How to Catch More Pre Spawn Bass with Jerkbaits

There is no other lure more synonymous with big bass in the pre-spawn then the suspending jerk bait, and arguably even more so the Smithwick Suspending Rogue in its many varieties and styles! A suspending jerk bait mimics a dying minnow to a tee by giving off struggling movement coupled with dramatic pauses which big bass can’t resist.

In this short blog we are going to give you some helpful tips on how to effectively choose and use the right suspending jerk bait for your type of fishery.

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Topwater Fishing Tactics: How to Fish a Devil’s Horse for Bass

Micah Frazier with Devil's Horse

Learn why Bassmaster Elite Series pro Micah Frazier keeps a Devil’s Horse handy throughout spring and how he fishes this classic topwater lure.

If you think the Smithwick Devil’s Horse is a one-trick pony, listen to what Bassmaster Elite Series pro Micah Frazier has to say. In his view, this three-hook prop bait is a bona fide attention getter with broad bass fishing applications — particularly during the spawning season.

Effective at riling up big bass in all three stages of the spring ritual, the Devil’s Horse employs a bold, intrusive presence that quickly wears out its welcome. Far more flamboyant than a walking topwater, this bait’s drawing power and deal-closing potential is unquestionable.

Pre-spawn bass fishing approaches are pretty straightforward: Cover water and look for fish staging on docks, laydowns, rocky points, grass lines, etc. Once the spawn begins, the fish will move much shallower, and while sight fishing certainly plays a big role, it’s not the only game in town.

“In the springtime, this bait is one of the best ways to catch the big females without looking at them,” Frazier said. “A lot of times, if you can get that bait over a bed, or around a bed, a lot of times, the fish will bite it before you get up there and spook it. With a blade in the front and the back, it aggravates those big females into biting.”

Regarding locations, Frazier said, “When you’re in a spawning scenario, you want to throw that bait where you think there’s a high likelihood of there being a bed. If there’s a hole in the grass, a little protected pocket on the bank, or a laydown — just something where you think the odds are that there’s a bed.”

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Sure-Fire Crankbait Tactics for Early Spring Bass Fishing

Bandit Crankbait - Crawfish Color

Learn the secret to catching pre-spawn bass in a broad range of situations.

Early spring can be a daunting time to catch a good limit of bass, but not if you implore the Bandit “system” of crankbaits to probe each section of the water column. The system I speak of is the Bandit 100, 200, and 300 Series crankbaits, which dive anywhere from 2 feet deep all the way out to 12 feet. By having all these models tied on, you have a sure-fire system to find bass in many different pre spawn zones.


In the article below we will go through the three major scenarios/water depths to target for early spring bass fishing so you’re completely in the know the next time you’re on the water.

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How to Find and Catch EARLY Spring Crappie on the Move

Barry Morrow crappie

Learn to find and catch early spring crappie when they begin migrating from winter holes toward spawning areas.

Crappie go on the move when daylight hours lengthen and the water warms in early spring.

The longer daylight hours lead to warmer air, which starts warming the water. The warming water triggers early spring crappie to start moving from their winter haunts, according to Dan Dannenmueller, an Alabama tournament competitor and publisher of CrappieNOW! online magazine.

“That water temp is the key,” Dannenmueller said. “When the water temp starts getting up to 55 degrees the crappie are going to start to move, and as they approach closer to 57 to 58 you will see the males move up, and then the females right after them.” 

Whether he is fishing a natural lake in Florida or a highland reservoir in the Midwest, Dannenmueller notices crappie spend their winter in the deepest holes they can find and start moving during the first prolonged warm spell in the early spring.

“If there is a 5-foot hole and that is the deepest water in a creek that is where crappie will be or they will go to somewhat deeper water and sit on the bottom,” Dannenmueller said. “They are going to move in to those first ledges that warm first.”

When early spring crappie start moving out of winter holes and toward spawning grounds, here are four techniques to intercept them on their migration route.

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How to Use Floats & Live Bait for Spotted Sea Trout

Speckled Trout on a Float Rig

Choosing the right float and rig allows for targeted presentations that produce excellent catches of sea trout and other inshore saltwater species.

“It’s the old time way to fish for trout around here. What everyone use to do,” Chris Holleman said as we stood side by side on the back deck of his boat, watching pole floats drift slowly away from us.

“And it’s a great way to catch fish,” he added with a smile as his float shot under and he set the hook into a sea trout.

Float fishing with large slip-style floats like Thill Big Fish Sliders and Weighted Pole Floats, allows you present live bait just off the bottom, where trout like to feed, and to effectively work areas to locate schools of fish. It produces well year ‘round but is especially effective during winter, when spotted sea trout (also commonly called speckled trout) tend to congregate in deeper holes in tidal creeks, rivers and canals.

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