Pre-Spawn Swimbait Fishing

I recently got back from a trip to Clearlake where I got to fish with my good friend Tim Little. We were able to find a great pattern throwing River2Sea S-wavers for pre-spawn fish that were moving up to feed on bait fish.

Early spring can be a difficult time to consistently pattern large fish. As the smaller males begin to move in to the shallows it can feel like the larger fish have disappeared all together. Throwing larger baits can be a great way to identify where the larger fish are located. Often times they will be holding in schools very close to the smaller fish. Using a bait like an S-Waver or other Swimbait allows you to intentionally target larger bites throughout the day. I've found that even when they are not willing to bite, large females will follow large swimbaits (6-10" long) to the boat, giving away their location. Once I've located these larger fish I visit them again during different weather conditions to try and fool them in to biting.

In the past I've insisted on throwing softbaits exclusively when the water is in the high 40's and low 50's but I've experienced days in the last 12 months that have caused me to challenge those beliefs. Even in cold water there is a place for slow, methodical hardbaits that draw up big bass. There will be more to come on this later.

Early Spring Swimbait Fish

Spring is fast approaching the West Coast. In the Southern portions of the country its already arrived. If you’ve missed all the previous posts don’t miss this one: Its time to target big pre-spawners. As big bass move toward the spawning areas they become very vulnerable. They often follow distinct features like creek channels, breaks, and hollows as they move into the shallows. By locating these areas you can target the bigger fish as they move through. There are a variety of baits that can be used effectively. In this video I’m using the Mattlures Tournament Swimbait to target fish moving up in Clearlake. These baits are available at tacklewarehouse, here is the link: Mattlures Dark Hitch Swimbait

This bass is by no means a giant but its a female that is making her way into the spawning grounds. This is a prime example of what can be done around the country to catch females before they spawn. By presenting a big bait slowly along the bottom I’m able to specifically target the larger than average females. By applying this to funnels (places the fish have to pass by) I’m able to eliminate a lot of wasted time and energy. Take these techniques, apply them to your local waters and then share your results. I look forward to hearing what you produce.

Solo Swimbait Fishing

After my previous post I feel its important to remind everyone that swimbaiting is not always difficult. Through the ups and downs remember that another “up” is on its way. This video was from my very next trip to the water. I pulled up to my first spot and made the very first cast of the morning. One spot, one cast, one fish. Sometimes its that easy.

The rest of the day was slower but I was able to get a second swimbait fish later in the day. Spring is approaching and the bite is improving. Get out to a lake near you and give it all you’ve got. Here is a link to the bait that this bass fell for: Mattlures Channel Cat Swimbait

Swimbaits Part 3: Where to Fish

By now you’ve made the decision to bring one rod on your next trip to the lake, you’ve chosen your bait and you know when to fish. The odds are beginning to lean in your favor of catching a bass on a swimbait. The next step is to focus in on where to throw the bait once you arrive. The lake is vast and the options are endless. There are points, humps, ridges, ledges, coves, inlets, outflows, foundations, trees, brush, and grass lines. What do you do?
Get a map out of your favorite lake. Remove all your mental blocks that currently determine where you should and should not fish. Look at the map with a new perspective and then watch this video.

Targeting trophy bass is really quite simple. Catching them can be another matter but knowing where they live is not that difficult. These bass are the masters of their domain. The choose the best spots with the easiest access to food and they typically roam very little. Once you have located the fish in your lake it will just be a matter of putting in the time to catch them.
I hope you’ve found this video helpful and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.