Special BB Issues

Pre-Spawn Special Baits n Stuff Issue – part 1

What time is it?

Nope! What time is it?

Almost — it’s Pre-Spawn time! Possibly also meaning “winter” if you’re as far north as I am….

Either way, it’s time to look at some pre-spawn stuff yo! Bear in mind: As we’ve seen in the first couple tourneys, pre-spawn baits can be almost anything/junk-fishing/smorgasbord/Golden Corral buffet. So here we go with a variety of stuff!

Turn that reel handle mang!

Yep let’s get movin’ first:

1. Gitcha head orange.

This time of year Jason Christie likes a 1/2-oz BOOYAH Covert Series Spinnerbait with an orange head, chart/white skirt and #4.5 single Colo blade, with a 3.5″ YUM Pulse on the back:

> “Maximum vibration and a bright-color skirt for standing out in dingy water. Target areas leading into spawning pockets, like shallow banks with cover near deep water. Adding the Pulse swimbait gives the bait a little lift and allows you to fish slower around cover.”

If memory serves, that’s pretty much the exact bait combo Jason used to almost win the 2016 “Edwin Evers Classic” on a cold Grand Lake, OK. In this vid Jason explains the thinking behind the orange head for pre-spawn:

2. Crank AND spinnerbait on the deck.

Elitist Micah Frazier goes with an ol’ standby cuz it works — a Bandit 200 in “brown craw orange” — but also works in a 1/2-oz War Eagle Spinnerbait, single Colo blade with a white/chart skirt. Says:

> “The Bandit 200 is perfect around riprap and other rock structure that bass tend to congregate around in the pre-spawn. The spinnerbait is great in cold water because it provides a ton of vibration to help lethargic bass find the lure.”

Ol’ Ronnie B thinks Micah’s 2-prong approach is solid:


Still movin’ that handle — and you for sure shouldn’t have just 1 kind of lipless in your boat or tacklebox. Little changes can mean a lot this time o’ year….

That time of year fo sho fo liplesses. Kickin’ it off with Elitist Stetson Blaylock:

> “I really like to throw a Hard Knocker in ‘Rayburn red’ mainly on transitions leading in to spawning bays and pockets. I feel like it’s a great option when you have that crazy spring weather — you’re able to cover water and catch those big aggressive pre-spawn females that are starting to stage up.”

Here’s Stetson talkin’ ’bout exactly this bait at exactly this time of year:

Some local won a little deal called the 2019 Bassmaster Classic using this bait. Said:

> “The biggest thing I like to do with the Vibe is slightly lift and drop it. I wouldn’t call it pumping — that’s too strong for what I do with it. Think of swimming a hair jig in the summer but much more subtle.

> “Heavier line also helps the bait fall slower and can trigger more bites. For this I use 17-lb fluoro and a 6.8:1 reel with a 7′ cranking rod. The only modification I make other than Sharpie colorations is to upsize hooks to VMC #2 short shank Hybrid Trebles (7548).”

Ott’s fave colors this time of year are at-times altered “rusty craw” and “red craw.” Here he is talkin’ ’bout how he fished this bait to win that little ol’ derby:

BPTer Zack Birge likes the 3/4-oz Yo-Zuri Rattl’N Vibe in “matte Rayburn red craw.” Here’s how he fishes it:

> “…depends on how you are fishing the bait. If you are targeting bluff walls or rocky areas that hold heat, then a shorter rod is a good choice. A medium gear-ratio reel with 14-lb Yo-Zuri TopKnot 100% Fluorocarbon is typically how I fish this bait.
> “If I am in a lake with grass, I prefer a longer rod so I can snap the Vibe out of the grass and take up a lot more line. Here I will use 20-lb TopKnot if I can get away with it, but in some instances where the grass is really thick I will bump up to 30-lb Yo-Zuri SuperBraid.

> “Let the fish tell you how they want to eat it. Casting and reeling the bait is typically how I will start, but if I see bait being chased to the surface and active fish, I will usually start yo-yoing the bait.”

You forget about the Super Spot? (That’s ^ “tomato red.”) Maybe you never knew about it? One of the original lipless baits, and still works. Two deals with this older-school lipless:

> Has a really high-pitched rattle.

> Has more “float” to it than other similar-size lipless baits, so it’s good over grass and shallow cover.

Word is that “tomato red” color has a dull red shine to it that works great in off-color water.

