to look for a nice meal.

I find fishing reaction baits this time of year the most affective when the water temperatures are anywhere between 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit.   In that 50-60 degree spectrum, baits with a tighter wobble, no rattles or less moving parts seem to work the best.  As the temperatures rise, baits with a wider wobble, rattles, and more moving parts will begin to work better as the bass become more aggressive.


The bass will begin to start staging up in areas that lead into spawning grounds such as:  weed flats, weed edges and first and secondary points.  Typically any transition in cover or structure was proven to hold bass for me this year, such as a mil-foil to sand transition.


Something I have become accustom to while fishing reaction baits this early in the year is so fish almost everything on a low power rod that will really load up on the fish.  This time of year the weeds are not up like they are in the summer, which means you do not have to worry about bringing your lure though and constantly rip of the weeds, which is when a heavy action can be beneficial.  I have experienced so many times when someone or myself will rip a lure or bait out of a bass’s mouth to soon before they really have a chance to get it in their mouth.  With a slower action rod you do not detect the bite as early which will slow your reaction time in setting the hook, allowing the bass to get the bait in it’s mouth more.  Personally I use a 7’ Medium, Med- Fast action Abu Garcia Veracity rod. I find it to be the most versatile and affective in fishing everything from a squarebill / shallow water crank bait to a swim jig.

Next spring try out these tips and see how much more affective you can be in your bass fishing!

Early Spring River Bass

Here in Minnesota we can’t really fish for early spring bass. Our bass season opens at the end of May each year. But, with certain areas bordering Wisconsin and the Mississippi River in-between, we have the ability to fish year round because the river has no designated seasons. Learning to fish so early in the year, especially on the river, is a skill that I have had to work hard to acquire.

This is my first year at Winona State University and I have been able to experience some different bass fishing that I am not necessarily use to being able to do this early in the year. Winona is located on the lower eastern part of Minnesota and borders Wisconsin on the River. Because of our location, we have access to the river at all times which the Winona State University (WSU) bass fishing club and team takes advantage of and has annual club tournaments on.

One of the biggest obstacles to conquer when targeting these river bass is the search for warmer water. The bass will be in search of the warmest water because they are starting to think about pulling up into shallow water to spawn and to feed on baitfish. The water temperatures fluctuate so much this time of year because of the constant rising and falling of the water. Weather conditions really affect these bass this time of year because they are so sensitive.

Along with finding warm water, you need to be able to find what the bass are relating to, whether it be wood, rock / rip rap banks, grass, or muddy banks. Typically man made structure with any sort of metal or wood will heat up the quickest in the sun and retain that heat the longest, which gives the bass something to relate to. This time of year, bass seem to relate to steeper cut banks that still have access to deeper water, the reason for this is it gives fish somewhere to pull up fast but go back down with the fluctuating weather conditions. Another thing to look for when targeting largemouth is lack of current, backwater areas act as wintering holes and can really be popular this time of year. When targeting smallmouth, current seams and eddies, or simply just anywhere that has slack water can be a holding ground.

Finally, after figuring out where you fish are located and what they’re relating to, you need to be able to catch the fish. Typically the bass’ metabolisms are low and they are not looking to exert a lot of energy to catch a meal which means you need to slow down your presentation. Around this time of year when the water temperatures are below 50 degrees the fish are more likely to eat baits such as jigs, texas rigged plastics, and finesse techniques. My go to in this situation is a texas rigged Berkley Powerbait Chigger Craw with a 1/2 oz. pegged bullet weight. Once you start to see waters in above that 50 degree mark, moving reaction baits like jerk baits, swim jigs, chatter baits, rattle traps, and square bills, tend to shine because fish become more active and begin their pre-spawn feeding frenzy.

These three basic steps can really be a starting ground for locating early spring river bass and help you put more fish in the boat.