All the greats know that when it comes to spring fishing, location is everything. In fact, it’s often the difference between a successful day on the water and going home empty handed.
Bernie Schultz, an eight-time Bassmaster Classic participant, honed his skills fishing the grass-heavy lakes in his home state of Florida. However, he’s a firm believer that the Sunshine State isn’t the only place where anglers can find monster fish lurking in the green stuff.
“If you’re looking for the perfect spring Bass spot, it doesn’t get much better than finding a thick grass bed near a busy spawning area,” says Schultz. “You can typically find fish gathered in shallow pockets with easy access to sunlight where they’ll stage in or above the vegetation.”
“The key with these lures is to make irregular contact with strands of grass and then rip the bait free,” Schultz explains. “When you snag a strand for just a moment, that slight pause, combined with the lures’ loud rattle are sure to grab fish’s attention.”
Practice Patience in Cold Waters
Although novice anglers may look for the hot new spring fishing tactic each year, the best strategy is to not overthink things. By the peak of the season, the urge for fish to spawn will be irresistible, meaning anglers can usually turn to a tried-and-true approach that has produced for them in the past.
However, according to Schultz, in rare cases when the water is still very cold following a harsh winter – like the most recent one – anglers need to adjust their mind-set more than their bait selection to find elusive lunkers.
“Patience is absolutely a virtue with cold-water fishing. To have success you need to work slow and take time to detail where fish are settling in. Non-reflective jerkbaits will be some of the best tools in your tacklebox,” says Schultz. “The Rapala X-Rap® or new Scattter Rap® Minnow are two of my favorite lures for frigid days on the water. No matter which technique you use, you’ve got to be thorough and deliberate. The fish are there – you just need to make them bite!”
How Ike Finds Finicky Fish
Mike “Ike” Iaconelli, 2006 Bass Angler of the Year and 2003 Bassmaster Classic Champion, also says spring is one of his favorite seasons for catching trophy Bass. But as anglers look to spend more time outdoors after a long winter, the season can also bring the year’s most crowded waters.
According to Ike, anglers can set themselves apart from the crowd by targeting fish located on cover and structure that is not visible to the naked eye. Using a depth finder, Ike locates hard-to-find cover and subtle depth changes, then ties on baits that he can use to feel along the bottom, like the quick-diving cranks from the Rapala DT® (Dives-To) Series
“I also like to use more finesse presentations in the springtime,” Ike says. “Sometimes baits with an in-your-face action don’t do the trick. If the fish just don’t seem to be interested, it’s time for a change. That’s when I switch to a silent, tight-crankin’ lure like the Rapala Shad Rap® to offer up what looks like an easier meal for finicky fish.”
With these tips from some of the world’s most successful Pro Bass Anglers, even the most inexperienced anglers can fish like the pros this spring. For more helpful tips for on-the-water success, connect with Rapala online at www.Facebook.com/RapalaUSA.
About Rapala – The Most Trusted Name in Fishing
Rapala was unofficially founded in 1936 when Lauri Rapala invented the Rapala fishing lure. Rapala has grown from humble beginnings to become a market leader in the fishing tackle industry. The brand’s functionality and high quality are known by fishermen worldwide. Rapala maintains its strict standards of craftsmanship while delivering its fishing products to anglers in more than 130 countries. For more information on Rapala, please visit www.rapala.com