The Prespawn Bass Breakfast Bash

When the bass head for the shallows, it’s time for you to get up off the couch.
 
Like many of us, big bass get awful lazy during the winter. Unlike most of us, they have enough sense to stop eating a lot when they’re pretty much immobile and not getting very much exercise. But when it’s time to get up and move about again in early spring, those bass sure are hungry. For most of the bass I’ve run across, that early spring wake up comes just before the spawn, and as the bass start moving toward shallower water, they suddenly realize it’s been a really long time since they’ve had a good meal. It’s the perfect opportunity for some great fishing, and most anglers call it the prespawn. As a bass fisherman, it’s your job to help those bass find something that appears to be a good meal and then get them in the boat before they have a chance to digest it.
 
Finding the Fish
 
But first you have to figure out when the fish are going to leave the deep water where they’ve been waiting out the winter and where you might be able to intercept them as they travel back and forth to the shallows to feed. In most lakes the prespawn begins when the water temperature rises above 50°F or so. In terms of where you might find them, the key lies in locating the path the bass follow when moving from the deep to the shallows. There will be stopping off points along the way, frequently at the edge of a drop off and often where there are structures or debris on the bottom. Tree stumps, rock piles and even old fence posts seem to spell dinner for prespawn bass.
 
Gather up Your Gear
 
You’re going to want a good durable rod and reel, and Dunham’s offers a large selection. The Ugly Stik GX2 combo is always a good choice as are the Abu Garcia Max series bait cast combos and reels. I like to wind some tough-as-nails Spider wire line.
 
What kind of dinner entrée should you offer to the hungry bass? Dunham’s has a lot of choices on the menu. A slow-moving worm or jig is just fine for just about any half awake and slow-moving bass. If you’re using artificial worms, treat them with some scent. A slow retrieve on a good spinner like the Strike King Mini-King or Mepps Aglia Spinner works really well for many bass fishermen. But I wouldn’t hesitate to tie on a crank bait either, although I’d fish it slower than I would in warm weather. Many fishermen report excellent success with Rapala Husky Jerk and Shad Rap crank baits. Shad Rap closely resembles baitfish found nearly everywhere. The KVD Square Bill crank baits from Strike King are another good choice. Crank baits can run deep in those drop offs you’ll find right before the shallows. Slowly bounce them off some underwater structures, and the bass will move in for a meal.
 
If you don’t get any strikes in 20 minutes or so, move on to another good-looking spot. The fish are going to be schooled somewhere between the deep and the shallows but likely more toward the shallows. Your job is to find them. They most definitely aren’t out looking for you.
 
Try to Stay Warm
 
Fishermen in the Midwest and North Central states will probably be fishing for prespawn bass long before it’s pleasant outside. In fact, it might be pretty darn cold, even after the water temperature has reached 50°F. And once you’re out on the lake, it’s going to be too late to put on another layer of clothes. You can always take something off.
 
A snowmobile suit is a good hedge against old man winter’s last gasp. Ski outfits are pretty darn warm as well. If you don’t want to spend that much of your gear money on clothes, do like some of us did back in the day: wear two pairs of pants and two shirts, plus that winter jacket or parka. Don’t forget some good flexible gloves and a warm hat as well.
 
While some anglers are going to wait for warm weather to get out on the lake, those folks are going to miss some of the best fishing of the season. Get up out of that winter easy chair, head out on the lake and treat a lunker bass to breakfast.
 
-Hook, Line & Sinker
 
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Wild Times With Water Sports

Splash Into Summer with the Coolest Products on the Water.
 
The temperature may just be starting to rise, but it’s never too soon to start making summer plans. One spot that’s always cool? The water! Check out these products to get a leg up on summer and start riding the waves.
 
Tubing Time
 
Water trampolines are great for those looking to stay close to shore, but thrill seekers should turn to tubing for some seriously fast times. Tubes come in several different styles,  including single and multi-rider accommodation, and are designed for sitting in or on top of. Sit-in styles are perfect for young kids who need to stay put, while sit-on models add excitement — riders have to hold on tight! Traditional round shaped tubes are best suited for casual floating, whereas aerodynamic styles are better for speed rides. The Comfort Top Boogie by Body Glove is one such tube, featuring winged sides that allow the device to rock and move with motion of the waves. “It has less drag on the water, so you can go a bit faster,” says Bryce Parten of Nash Sports.
 
Wake Up
 
A hybrid of water skiing and snowboarding, wakeboarding is another exciting sport. Since there’s only one board to control and it features a large surface area (like wide skis) to stand on, it’s easier for riders to maintain balance and stay afloat when boarding. “It’s better when there are less parts to deal with,” says Parten. The Backdraft wakeboard by Hydroslide features easy on-off bindings for stable mounting in the water.
 
All Aboard
 
A simpler, but equally fun, activity is kneeboarding. An excellent tool for water sports newbies, the kneeboard is easy for many to ride and learn how to maneuver. After just a few short turns on the water, even beginning kneeboarders may soon find themselves crossing wakes and experimenting with tricks in no time!
 
Sports Safety
 
Like all games, water sports are the most fun when played safely. One of the most important components of safety is having a responsible driver steering the boat. In addition to a trusty driver, there should be another occupant, called a spotter, observing the actions and instructions from the person being towed behind the boat. It’s not only for safety’s sake, “It’s the law!” reminds Gerry Gilinksy of Body Glove PFDs.
 
Wearing a correctly fitted life vest is also essential to keep everyone safe, whether they are in or near the water. A properly sized life vest should fit snug to the body because it will likely expand when it gets wet. If it’s too big, it can slide up over the wearer’s head and render it ineffective. Gilinsky recommends vests made from neoprene for a more precise fit. “Neoprene vests fit tighter and are truer to size,” he says. “It’s also a thicker material [and] good for the cold.”
 
Bring on the Fun
 
With the wide variety of products now available, water enthusiasts of all ages can enjoy the excitement and thrills of water sports. There may not be a better way to enjoy the warm weather this summer than riding the waves, getting wet and cooling off with family and friends. Make it a summer to remember.
 
-Water baby
 
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