Bass Fishing Tips for Early Spring: Location Strategy

By Andy Whitcomb

Apr 10, 2017

To consistently catch bass in early spring cold water, location is critical. Here are some strategies on determining location.

To consistently be successful while going early spring bass fishing in cold water, you need to be in the right place at the right time. One of the best bass fishing tips for early spring is to focus on location. Deciding when, or if, to move is important especially when pre spawn, spawn, or post spawn bass fishing.

At your first location, if you cast for a while without any hits, switch lures. If that lure also fails to produce, try something else. After several selections of what used to be “confidence lures,” doubt about the location starts to creep in. Here are some bass fishing tips for early spring with regard to selecting where to cast next.

3 basic bass fishing location strategies:

1. Stay. Is this a transition area? While early spring bass fishing in cold water, bass will be moving to and from spawning flats. As the sun changes position and continues to warm the water, bass should eventually move through locations such as the mouth of a creek.

What if you are just catching small bass? There is an old adage that says, “You don’t leave fish to find fish.” Even if the bass are all undersized, many times the activity of catching and releasing these little fish will eventually attract the attention of larger predators.

2. Move. What if you aren’t sure if this is a transition area? Many professional bass anglers cover water quickly. They put the trolling motor down and never shut it off. They follow the shore or depth contours of the bottom, casting “reaction”, or “seeking” lures, such as lipless crankbaits or spinnerbaits. Then, with a hit or a follow, slow or stop and switch tactics to something like a bouncing jig or a slower soft plastic rig.

3. Move but return. The last of our 3 bass fishing tips for early Spring is sometimes a spot just needs to rest. Maybe you roared up too quickly in your boat. Or perhaps you started with too aggressive of a lure. Or maybe the wind has picked up or changed directions.

Knowing where to bass fish and when, is a critical part of early spring bass fishing in cold water. Subtle changes above water can mean big changes below. But before you consider your next boat location, make sure the registration is up to date.


Andy Whitcomb
Andy Whitcomb
Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.