Spring Bass Fishing 101 with LIVETARGET

There are plenty of healthy things to do during these troubled times. Take a hike. Walk the dog. Do cartwheels in the front yard. And get out and fish! Spring bass fishing is a great way to do that and with this Spring Bass Fishing 101 from LIVETARGET, you’ll be on the fish in no time!

The silver lining for anglers is we’re entering perhaps the finest time of year: prespawn. Bass, in particular, get on the munch when the days get longer and sun stays higher in the sky. Said photogenic phenomenon, along with warming water temps, draw bass out of their winter residencies toward shallower water to feed, and, ultimately, procreate.

Catching them isn’t like finding a cure for a pandemic, either. Locating fish is relatively easy and catching them can be equally straightforward. To that, LIVETARGET offers up four surefire lures and accompanying techniques to bag bass… and raise your spirits.

Rattle ‘em Home

The easiest lures to fish are those referred to as “chuck and wind” or “reaction baits”. Cast, retrieve, and nab fish. No special rigging or complicated retrieve sequences necessary. Lipless rattlebaits fall firmly into this category.

There are dozens of brands and models of rattlebaits on the peg hooks. They look somewhat similar in design. Lots of intriguing patterns, too. All feature an internal rattle, or rattles. But the LIVETARGET Golden Shiner Lipless Rattlebait is what all other rattlebaits aspire to be. The buck stops there, and you can prove it to yourself, too. Grab five different brands – even that $3.99 version that would clearly seem to be the best value – and include a Golden Shiner Lipless Rattlebait,.

Then cast them…

You’ll quickly appreciate the LIVETARGET Golden Shiner Lipless Rattlebait’s castability. Casting distance is remarkable. Note, too, how perfectly it lands in the water. Hooks in order, not tangling on itself. Lesser rattlebaits are prone to spinning in the air, consequently snarling themselves and wasting the cast. Not the Golden Shiner Rattlebait; it glides in perfect posture, hooks not flailing in the air.

The magic is in its remarkable design. There’s no wasted space in achieving the stated weight – either ¼- or ½-ounce. Other rattlebaits are bulky, too physically large for their weight. This not only presents a sloppy, cumbersome lure, but also contributes to self-tangling.

Application-wise, things couldn’t be easier. Simply chuck it out there and start reeling. You can control depth-of-run by how long you let the lure sink before retrieval. Play around with speed, too, finding the rate that elicits strikes. You can also try jigging it a bit. Snap the rod tip, let the bait freefall for a second or two, and repeat the action. The Golden Shiner Lipless Rattlebait falls perfectly – top up and belly down – often earning strikes on the drop.

Lipless rattlebaits are ideal for casting expansive and weedy flats. Generally, a solid snap will free the bait of snagged vegetation. Also primo for casting into the back of coves and along creek channels, the Golden Shiner Lipless Rattlebait flies far so you can stay back and not spook the fish.

Lastly, don’t let the designation “golden shiner” keep you from fishing it where shad are the primary forage base. The bass don’t seem to care. The Golden Shiner Lipless Rattlebait has proven itself on southern waters for nearly a decade.

Show Them a Ball of Bait

Breeding isn’t the only thing bass have on their minds. In the spring, they also move up to feast. Simultaneous to the bass moving up, baitfish are also finning shallower to feed and breed. They arrive by the zillions, and bass are especially attracted to multiples of baitfish they attack in one fell swoop.

As it happens, LIVETARGET has an easily fished lure that replicates this baitfish behavior. The award-winning BaitBall Spinner Rig was created to mimic a small school of baitfish on the move. We all know conventional spinnerbaits have their place in the springtime tackle assortment, but try upping the ante with a lure that actually mirrors real aquatic life.

Another “chuck and wind” lure, the BaitBall Spinner Rig comes in 12 astonishingly accurate patterns, each intended to Match-the-Hatch® to your local waters. Like the Golden Shiner Lipless Rattlebait, just whip it out there and start reeling. Generally, you retrieve the BaitBall Spinner Rig at a slower pace than a rattlebait, making it the ideal second offering in a one-two punch. Cover the same flats, points, coves and creek channels, riding this one a bit higher in the water column. It’s larger profile summons bass to investigate from below.

