Early Spring Bass Fishing on Lake Guntersville
Early spring bass fishing is just a brief time away. February and March are close and when we get there only your imagination holds you back, as creativity can be key to finding the tournament type largemouth bass. When I hit the water in early spring, I start the day out slicing the lake up into different depths. Lake Guntersville has many approaches to choose from in early spring. Using your knowledge and creativeness can lead you to various locations, ones you may not have fished before and where some of the biggest bass of the year stage. Lake Guntersville can be completely different depending on where you are fishing. One end of the lake to the other this time of year holds distinct differences. From the south end to the north end of the lake there is a lot of variation.
If you are upriver above BB Comer Bridge in early spring there is truly little deep water, so largemouth bass that might be deep are not any deeper than 10 to 12 ft., because the upper river is so shallow. If your mid river or around the lower end, the lake widens and the depth can be as deep as 45 feet. So, the bass can stage in 20 to 25 ft. of water. There are also some differences in water temperature. The shallow water warms more quickly than deeper water, so bass movements can be completely different. The upper river warms earlier than the mid and lower end. I have seen as much as 5 to 6 degrees difference in water temperature this time of year. This generally allows the fish to go into pre spawn, spawning sometimes 1 to 2 weeks early as water temperatures can get into the sixty’s much quicker upriver. Over the many years I have fished Lake Guntersville, I have witnessed many of the early tournaments being won above the BB Comer Bridge in January and February, because of the warmer shallow water.
One of the things I continually try to do is to divide the river up by choosing different baits for distinct locations on the lake. Having your mind and boat tackle divided for different depths allows you to be organized by depth ranges and puts that process in the back of your mind before your hit the water. I will work deep crank baits off staging drops first to either eliminate deep water or find feeding bass. I then get to the next drops at about 10 to 12 ft., and I work several baits at this depth. My go to lures being rattle baits, square bill crank baits and jigs. Lastly, if that has not produced some good fish, I then hit the shallows. I always look for cover at this depth. Boat house, lay downs, rock, or just odd objects sticking up out of the water and of course the grass. Over the past many years, rattle baits seem to be the bait of choice this time of year, as you can work it so many ways and at different depths. The rattle bait is very versatile allowing you to stop it, drop it, yo-yo it, speed reel it or slow roll it. This allows you to attack different depth ranges with different presentations. My favorite bass fishing bait in shallow water for gigantic fish is always a jig, it is a catching machine in shallow water for me.
Fish from the drops to the mid-range depth of water or the second drop to the shallow water red clay bank is one of the best tips I can offer in early spring! It has been the norm on Lake Guntersville for years that the second drop to the bank seems to be where the fish stage in early spring. Working this depth will quickly have you fishing where the fish are located. You will find fish grouped when you locate them. Largemouth bass locate together for safety and competition for feeding in early spring, so when you find them its bunches of fun!
Captain Mike Gerry
Fish Lake Guntersville Guide Service
Phone: 256 759 2270