We caught up with Bryan College angler, Cole Sands, who is a renowned college angler and a frequent tormentor of Lake Chickamagua bass, about his favorite way to pursue early spring bass.
When it comes to catching big bass in the spring, there are not many baits that out perform a lipless crankbait. They are most effective when fished around shallow spawning flats (1-8 ft) that have some grass or stumps on them. As far as retrieve I like to either yo yo the bait, or do a stop and go presentation and I’ll either use a red or chrome colored bait. The rod is one of the most important factors when fishing a lipless crankbait and it is crucial that it has a soft tip, but also enough back bone that you can still rip the bait out of grass. The Surman 50G 7’2″ MH rod is the absolute perfect rod for lipless crank bait fishing.
One of the most effective baits to target bass when the water is still cold, is a suspending jerkbait. I fish them mainly around transition banks, creek channel bends and ditches. It is so important to use a jerkbait that dives deep enough and to pause your retrieve and let your jerkbait stay idle for the needed amount of time. My setup is a 6:4:1 gear ratio reel and a 6’10” Surman 50G Medium action rod.
As the water starts to warm up and the bass start to relate tight to cover, flipping a jig is my go to presentation. I like to target the last steep places back in creeks where fish should be getting ready to move up and spawn. I’ll flip the jig around rock, wood, bushes, or anything that a bass might live around. For my setup, I use a fast gear ratio reel and either my Oracle Pitchin’ Stick 7’8” or my Voodoo II 7’6” Heavy rod.
Have a great spring on the water and go catch some big bass!