For most of the country, spring means additional rainfall and with it, rising lake levels. All this expanding water can be intimidating, and finding the key places that hold bass a real challenge, but also very productive! A couple things to remember is that fish do move into flooded areas of the lake, especially in spring when they’re trying to spawn, and will hold on key pieces of cover.
Breaking down the lake and eliminating the less productive water is the first step. The upper ends of the lake will likely be dirty and filled with trash so plan to fish the main to mid-lake area. There, try and find a smaller creek where the water’s flowing in but not too muddy. Remember too that there’s no such thing as “too shallow.” If a bass has a piece of cover to hold on and the food supply is readily available, they’ll be there. When you’ve located the right creek to fish, note that not all of those newly flooded bushes, logs, or docks will hold fish. Even in lakes when the old creek channel is relatively silted in, the bass will usually follow the deeper water to find their way, so plan and start about 3/4 of the way back fishing the shallow cover closest to the creek channel and fish all the way back. I caught two nice keeper bass, one is the featured photo in this blog, and my Garmin read 2.1 feet deep. I had angled the cast towards the bank so that the fish was in less than a foot of water. The boat was sitting in what was left of the old channel and the fish was on a large rock where the creek bent towards the middle of the creek.
Lure selection is pretty basic for this type of fishing. Plan to fish fast, but thoroughly, throwing moving baits. Have a jig tied on to work key pieces of cover after offering the moving stuff, other than that, a spinnerbait, buzz baits, and shallow running crankbaits are all you need. Chartreuse and white, and black, or blue are the correct choices in the stained water you’ll likely encounter.
Don’t own a bass boat and “Bassin’ On A Budget”? No worries. A small john boat, kayak, or fishing boat does the trick for fishing these backwater areas. Good luck and thanks for reading!