Prespawn congregates big numbers of hungry fish in staging areas outside spawning flats, right? So why is it we might score a flurry of bites, only to have the action suddenly end?
Assuming no dramatic weather shifts, your first consideration would be bait choice. Maybe they’re tired of that noisy crankbait and you need to tone it down with a silent or single-knocker model. Color can also factor, as well as line size.
Maybe you’re not throwing the wrong bait; maybe you’re throwing it in the wrong place. Bass pro Gary Klein said you can’t overstate the importance of understanding the fish’s realm.
“Your electronics are your eyes to the underwater world of the fish,” he said. “I don’t care if I’m flipping or fishing out deep, I’m always looking at my electronics. Not only am I trying to observe what’s going on below the boat, I’m using my electronics to position the boat for my cast.
“If I’m cranking or anything like that, angles are everything, and I love to fish uphill. I’m always trying to position my boat according to contour changes and angles.”
As Klein points out, it’s easy to forget when you’re getting bites, but constant awareness is the key to consistency. Remember, prespawn bass are marching along well-defined courses, so if you zig when the fish zag, you’ll be fishing barren water.
“You can go down a bank and get 10 bites and you look in front of you and think, ‘I’m going to get 100 bites by the time I get to the back of this thing,’ but you quit getting bites,” Klein said. “It could be because that channel swung off the bank, and now you’re up on the flat and the water there is still 52 degrees.
“Those fish are out there where that channel swings by that bank where they can come up shallow, but they’re not fully committed to that shallow flat stuff yet.”
Bottom line: Don’t assume consistency; earn consistency.