The prespawn bass at Bay Springs Lake on the Tenn-Tom Waterway will be moving into shallow water to bed now. Throughout April, you can catch smallmouth, largemouth and spotted bass in three lake locations with four different lures: a Mann’s Classic spinnerbait, a jerkbait, a bladed jig and a SpringR worm.
Main lake points at the first of April
At the beginning of April, the first locations I’ll fish are main lake points, since bass will be migrating from deep water to the points before moving shallower.
- Jerkbait – I’ll start fishing the bank with a jerkbait that dives 6 feet deep and then suspends, generally in a color called Table Rock that features a purple back, bone colored sides and an orange belly. I like a 6’6” medium action FX custom rod with a 7.3:1 ELS Bruin reel and 8 ½-pound test White Peacock fluorcocarbon line. I’ll fish 50 yards above a point, all the way around a point and 50 yards below a point.
Some of these points will have grass, stumps and/or gravel on them. On the gravel points, you’re more likely to catch smallmouth rather than largemouth or spotted bass. The points with underwater grass that grows up to 3-4 feet from the surface or have stumps on them are where you’ll find all three bass species.
When fishing the jerkbait, let the bass tell you what presentation they like best. I’ll start off fishing a jerkbait fairly fast, pausing it occasionally. Because we’re fishing in April with water not as cold as March’s, the bass will be more aggressive.
- Classic Spinnerbait – I’ll next slowly roll this spinnerbait with a white and chartreuse skirt and one gold and one silver willowleaf blade on the shaft over the tops of the grass and around the stumps, using the same system I did with the jerkbait. I fish this spinnerbait with an ELS Bruin 6.2:1 reel, a 6’10” heavy action FX custom rod and 14 pound fluorocarbon line. I’ll make my second pass with the Classic and then next fish that same point with a bladed jig.
- Bladed Jig – I like a ½-ounce green pumpkin colored bladed jig that I’ll cast on 19 pound fluorocarbon with the same reel I use with a jerkbait and a 7’6” medium heavy action FX Custom Cranking rod.
Creeks running into the main lake in mid-April
During the middle of April, the bass will travel to the creeks on the main river channel and the bays that flow into the river channel. I’ll fish with the same rod, reel, line and lures at the points of the creeks running into the main lake and the points of the bays on the main lake. I’ll fish around any visible stumps or laydowns I find with those same lures. If any grass lines are present, I’ll fish also where two creeks meet and make a point or in points inside of the pockets off the main lake.
Backs of creeks and pockets at the end of April
At the end of April, the bass will move further up into the backs of creeks and pockets. If there’s clear water, you probably can fish for bedding bass by sight fishing. For sight fishing, I prefer a green pumpkin SpringR worm, hooked wacky style, with a Gamakatsu wide gap wacky finesse hook. I like spinning tackle and will have my reel spooled with 10 pound bass braid that I’ve tied 6-8 feet of 8 ½ -pound fluorocarbon leader to with a uni knot. I’ll cast the SpringR worm to visible bedding bass, stumps, grass clumps or any other spots where I think bass may be bedding. In the backs of these creeks, you’ll catch more largemouths than spots or smallmouths. In the pockets off the main lake, you’ll catch more bedding spots and smallmouths than largemouths.
Sizes of April bass you may catch
During April, you’ll catch numbers of male bass weighing 1 ½ to 2 ½ pounds. In a day, you may catch 10-15 male bass and 8-10 females, weighing 5-7 pounds each. In my opinion, Bay Springs Lake is the best April bassing lake in Mississippi. The bass are easy to find because they’re shallow. The lures I’ve described and the techniques I’ve suggested always have produced good days of April bassing at Bay Springs Lake.