Bass Fishing photo
Big Bass Fishing
Photo by Dusan Smetana Dusan Smetana

Sure, average-size bass are fun to catch. But we know what you really want: your picture on the marina wall, showing off a fish that makes every angler around burn with envy.

There’s no better time to land hefty, highly aggressive females than right now, as they chow down in staging areas and then hit the shallows to spawn. By targeting these giants specifically, you’ll have a legiti­mate shot at landing the biggest lunker in your lake.

Check out these bass fishing tips that will help you find and catch these trophies throughout the spring months.

Jig the rocks

Jig the rocks
Illustrations by Steve Sanford Steve Sanford

Location: Monster prespawn bass love to stage over steep chunk-rock banks (with baseball- to basketball-size rocks) that drop to 15 feet or deeper. Why? These areas are loaded with crayfish, and big females suspend near the sun-warmed rocks to ripen their eggs.

Bait: A 1⁄4- to 1⁄2-ounce jig-and-pig in black-and-blue is a top ­producer here because it mimics crayfish so well.

Presentation: Cast perpendicular to the bank, let your bait drop to the bottom, and slowly hop it down the incline to a depth of 12 to 25 feet. And remember, a long pause between jumps will specifically draw in the biggest bass.

Crank the creek

Crank the creek
Crank the creek Crank the creek

Location: As the prespawn progresses and smaller males begin cruising the skinniest nearshore waters, the biggest mamas lurk nearby. But they stay hidden, gravitating to any slightly deeper water within flats and bays. This makes reservoir creek channels and ditches—which may bottom out at only 3 or 4 feet—the hottest mega-bass spots just prior to the spawn.

Bait: The tight wiggling produced by a flat-sided crankbait really triggers these fish to bite. Check out the Bomber Flat A in firetiger.

Presentation: Toss your crankbait across a creek channel or ditch and run it at medium speed over the edge of the drop. Keep the lure bumping bottom and bouncing off any cover. In clear water, retrieve a jerkbait over the wood. Pay special attention to tree stumps and logs along the edge.

Shake the bed

Shake the bed
Shake the bed Shake the bed

Location: Look for the first big breeders to spawn in northern coves, bays, and boat canals. Wear polarized sunglasses to inspect the areas near boat docks, flooded bushes, blowdowns, and grass edges. Any of these could reveal a giant bass. Keep searching until you find one.

Bait: It often takes a big bait to rouse a bedded superbass. ­Mattlures’
5-inch Bluegill, an exceptionally lifelike swimbait, is the ticket. It stands on its nose and mimics a bream feeding on bass eggs.

Presentation: Cast beyond the bass and swim the lure into the bed, working it there until you find the spot that aggravates the fish. Then twitch your rod tip on a slack line to make the bait bounce up and down like a feeding bluegill. Hold on tight.