Spring can be a magical time in southern waters as bass in various stages of the spawn create incredibly exciting opportunities. Florida gets a jumpstart on the spawn, with fish bedding as early as November. However, southern lakes and rivers often have waves of spawners moving up and moving out well into April and May.

Because spring finds bass spread across a wide range of shallow to mid-depth habitat, covering water is the name of the game. The right dock, point or grass line might find a school staging for their shoreward move, or their return to deeper, stable water. Still, finding such honey holes often requires a lot of casting, so moving baits are your best friends until you dial in a target zone.

LIVETARGET’s crankbait lineup fits this task well with the Sunfish, Shad and Yellow Perch divers, along with the Sunfish Squarebill covering the depth range in which you’ll typically find spring bass. The preference may change daily, so keep multiple baits tied on and ready to cast.

Common spring cranking scenarios include:

Riprap: These fortifying manmade rock stacks lining bridge causeways, marinas, etc. offer feeding opportunities with abundant baitfish, bluegill and crawfish. They also absorb the sun’s heat and transmit that warmth through the water for a cozy spring hangout.

One important point here is casting angles. Fishing down the rocky row and casting in perpendicular fashion greatly limits your crankbait’s time in the strike zone. Your best bet is to move parallel to the riprap and use a 45-degree retrieve to keep that bait in front of as many fish as possible for as long as possible.

Should you come across a culvert, flow-through or a small paved boat ramp, cover the corners and trace the front edge a couple times before proceeding.

That being said, if the area seems to dry up — maybe fishing pressure or cold front conditions — the fish may retain their riprap orientation, but move farther down the slope. Bass will also slide out deeper when sunny days find the shallows too bright for their liking. Dropping down even a foot can offer dimmer habitat.

The idea here is to simply “walk out” with the fish. Keep that 45-degree presentation angle, but add some distance between you and the riprap. Adjust your bait choice to reach the depth needed to maintain bottom contact.

Bridge Points: Bridges spanning spawning creeks and pockets are particularly promising during the spring season. As the riprap on one side of the embankment reaches the causeway’s end, the rocks turn inward to face the channel before turning back along the other embankment. At these transitions, the points or “corners” make prime ambush spots for staging prespawners or postspawners. Hit these targets with your LIVETARGET crankbaits and hold on tightly!

Stumps: Scattered along the flats flanking channel edges or randomly stationed on points, these solid objects are bass magnets. Deflecting a LIVETARGET Sunfish Squarebill off the hard structure is sure to interest any prespawner or postspawner holding there.

Grass: Hydrilla, milfoil, coontail — all common bass habitat where prespawners especially love to feed. Intentionally snagging and ripping a crankbait through the grass is a great way to trigger aggressive bites.


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