by Joey Di Cienzo
Now that the ice has finally receded, many anglers are getting out on the water and wetting their lines. The fish are also starting to move out of the deep water and find spawning spots in time for late spring. With this in mind, anglers should be looking for baits and lures that will not have too much action to spook the easily startled fish.
A great tactic for these prespawn fish is dropshotting. Many anglers use this tactic for fish held on 30 foot humps in the summer, but don’t think about using it in shallow water. In fact, dropshotting is an amazing technique for largemouths that are coming up to spawn since it is a presentation that can be worked erratically or subtly.
When bass start to sense that the weather is warming, they start to prepare for the spawn. This means that the fish will be moving out of the deep cold water and into the shallow warm water.
Fishermen can catch these fish if they target key transition areas like the ones shown in Figure 1. By fishing these areas with a dropshot, anglers can catch sluggish bass that are looking for a quick meal when they are moving into their spawning grounds.
Figure 1: Using an example from a lake in Iowa, we can see red arrows indicating transition areas. These tend to be in 10-17 feet of water, based on the deep water surrounding these points.
Once an angler focuses on these transition areas, choosing a bait for the dropshot rig is the next challenge. First, an angler must be aware of the weather. Warmer weather for longer periods of time makes the fish active. These fish will be more prone to biting bigger dropshot baits like the five inch 5alive Rounder finesse worm.
When a cold front comes through, the fish become sluggish and prefer smaller baits like the Jackall Crosstail Shad, measuring 3-3.5 inches. When rigging baits, nose hooking is a great option to give the bait a dying presence in the water.
Even though prespawn fish can be hard to pattern, targeting transition areas between deep water and shallow spawning areas with a dropshot will be the ticket to putting bass in your livewell.
Good luck and tight lines!
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