Spring is one of the best times of year to fish. The word spring itself, means to rise. Not only is it the most beautiful time to be outside enjoying the outdoors, but some of the biggest fish are often caught during the spring.
The greatest challenge that I have as a local angler is deciding where I want to fish and being at the right spot at the right time. If I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that spring is not the time to leave a productive spot or area thinking that all the fish have been caught. Often, new fish will move up on a spot throughout the day. Sometimes it’s best to let a spot or area cool down a bit, while planning to return to the same spot or area later in the day. Many bass tournaments are won in the spring by anglers fishing only one or two areas. The biggest bass that I ever caught in a tournament was caught when returning to spot I had fished earlier that morning.
This time of year can be tricky for a lot of our local lakes. With the snow melt and spring rains, lake levels can fluctuate or muddy up, making it difficult for anglers cruising the shallows while looking for bedding bass. It’s always a good idea to fish around areas where the water is running off into the lake. Usually there are some fish hanging around those areas looking for an easy meal. If you’re looking for bedding fish, it’s best to plan your trip around the moon phase, as which each full moon a new group of fish move up shallow to spawn. Instead of looking for bedding fish sometimes it’s best to fish parallel to the bank while keeping your bait in 5 to 10 feet of water. Fishing for trout during the spring can also be very rewarding for anglers fishing off the bank and while trolling for them. Most of our local lakes have been planted all winter and the trout that haven’t been caught most likely went deeper. Many of them can be found shallower now making them easier to catch. One of my favorite baits to troll continues to be a small Triple Teaser, chrome with a hammered finish. Trolled between 20 and 30 feet deep just about anywhere locally catches fish in the spring. As far as bank fishing, it’s tough to beat fishing with Power Bait. I have always kept it simple and hooked a ball of Power Bait 2 feet behind a small split shot and fished off the bottom. The key is making sure that you have enough Power Bait on your hook so that it floats off the bottom.
I’m drawn to the Delta in the springtime. There’s just something about the place that makes me want to fish the Delta more than any other place I can think of. This time of year, there are some huge bags of fish being brought to the scales. For bass fishing it’s tough to beat a drop shotted Robo Worm in Margarita Mutilator color or even a wacky rigged Senko. Topwater baits also begin catching big fish. Chatterbaits, Spinnerbaits, Square bills, Swimbaits, and lipless rattle baits are also major players in the spring. The key to fishing the Delta in the spring is to find areas out of current. Current washes away eggs. Many anglers, like myself, focus on flooded islands, bends and pockets between tulles. The spring striper run should be in full swing. I heard about it for years until I finally experienced it for myself. One of my favorite places is 5 miles north and south of the Rio Vista Bridge. Trolling for Stripers with deep diving Rapalas or Yo-Zuri’s is a no brainer. The striper like to stack up in those areas and usually easy limits can be caught. One thing to consider is how fast you’re trolling. Striped Bass have no problem catching up to a bait going between 2 and 4 mph.
If you’re out fishing in the spring and I’m not, one thing is for sure, I’m jealous. Fishing in the spring can be hit or miss at times but when it hits, there’s nothing like it.