Fish Eat Fish

Sunfish (bream) are ubiquitous – meaning, they’re everywhere. Rare is the freshwater body of water that doesn’t support some species of sunfish. (Sung to the tune of Johnny Cash’s “I’ve Been Everywhere”): You’ve got bluegill, warmouth, longear, redbreast and papermouth (yes, crappies, too) …pumpkinseed, rock bass, orange spotted, green sunfish, spotted sunfish and flier. And no matter the subspecies, bass consider them edibles.

Combine the commonest of forage with the simplest of lures to manage, and you have LIVETARGET’s Sunfish Swimbait. And, yes, it’s another “chuck and wind”. Hurl that bad boy out there and start reeling. The swimbait itself imparts all the action you need to get noticed. In fact, it’s this very nonchalant and methodic locomotion that makes bass believe the finned-food feels safe… until it’s not.

The voodoo in the Sunfish Swimbait’s seductive paddling is LIVETARGET’s exclusive oscillator tail. Custom formed to the propulsion of an actual sunfish, the oscillator pumps the bait along, creating just the right thump and water displacement to summon strikes.

Equally as important to making the perfect swimbait is visual accuracy. Well, the Sunfish Swimbait is a dead ringer. From its anatomically precise profile to three-dimensional features and spot-on colorations, the only thing missing is a heartbeat.

The Sunfish Swimbait is especially effective for fishing weedier areas and submerged timber. Its superiorly sharp hook point is shrouded by the dorsal fin, thwarting snags, as well as disguising the hook.

LIVETARGET’s Sunfish Swimbait is available in three sizes/weights, and four outrageously accurate patterns.

Give ‘em a Good Spooning

Another solid, springtime choice is the 2019 ICAST award-winning ICT Erratic Shiner. ICT, or Injected Core Technology™, is a proprietary LIVETARGET process whereby a life-like Inner-Core is encapsulated in a crystal clear, durable Exo-Skin that gives the lure an erratic wide-wobble action, bringing the lure to life. The metallic core attracts nearby gamefish with its pulsating flash, while the Exo-Skin is less noticeable underwater. Bass focus on the natural profile of the forage and are not alarmed by the transparent action-generating mechanics.

ICT eliminates the mechanical exterior shape of a classic spoon and hosts a more anatomically correct profile inside the bait. Weight distribution of the lure makes for effortless long casts. And while its primary use is as a casting spoon, it can also be jigged, and performs exceptionally when trolled.

One of the most significant advantages of ICT is the ratio of plastic between the Inner-Core and Exo-Skin. The Inner-Core is much smaller than the overall mass of the entire lure. That means anglers can present a smaller hatch size while retaining the advantages of throwing a bigger bait. The Exo-Skin’s clear plastic adds 30% more mass, which adds more turbulence in the water.

Through the design and unique ICT manufacturing process, LIVETARGET was able to really play with the exterior of the Erratic Shiner and create a unique action that anglers simply can’t get with other casting spoons. For example, most spoons will sway from side to side due to their cup shape. But the Erratic Shiner has a sway with a snap at the end of each roll. It’s the snap at the end that triggers more strikes. The cadence is easy to determine from the very first cast. It’s a very simple bait to use; simply chuck and wind.

The Erratic Shiner comes in four weights to meet a variety of fishing applications: ¼ oz/7 g; ⅜ oz/11 g; ½ oz/14 g; and ¾ oz/21 g, as well as ten realistic forage-matching colors. The LIVETARGET Erratic Shiner comes in a pack of one with an MSRP of $9.99 USD.

The pre-spawn period and warming temperatures make it easy for anglers to get on the water, defeat cabin fever, and have a great time catching fish – all while compliance with recommended Social Distancing protocols. Up the satisfaction quotient by throwing angler-friendly LIVETARGET lures that are proven to outperform.

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Chris Payne

A lifelong Texan, Chris Payne has been an outdoor enthusiast his entire life and has spent the last 15 years fishing mainly from a kayak. He is known for his thorough and helpful reviews as well as how to articles for nearly everything kayak fishing related. If you have questions or comments, you can leave them on this post or email Chris at: paynefish@gmail.com

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