In my last blog we went over where to look for Big S-w-o-l-l-e-n Sow Belly Largemouth Bass. Now we are going to go over my personal favorite 5 baits to catch them. Note that I said “personal favorites”. These are the methods that I prefer to utilize, I am not saying they are the only baits to use, simply what I like to throw this time of the year when I am looking for a 10+ pound fish.
- Jig– There is no telling how many 10 pound plus Texas bass have been caught on a jig. A jig is a bait that can be fished in 0-30 foot of water and is one of the most versatile baits in your arsenal. I like a3/8 oz jig for water 1-6 foot or so and a 5/8 for water 6-13 foot or so. I will typically throw these on 15-20 lb floro based on the water clarity and cover that I am fishing. When it comes to color, I don’t get too crazy with colors and try and keep it simple. If the water is muddy or mostly stained, I throw black & blue or black with chartreuse highlights. When the water is stained or has a slight bit of color, I like baits that are brown & green with a few strands of chartreuse or purple. If the water is clear, you can’t beat green pumpkin or watermelon red. As far as trailers, I usually throw a netbait paca chunk and dip the tips in chartreuse or orange with ISPIKE IT to get the desired color.
- Lipless Crankbait- A lipless crankbait can be fished fast or slow in a variety of different ways. In the prespawn I usually throw them at old pad stems or weedbeds and rip it free as the bait hits the grass. I don’t think this is a bait that bass are targeting so to speak. But, it is mostly a reaction bait. When it is ripped from the grass, it will dart off erratically and this is when 99% of your strikes will come. I throw these baits on 20 lb floro or 30 lb braid, depending on the water clarity and cover where I am fishing. This time of year, red is a good producer as well as bream colors and chartreuse and black for muddy water.
- Lizard– I love throwing a Texas rigged lizard when I am really targeting prespawn females. It is a slender bait that produces quite a bit of movement and can sit right in front of the fish and its’ appendages will still move and draw strikes. My favorite color is green pumpkin/ candy and I will always dip the tail or the legs in I SPIKE IT dipping dye to add more contrast to my lizards.
- Swimbait– Yes, a swimbait. A lot of fishermen think a swimbait is a post spawn and summer bait only. I love a bream colored swimbait this time of year. Big females will attack bluegills when they are getting ready to make a nest and will be feeding up getting ready for the spawn. I like to throw a 6th Sense Flow Glider in the bluegill color or a soft paddle tail swimbait, like a Basstrix, that is a darker color than your typical shad imitating swimbaits. I throw these baits on 17-25 lb floro, but I use 20 lb floro 90% of the time.
- Spinnerbait– Every fisherman knows a spinnerbait is an absolute bass catching bait. It can be cast out and winded back and will flat out catch um. When the wind is blowing hard and starting to muddy up the water, I will reach for a spinnerbait and try and find some grass on wind blown points. Don’t be scared of the muddy water. Bass will still be there and are usually easy to catch since most people pass over muddy water. I stick to a few basic colors. White or White and Chartreuse. I seldom use a trailer, but will often use a trailer hook. You may get hung up a bit more, but you will catch fish you would normally miss.
There are no absolutes when it comes to fishing, especially in the spring. But, these are the baits I will ALWAYS have tied on this time of year. The prespawn can be a fickle time, so experiment with your baits from day to day and see what the fish want. This unseasonably warm Texas weather will have the girls pulling up sooner than normal, so get out there and go catch the biggest bass of your life.
Story by Shane Smith