During April, I like to fish the Columbus Pool of the Tombigbee River because that's when the bass usually spawn there. The bass stay very shallow, and are really accessible this month. You often can catch a nice string of good-sized bass in April at Columbus. They will be holding in all the backwater areas and around the banks.

Some of these bass will be spawning on stumps as well as the bottom. But you'll locate most of them around logs and patches of old grass. I like to fish the cypress ponds where the water's clearing, so I can see the bass better.

I primarily fish three baits for April's bedding bass - Mann's HardNose Flippin' Craw, Mann's HardNose Wonder Worm and Mann's HardNose Tube.

The Mann's HardNose Flippin' Craw is a 3-inch plastic crawfish, and I like the black/red color. I'll put a 1/4-ounce slip sinker in front of the hook, and fish with a No. 5 Gamakatsu wide-gap hook on 30-pound-test Stren Sonic Braid line.

If you're fishing a spinning rod, you'll use the same set-up, except you'll use 10-pound-test fluorocarbon line. If the bass are really finicky, and they won't bite that HardNose Flippin' Craw on the braided line, pitch that same bait into the bed on the 10-pound-test fluorocarbon on a spinning rod.

If these April bass won't take the Flippin' Craw, I'll cast back to them with the HardNose red flake Wonder Worm, using no weight. Often, I'll rig it wacky style, and fish with a spinning rod. Instead of putting my hook through the Wonder Worm in the center of the worm, I'll slide a rubber O-ring down to what looks like a sack, about 3 inches down the worm, and put a No. 2 Gamakatsu hook between the O-ring and the worm. I'll make long casts on spinning tackle with that Wonder Worm to places where I've seen a bass move, or I've perhaps spooked a bass as I've approached the area. I use the Wacky Worm as my long-distance lure to cast to skittish bass holding on the bed.

I like to put the hook through the O-ring instead of through the worm itself because going through the O-ring gives you more bite on the hook than you'll have if you put the hook through the worm. When a fish bites the Wonder Worm, I've got the full shank of the hook in the fish's jaw, rather than only the portion that's sticking out of the worm.

If I can't catch the bedding bass on the Flippin' Craw or the Wonder Worm, I fish the Mann's HardNose Tube in the green-pumpkin color. I'll put a 1/4-ounce weight ahead of the tube, and rig the tube on 15-pound-test fluorocarbon line. I'll use a Pinnacle high-speed reel and a 7-foot medium-heavy Pinnacle rod.

If I can't get the female bass to bite the Craw, I'll use that green-pumpkin tube. If you cast to a bedding fish four or five times with the same lure, and the bass doesn't eat that lure, cast back to the fish with a different type of lure. That bass may immediately take the new lure you've pitched in the bed. So I use all three of these baits on bedding bass at Columbus Pool this month.

Downstream at the Aliceville Pool, you'll often find bigger bedding bass, but on the Columbus Pool, the fish will weigh from 2-3 pounds. Every now and then, you'll see a 5- to 7-pounder. This month I expect to catch 15-20 of those Columbus Pool bass, and will be tickled to death to have a few 5- to 6-pound bass in that day of fishing.


Paul Elias has started offering in-depth fishing lessons on Lake Eddins, located in Pachuta, where he lives. For more information, visit www.indepthfishinglessons.com.