Bass in the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway will be spawning during April. I'll be fishing Aliceville Lake on the Tenn-Tom Waterway because it holds plenty of big bass, and this month, you can catch spawning bass all day on buzz baits in shallow water.

You'll be able to catch three different types of bass this month - pre-spawn, spawn and post-spawn. I'll be fishing three baits. Primarily, I'll fish a buzz bait, then I'll back up the buzz bait with a Mann's Waker bait, and my fall-back bait will be a jig. I'll target shallow-water cover on or near the bank, like a stump, a small weed patch, lily-pad stems or trees in the water.

To catch the spawning bass this month, I'll make repeated casts to the same target. Some spawning bass will take buzz baits as soon as they start clacking near their beds. But other bass will have to be aggravated into biting, which is why you'll have to make seven or eight casts at the same target to get the fish to strike. Using this tactic, you'll catch the bass the fisherman who only throws one or two times at the target won't catch.

Fish a buzz bait

On a dark, overcast day, I prefer to cast a 1/4-ounce buzz bait with a silver blade, a black skirt and a black head. I may even have black blades on the buzz bait.

On bright days, I'll throw a white buzz bait. I'll be fishing that buzz bait on 20-pound-test Berkley fluorocarbon line on a Quantum 6-1/2-foot medium-heavy action PT rod with a Quantum PT 1170 baitcasting 7.0:1 gear-ratio reel, which keeps the buzz bait up.

Then you can reel the buzz bait much slower than you can with a 5:1 gear ratio to control the buzz bait better.

Throw a crankbait

Many times you'll have a bass come up and miss the buzz bait. Other times, the bass will move in the water, but they won't attack the buzz bait. That's when I throw a Mann's Waker crankbait, which has a small bill placed farther back in the body than it's located on most crankbaits. You can reel this bait as hard as you want, and it will hardly get below the surface, while simultaneously creating a big wake.

The bass haven't seen the Waker bait before, since it's new. Many times, they'll take these crankbaits when they won't take buzz baits. I like either the bluegill or the tilapia-colored Waker baits. Move the Waker bait when you fish it because you want the bait coming across the water pretty quickly on a steady retrieve.

Use a jig

If I can't get the bass to bite on top, I'll fish a jig. I prefer either a 1/2- or 3/8-ounce jig. I'll fish a 3/8-ounce jig when I'm flipping around sparse cover. But if I have to make that jig fall through branches or grass, I'll move up to the 1/2-ounce jig.

I'll be fishing a black/blue jig with a black/blue Mann's HardNose Craw for my trailer. I'll fish the jig in the same places where I've fished the Waker bait and the buzz bait. Any place I fish the Waker bait and the buzz bait, if there's wood under the water, like a stump or tree limb, I'll pitch that jig in there after I've fished the other two lures.

When I'm pitching a jig, I'll fish the jig on Stren Super Braid 30-pound-test line because this line has an extremely small diameter, yet it's super strong. For instance, the 30-pound-test line is the same diameter as 8-pound-test monofilament line. Many times the bass will wrap you up in the roots or the live timber, so that strong line will allow you to pull the bass up to the surface, even if you get hung up.

If you have a good day at Aliceville Lake, you'll catch and release 20-plus fish, with several in the 5- to 6-pound range, and you'll have plenty of bass weighing 2 to 4 pounds each.

When I'm fishing this lake, I try and get into as much backwater as I can. At this time of year, the milfoil will start coming up, so you'll find several areas in the lake with plenty of milfoil. Around the fresh growth of grass, the bass really will come after the buzz bait and the Mann's Waker bait.

However, to catch numbers of April bass on the Tenn-Tom, cover a lot of water. I'll fish every piece of cover that looks good in a day of fishing.