amartgvilleDuring this time of year, fishing can be a lot of fun. I use my electronics all throughout the year, but during this time of year, it is especially important to understand how to use your electronics. I have been having fun using my new Humminbird Onyx units these past few weeks, and they are impressive!

With my electronics, I will try to locate baitfish, as the bass will be close by. Baitfish will be located in both clear and dirty water, but I prefer to find them in the clearer water because it’s usually a more productive bite; they can sense or see the lure better in clear water. Once the baitfish is located, I will use a number of different reaction baits to target the bass. The bite is almost always a reaction bite this time of year. Some of my favorite lures to use are hair jigs, swimbaits, spoons, belly-spins, tail-spins, and jigging spoons.

As the season turns from winter to pre-spawn, I’ll shift my focus to areas of the body of water that are sheltered from cold fronts. In particular, I am looking for areas that are protected from the cold northern winds. This makes it very easy to eliminate a lot of water.

Some of my favorite baits during the pre-spawn are jerk baits, shakey heads, jigs, split shot rigs, and of course the drop shot. I will also always have a Carolina rig ready. During this time of year, almost anything can be effective. It really depends on the body of water, but it is the time when specific lakes or rivers really shine for the patterns they are best known for: for example, Ozark lakes and Wiggle Warts or the California Delta and red crankbaits.

There are several things that make early season fishing a lot of fun. Specifically, during this time of year there are a lot less anglers on the water which means a lack of pressure; this allows the fish to behave more naturally. It is also a great time of year to catch big fish.

One last thing to keep in mind during the early season—be prepared. Over the last few years, I have been wearing Simms apparel, and I can honestly say I have never been more comfortable on the water during inclement weather. For the best results, I suggest layering a warm base layer with a waterproof outer-layer. Be comfortable, stay safe, and get your 2015 fishing season off to a great start with some early season fishing.