Get Hooked with These 10 Spring Fishing Tips

January 3, 2021

Unless you’re an ice fisherman or live in the south, you’re probably itching to cast a line. Brush up on your fishing skills and learn where to find your favorite catch come spring.

Here are some spring fishing tips and tricks for trout, bass and more!

Spring Fishing Tips for Trout

1. Where to Find Trout

Spring fishing along the river means the river is high. This means you’re better off fishing for trout near the eddies or the bank, where the water is warmer. Typically, you will also find abundant trout collected together near the base of a smaller stream, where the flow brings worms and baitfish straight to them.

2. How to Attract Trout

Spring fishing for trout requires a worm fly, made up of needlepoint yarn with an epoxy head and a hook aligns the worm’s tail that allows it to go down fast and imitate a big streamer. Keep the worm fly bouncing along the river bottom of a slow current or slack-water zone. This is where trout love to spend time.

spring fishing

Spring Fishing for Walleye

3. Where to Find Walleye

During the fall, walleyes run up rivers and, in early spring, they can be caught by anglers standing shoreside without a boat. However, local rivers have local anglers who know all the best places to fish like slack holes. Instead, to find more abundant fish, seek higher waters where the walleye seek out shallow runs, smaller creeks and slower currents.

4. How to Attract Walleye

Fishing for walleye in spring will require protective, waterproof waders, allowing you to brace cold rivers. But the good news is only a single box of lures will do the trick. Choose a minnow lure color that stands out and one with a heavier lip, making it dig in the current. Use a slow, steady retrieve for walleye.

River anglers don’t require a boat or trolling motor, but you still need to keep fish fresh. Invest in a fishing cooler to keep onshore for each trout or walleye you catch.

Spring Fishing Tips for Bass

5. Where to Find Bass

In colder spring waters, bass are abundant. While they can be challenging to locate, convincing them to take the bait isn’t hard. The best places to find bass are along steep drop-offs that transition to shallow areas. This is where bass typically spawn. Look for visual clues like points and peninsulas along the lake’s shoreline. Fishing for largemouth bass might require clearer waters, so you can get as far into the bank as possible.

6. How to Attract Bass

Choose a blade-style lure that gives enough vibration to entice the bass to strike. Sit directly over the school of bass and guide the lure slowly across the bottom of the lake, only reeling to adjust for slack and twitching every now and then. Fishing for largemouth bass requires direct bottom contact with something like a large mop jig in a dark color. For largemouth, you might also try coating the jig in Smelly Jelly and adding noisy rattles to further entice them.

Spring Fishing for Crappie

7. Where to Find Crappie

Spring fishing offers the benefit of clearer waters. During this time, you can catch crappies before their spawning season, as they rest in shallower grounds, which you can now see due to clarity. Seek crappie out near underwater wood or brush and rocky shorelines 5 to 10 feet deep around the mouth of bays. Keep in mind that the crappies might shift positions as the temperature of each day changes.

8. How to Attract Crappie

Spring fishing for crappies is much easier with electronics and fishfinders. It helps create a clearer picture of hidden structures beneath the water. Using a troller motor, coast around and seek out these areas, holding the position directly over them once you find them. Attract a bite with vertical jigging and, if the water is murky, try a glow-in-the-dark tube jighead.

Keep in mind, too, when it comes to fishing for crappie, you have to play the long game, so plan on packing a lunch and beer in your personal cooler and be prepared to sit and wait. Don’t get discouraged and, instead, hold your position with the trolling motor.

Spring Fishing for Northern Pike

9. Where to Find Pike

Pike are attracted to shallow, sandy and muddy banks — typically, flats that are a few degrees warmer than the surrounding waters. This is because pike need to stay warm to speed up their metabolism. The advantage of spring fishing is that the water is often higher, making it clear enough to sight-fish.

10. How to Attract Pike

Colder waters create colder fish, who get a bit lazy. In colder conditions, you’ll need to retrieve slowly. On warmer days, they’re a bit more spritely and will catch practically any lure. But, as a good starting point, cast out 15 feet or so past the pike and try to catch them with a fast retrieve. Stop the lure when it reaches the pike, picking up speed again. Spoon lures are a good bet, as is using a spinner blade, a jerkbait or crankbait.

What are you waiting for? Dust off your gear and pack your rooftop cargo carrier with all your rods — it’s time for some spring fishing!

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