Colorado Springtime Bass Arsenal

Article By: k0diak

Spring, my favorite time of year. You have the sun shining, warmer temperatures, the trees are starting to turn green, and of course the bass fishing is heating up. Working at Gander Mountain I get asked a lot questions about early bass fishing. What kind of lures should one have in a tackle box for the spring? What colors and sizes do I need to have to be successful on the water? I will break these must have baits down into 4 basic categories.

  • Spinnerbaits
  • Soft plastics
  • Crankbaits/Jerkbaits
  • Jigs

Spinnerbaits:


Spinnerbaits are a fun and effective way to catch spunky bass as the water temps rise. I chuck them on a baitcasting combo spooled up with 10-14lb line. There are a lot of different skirt and blade combinations that the baits come with. I like to match the skirt colors with the color of the water. If you are fishing dingy water with say a 5 to 10 foot visibility, try a bait that has a white/chartreuse skirt. In clear bodies of water try a more natural colored one. My choice of blades will vary depending on if its cloudy or if there are blue bird skies. I almost always use a trailer hook with these baits, even in heavy cover. To the me it’s almost worth it to chance losing a bait than a fish. I’ve found that if the wind is blowing the bass will smash these baits.

Soft plastics:


Soft plastics are something that you can never have enough of. Now there are lots of different types of soft plastics that you can find at the stores. Tubes, grubs, stickbaits, worms and creature baits are some of the ones I like to have on hand when I’m on the water. There are endless ways to rig up these types of baits, you can texas rig, wacky rig, put them on a jig head, or you can totally go different and rig them up backwards. I like to match the size and the type of bait to what kind of forage are in the lake. Match up your colors accordingly with the water color (naturals earth tones for clear water and bright florescent ones for murky/muddy water). In open water with little structure I will throw these on a spinning combo (6-8lb line), If I’m fishing in weeds or around wood I will use a baitcasting outfit (10-20lb line). Any type of hooks or jig heads that you choose to use on these baits, be sure to use quality name brand hooks.

Crankbaits/Jerkbaits:


Cranks & Jerkbaits are probably the most deadly lures you can throw just after the ice comes off. Go with jerkbaits that are neutrally buoyant. The ones that suspend in the water column are what the fish like during the spring time. The fish are in transition from the deep areas to the upper water column. Smithwick Rattling Rogues, Rapala Husky Jerks and Lucky Craft Pointers are all jerkbaits that I like to use. Fan cast these baits around the areas you are working. Jerk, jerk, pause (5-10 second pause) seems to do the job. I will again match the colors and size to what types of forage (baitfish or crawfish) is in the lake and what kind of cloud cover is overhead. Crankbaits I like to throw during the spring are of the lipless variety. Rat L Traps, Lucky Craft LVR’s and Rattlin’ Rapala’s are some good choices to start with. I work these lipless cranks with a stop and go retrieve, almost like a yo yo. Cast out let it sink a bit…sweep the rod up and wind up the slack, drop the rod back down and repeat. Don’t leave these baits at home this spring when you get out.

Jigs:


Jigs are a fine choice to throw in any type of conditions. Jigs work for bass year round, but this time of year they really shine. When I talk about jigs, I’m talking about the ones that have a big heavy gauge hook, a skirt, and sometimes a weedguard. Jigs come in a variety of sizes and colors. I like to start out with a big 3/8 – 1/2oz flipping or casting jig with a weedguard. If I don’t get a sniff on these I will trim some of the skirt off to make a smaller profile bait. Some of the jigs come with rattles and some don’t. If you are fishing at night or in murky water, fish these baits with rattles. You can also buy trailers for these jigs. Soft plastic craw trailers have to be my favorite. It gives the bait a slower fall when it sinks to the bottom and also adds a bigger profile to it if needed. Stick to baits that are natural in color…maybe with some chartreuse or orange mixed in. Pitch or flip these into any type of cover you can find, weeds, chunk rock, and brush/trees. I usually throw these on a baitcasting combo. Six and half to seven ft in length matched with 10-20lb line.

When you head to the local tackle shop this spring, load up on all these types of lures. A different arsenal of baits to throw and match to the conditions is all you need to catch bigger numbers and larger bass. I’ll see you on the water!

-k0d-