Upland reservoirs provide some of the earliest pre-spawn opportunities for bass anglers. Here are seven of the most effective categories of baits to get your hands on and get organized for your early season trips coming up.
Deep Diving Crankbait
A deep diving crankbait is often the best option for the first thing to try. The combination of working multiple depth ranges and varying speeds makes it the ultimate pre-spawn search bait.
A hair jig has a niche place when searching for lethargic smallmouth that may be sitting off rock structure or rock/clay contours in clear water.
Or check this out for how to tie your own
A deeper, suspending jerkbait works wonders on pre-spawn bass.
Proven jerkbait: Lucky Craft Staysee
A lipless crankbait excels when you combine pre-spawn bass with environments that contain submerged vegetation. The ability to rip or subtly pull away from submerged weed enhances the triggering characteristics that this bait naturally has.
A smaller punching rig, (think “jab” instead of “punch”) with a 3/8 or 1/2 oz. weight instead of a once or more is a great weapon when you around mixed cover (weeds and wood). Use your choice of hook, punch skirt, and plastic. Very often, your biggest fish of the day will come on this setup. Essentially, you are just using a jig that comes through mixed cover better.
A Chatterbait-style, bladed swim jig worked though submerged grass edges will attract big largemouth and smallmouth alike.
A Dirty Jigs, No-Jack Swim Jig, with your favorite boot-style swim bait as a trailer is about as good of a recommendation as we can make. There is so much to choose from in this category between jigs and trailers plus skirts that you can come up with endless combinations that work.