GETTING THE MOST OUT OF EARLY SPRING STRIPED BASS TRIPS
If you are reading this, you made it! April is here. It has been a l-o-n-g winter for the Surfcaster, and we are finally seeing that bright light of Spring at the end of the tunnel- Fishing season. During the off-season I wrote about tackle preparation, attended fishing shows, and offered a number of seminars throughout the northeast. Perhaps these activities occupied some of your time. If so, you are ready for early spring bass trips to take top priority in your fishing life. It is time for all anglers to get out and prepare. What is the urgency you ask? It’s GO TIME! It’s that time for the excitement and expectation of a new season. This timing always brings about questions- When will I catch that first fish? Will this be the year I land that fish of lifetime? What are my fishing goals for the year and will I have the time and resolve to meet them? By season’s end those questions (and more) will be answered, so let’s make sure you have a year that yields positive results, one that keeps you coming back for more.
To have a great Spring you must ask yourself a series of more focused questions- Where should
I fish? When should I fish? What Tides are best? What can I do to put myself in the best position to catch fish on every outing? Early spring anglers primarily target creeks, back bays, and other bodies of water that tend to have shallow depths where water temperatures will rise at a faster rate than deeper bay and ocean locations. Obviously sunny days will speed up this process. When targeting these shallow areas, look for dropping tides (ebb) in the late afternoon or early evening. The warmer waters will flow out of these areas along with the bait fish which are present. The moving bait will make an easy meal for early spring predators who are becoming more active. Once the temperatures start to rise consistently over a few weeks- just as the days become longer- the deeper areas will also become productive.
When preparing your tackle bag for an early season outing, be sure you are equipped with a wide array of small profile lures. These will mimic the various baits that are present in the
shallow areas (you want to match the hatch in size and pattern). Some excellent lure choices for the early Spring bite are soft plastics like Hogy Pro Tails, Tsunami swim shads, etc. Swimming plugs with a slim profile such as Yozuri Mag Darters and Daiwa Salt Pro Minnows, and, of course, small bucktails with a trailer such as Fat Cow Jig Strips. When it comes to colors, stick to the basics, especially with the bucktails. White and chartreuse are great color choices that will bring consistent success. Remember to carry a the variety of weights necessary to fish the entire water column and keep your bait in the strike zone.
Successful early spring trips will depend on the time you put into the fishing as well as the time
you spend planning and preparing. After all, it’s up to the angler to determine the best position or situation to catch fish each and every time. Putting in the time also means your willingness to scout out unfamiliar areas, and re-investigate areas you have previously fished to see if any changes have occurred during the winter months due to storms, dredging, etc. You’ll also need to observe those areas at different times, especially at low tide when the various types of structure will be visible and not covered up by the higher water levels. Doing your homework in the Spring (and throughout the year) should increase your success, not only for this season but for future seasons as well. Live the Passion! Tightlines!
iBass360.com is pleased to feature a monthly blog from Bernie Hoyt , a NYS Certified Fishing Guide with over 30 years of experience surfcasting the legendary waters of Long Island. Well known for his informative seminars at saltwater shows in the Northeast, Bernie offers trips along the outer beaches and inlets of Long Island, as well as Cape Cod Canal, Cuttyhunk, and other Northeast Striper locations. He is a pro-team member for S&S Bucktails, ODM RODS, and KastKing, as well as a member of the Long Island Beach Buggy Association and the Montauk Surfcasters Association. You can contact Bernie on Facebook through Bernie Bass Surfcasting Services, on Instagram @Bernie_bass and through his website at www.Berniebass.com