Springtime is bass time!
We anglers in the Okanagan are very lucky as we have a wide variety of fish species to choose from throughout the valley. One fish that is growing more and more popular in BC are smallmouth bass. They are fun to catch and are one of the most aggressive fighting fish that an angler can target in BC. Their explosive power makes them exciting but yet challenging to catch. Mid-Spring is optimum time to get out and target these fish.
As the water temperatures warm up in the high 40F's to low 50F's smallmouth bass move up from the deeper water to prepare to spawn. As they start to make their move they begin to aggressively feed. When the bass move shallow they are easier to catch because you can present your lure more effectively in the strike zone in shallow water than you can in deeper water. During the pre-spawn period this is when an angler can catch some of the biggest bass of the year.
Good areas to target smallmouth during the pre-spawn are gravel shorelines and points that have structure that drop off to deeper water. During the spring these fish will move up and down within the water depths. As the days get warmer the bass will move up to the shallows. In the morning periods fishing the ledges and deeper water can pay off; while in the mid-afternoon the fish may be found within a few feet of water. If the weather conditions are on the colder side try methods such as drop shot fishing at the end of the deep ledges.
One will have good success casting fast moving reaction lures such as Jerkbaits and Crankbaits towards the shorelines. These lures help cover water and find the fish. As you cast these reaction types of baits make sure you have soft plastic bait rigged on another rod. I always follow up with a slower presentation before leaving a prime area. Also, you may have a bass follow your faster moving lure or come off near the boat. If this happens immediately pitch your soft plastic bait like a tube or rubber worm. A lot of the times the bass will nail it!
Once the actual spawning period begins the fish become much less interested in biting anything you present them. I personally try to avoid fishing for bass during the actual spawn period so they can remain unbothered and they can complete their cycle. After the spawn period the males are easy to pick off the beds as they guard the eggs and fry. The females become somewhat lethargic for up to 2 weeks after the spawn. Once the females are rested back up its feeding time! This is another great time to target these fish.
Excellent lakes in the Okanagan that offer incredible bass fishing include Shannon Lake, Skaha Lake, Vaseux Lake and my personal favorite Osoyoos Lake! For more information about Bass fishing in the Okanagan please check out the BCFishn.com website or drop me a line, I’d be happy to help point you in the right direction!
Tight lines & please take a youth fishn’!
Read more Let's Talk Fishn' articles
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- Shore fishing with a bottom line set up Jun 27
- BC Family Fishing Weekend Jun 13
- Springtime is bass time! May 9
- The basics of trolling for Kokanee Apr 25
- Osoyoos Lake: Spring Trout Fishery Apr 11
- Early spring open water fishing Mar 28
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