One of the most frequently asked questions thrown my way during spring guiding is "when do bass first become active in the spring?"

My standard answer for people who live in the northern states is that bass become active as soon as the water is soft enough for the bait to sink. In the south, it's as soon as the water temperatures become consistent in the mid to upper 40s. I've caught many big bass in lakes and ponds with ice still on the water.

As soon as the ice melts, or as soon as water temperatures show signs of warming up, bass want to get shallow and they want to eat. These bass are after shallow baitfish, and my favorite baitfish imitator for these springtime cold-water periods is the Cotton Cordell Super Spot.

The Cotton Cordell Super Spot is one of those timeless baits that is versatile enough to work from very slow to super fast. The quality construction, consistent action, color selection and good hooks set it apart from other lipless crank-baits, making it my bait of choice right out of the box.

In the spring, from ice out and through water temps in the 40s, I like to fish the Super Spot on breaklines where big bass are staged for the spawn. Areas that go from 4 to 8-feet deep are prime target areas for me during late winter and early spring. Points, humps, ledges or breaklines with old grass or wood cover such as stumps or lay-downs are excellent areas to start. You don't have to fish deep to find big bass this time of year, just make sure there is a breakline close to deeper water.

Troy Jens is a fishing guide on Lake Guntersville in Alabama. Troy also fishes the Bassmaster Opens when he's not operating Troy's Pro Guide SVC.