Tracking studies have verified that river largemouths make major spring migrations from wintering areas to shallow backwaters. Though miles may separate these habitat zones, fish unerringly arrive once ice has departed.
As lakes warm in the spring, largemouth bass move into shallow cover in coves, canals, and harbors. They seek warming water offered by these spots that also provide plentiful baitfish.
Docks and boat houses are important cover for bass, particularly when shoreline development has depleted natural cover. High-percentage spots depend on water depth and cover options.
Fall summons river bass to a major feast before winter sets in. Fish feel the urge to feed heavily, storing energy for the long cold period when activity is minimal.
One key to successful fall fishing on natural lakes is targeting the edges of thick, green weedbeds. You can spot these edges where the vegetation grows almost to the surface.
Spring means high water in most areas, due to snowmelt and high annual rainfall. And spring means movement for river bass.
Reservoir smallmouths often congregate close to shore along riprap and rocky breaks into deeper water during early spring. The rocky shallows warm early, drawing bait.
Within a specific range of sizes and actions, plastic worms are the most versatile and most effective tools to use for smallmouths in lakes. The right worm is 4 to 5 inches long and relatively thin.