When you’ve been cooped up all winter, it’s very easy to get on the water for that first run of these season and start pounding the first bank or piece of structure that looks good. Let me tell you, looks can be deceiving. Remember that this time of year, bass are starting to move shallow, and good shallow-water bass anglers are always hunting for those skinny areas that yield both size and numbers. The best of them have a knack of finding those spots that seems to be constantly replenishing themselves with fresh bass. Though honing this skill can take years, there is one common factor shared by their hot spots more often than not, and figuring it out simply requires a compass.
Let’s say you were to throw all the early spring variables into a pie chart–ie. water temp, water color, vegetation, general topography–and measure the overall influence each one has on success with early spring bass. One of those variables would be southerly-facing shore lines, and if measured across several bodies of water, I would bet that this particular variable would take up at least half of a pie chart. Bass instinctively know which areas are protected from that mischievous north wind, which could cause shallow water temps to plummet in northerly facing areas. In short, southerly-facing banks often warm faster and hold their warmth better. Northerly-facing areas typically fire up much later in the spring.