5 Pre-spawn bass fishing tips

By Tom Keer

Feb 15, 2017

It's best to leave spawning fish alone, and that's what makes fishing for pre-spawn bass so much fun.  The water is warming, the fish are hungry, and the topwater action can be hot.

What exactly does pre-spawn mean for bass fishermen?  It's the time just before bass spawning season when the bass move from their deep-water winter haunts and into the shallows to breed.  Once bass spawning season starts you'll want to leave the fish alone, but before you do, here are 5 pre spawn bass fishing tips to get in on the action.

Tip 1 Find the fish.  As water temperatures warm, bass move into the shallows to feed.  Some anglers start their days fishing deep water and if they don't find fish they work their way into the shallows.  That approach mirrors the bass' spring movements.  Another method is to start in shallow water and then go deep.  I like that method, especially because it might result in hot, pre-spawn topwater action.

Tip 2 Find the temperature.  50 degree water is the magic number for when to absolutely bass fish.  Find temperatures around 50 and you'll be on your way to finding the fish. 

Tip 3 The Ideal Spot.  An ideal spot before bass spawning season is a cove with an inlet and a shelf that drops off into deeper water.  The drop off doesn't need to be steep or deep.  Some of the best spots only have a 2-3 foot adjoining drop.  They should have grass and weedbeds for they attract baitfish.  

Tip 4 Gathering points.  One of the best pre spawn bass fishing tips is to find gathering points.  Bass stage before they move to their spawning beds.  Points that extend further out into a lake are good as are the transitions between flats and drop offs.  While you're there check the flats but know they can be either hit or miss.  Water ways that connect large lakes with backwater ponds are outstanding.  That kind of water connecting a major and minor body of water shelfs up, and is perfect for finding concentrations of pre spawn bass.

Tip 5 Conditions.  Cloudy and windy days push bass around while sunny, high pressure weather keeps 'em put.  Warming weather fires up the fishing while cooling trends shuts it down.

Pre spawn bass are predictable and they are there to feed.  And when bass spawning season rolls around and the fish fall in love you're unlikely to see them in these spots until next year.
Tom Keer
Tom Keer
Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or at www.thekeergroup.com.