There Are Many April Bass Patterns: Fishing Docks Is A Great One

April Bass Patterns: Docks & More

Here’s how to fish the cover bass hold on in the spring

    Bass fishermen look forward to April all year.  It is arguably the best month to catch bass since they are moving to shallow water to spawn, then back to deeper water.  If you go out and just cast to random places you will catch some bass, but keying on prime cover can greatly increase your catch.

    As soon as days start getting significantly longer in February, bass get the urge to spawn.  They start slowly moving toward bedding areas, no matter how cold the water.  When the water warms consistently into the 50s they move faster.  This movement is the pre-spawn.

    The spawn starts in colder water than many realize, with some bass spawning when the water is in the upper 50s, but the majority spawn when the water is in the upper 60s and low 70s.

    As soon as the females drop their eggs they head to structure and cover a little deeper near the spawning flats and don’t feed much, resting and recovering.  Meanwhile, males are guarding beds and protecting fry for a few days.

    A week or so after the spawn both males and females feed actively during the post spawn before moving deeper to their summer holes.  During all three stages of the spawn bass can be caught on a variety of baits.

    But where do you fish? If you are familiar with good spawning areas on your lake you know where to start. If not, studying a good map to locate pockets and small creeks, especially on the north side of the lake since they get more sun during the day, will head you in the right direction.

    A ditch or old channel leading into the spawning flats in the back of the pockets make them a lot better.  Bass use these channels as highways to follow to spawn, pausing along them to feed going both ways.  Stumps, brush, laydown trees, rocks and docks in the pocket give bass specific cover to feed and bed on.

    This is the time of year to cover water with faster moving baits until you find a concentration of fish or find the areas of creeks and coves they are using.  Both pre-spawn and post spawn have scattered, moving fish.  Locating them is crucial to consistent catches.

    Start at the mouth of the pocket and fish to the back with crankbaits, topwater and spinnerbaits. When you start catching fish, note the area of the pocket. Bass are likely to be in the same kinds of areas in other pockets.

     To catch bigger fish, stop and pick apart cover you find on the way into the pockets.  If you catch some fish near it, more and bigger fish are probably holding in the cover.  Docks offer a variety of things bass like, and they can be key.

    Many docks lining a bank going into the spawning pocket may look good, and you can catch fish by working them, but it can be a slow process.  The fish will be scattered among the docks.  A single dock along a bank concentrates the fish and is much easier to fish.

    Docks offer shade, cover and a good feeding area.  (for bass and crappie) Floating docks give shade, their floats will warm from the sun and warm the water around them a little, often making a big difference.  Cables for the floating docks are used as feeding cover for bass.

    Docks with posts are even better, with the shade, but the post offer vertical cover from the bottom to the top.  And the posts are sometimes set in concrete, so the bottom around the post will be hard, often uneven, and attract baitfish and crawfish.  The posts will have algae growing on them and baitfish feed on it, so they are a great feeding place.

    Many docks have the added advantage of brush piles under and around them.