Gotta shout out this bait and those colors. Haven’t fished this 3/4-ouncer yet, but supposed to be great for burning and hopping, and have a higher-pitched rattle. Those colors tho — real similar to staples for lipped cranks so…”blue back chartreuse” on top then “citrus shad” — and yep, that “shad dot” on the top bait is in the right place….

Lipped crankiness.

Stoked to intro this bait to you…unless you’ve already heard about it! Before you get all skeptical about the blade (like I was lol), here’s my impression from fishing this bait:

1. It’s insanely well designed — it looks good, sounds good, casts good and runs good: It never got “messed up” on a cast or retrieve. Not saying it 100A% can’t, just my experience so far.

2. The blade is “something different,” and I know bait designer Hiroshi Nishine ain’t puttin’ his name on anything unless it’s perfect and catches fish. So it’s no gimmick. It’s there to get more bites.

3. That hammered willow blade flashing and banging gives it unique sounds and for sure looks different.

Check it:

Here’s what the folks at Nishine say about fishing it in the pre-spawn:

> As bass ready to spawn, they’ll be looking to gorge on shad or crawfish. Nishine Lure Works has carefully selected ultra-realistic color patterns to match the unique hunting action of the Chippawa DD Blade crankbait. …unique flash created by the blade affixed to the front hook hanger….

> When bass are short-striking swimbaits or are suspended while feeding along a break line, shad-colored baits excel. A slower casting reel (6.3:1) spooled with 12- to 16-lb fluorocarbon line allows the bait to perform optimally. Scientifically crafted deflection properties keep the bait in the strike zone longer while triggering reluctant bass.

> To simulate a crawfish awakened from hibernation, it’s best to slowly crawl the Chippawa DD Blade along the bottom of rock and clay banks. Once you get bit, the sticky sharp #4 Ichikawa RC Kamakiri treble hooks have no problem keeping bass pinned.

2.4″ (62 mm), 0.69-oz and dives 8-10′. Check Jarrett Edwards splainin’ more about it with some great underwater video and sound:

The Rapala DT6 — like the Rapala Shad Rap — is a spring MUST-have. Don’t believe me, here’s you Gerald Swindle talkin’:

> “After years of experience fishing around grass in the spring, you can’t beat a DT6 because it has the right vibration and it’s made of balsa — simple as that. If I want to get down a little deeper I just drop down in pound test [line], and if I want to keep it up a little more I upsize my line.

> “Go to your local tackle shop in March and tell me what color DT6 is out of stock. Betcha anything it will be ‘demon’ [color pictured ^] — it just works.”

More deets right here — the G-man talkin’ fishin’ the DT6 around cold-water grass:

[2 fire emojis] bait around rocks too — remember the 2014 Randy Howell Classic win on Lake Guntersville was with that exact color DT6!

Latest bait in the Mark Daniels Jr. Signature Series, and MDJ fo sho has some great ideas — like these rad shoe lights, which never took off for some reason:

Hahaha! Anyhow, here’s the deal on the SB-57:

> …compact squarebill, 57 mm nose to tail, circuit-board lip, honeycomb-construction body, and beefy #4 Mustad Triple Grip Hooks. The SB-57 is the ideal tool for covering water and searching hard cover (wood and riprap) for large pre-spawners staging in shallow water.

> The hybrid shaped coffin/square lip brings the SB-57 through hard cover much better than your standard square-lips. The honeycomb-constructed body allows for more action by reducing the amount of plastic in the body walls while maintain strength with the honeycomb structure. This honeycomb design has previously only been offered by Japanese lure companies. Bill Lewis is the first American lure company molding crankbaits with the honeycomb body construction.

Mark says the action’s “amazing.” Likes to fish it on a 7′ MH Favorite Rush Rod, Johnny Morris 6.8:1 Platinum Reel and 12-lb Seaguar AbrazX fluoro. Here he is breaking the bait down — some impressive underwater video of that bait running across rocks too:

Gotta mention — one idea MDJ had I wasn’t down with was this baitcaster marshmallow/hot dog roaster deal. Fork went in and out when you cranked. I was like, “Honestly man I think most people will still just use a stick,” but I guess he built a few anyhow:


– End of part 1, part 2 comin’ soon! –
Ya got me
Jay Kumar’s BassBlaster is a daily-ish roundup

of the best, worst and funniest in bassin’, as curated by me — Jay Kumar. I started BassFan.com, co-hosted Loudmouth Bass with Zona, was a B.A.S.S. senior writer and a bunch more in bassin’. The Blaster is the #2 daily read on any given day in the wide world o’ bass so thanks for readin’!

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