First bass of 2024!

First bass of 2024!

Jerkbaits and Spinnerbaits Shine in Spring's Fury

Yesterday's trip to a local lake was the one I've been waiting for for a few months now, resulting in my first bass of 2024! I usually fish rivers around the Portland, OR metro area, but lately those have not been in shape when I've been able to fish. The weather certainly lived up to its unpredictable spring reputation. We battled heavy rain and wind gusts in the morning, only to see the skies crack open with sunshine later in the day – all while the water temperature hovered around a chilly 45 degrees. But hey, that's what makes fishing exciting, right? And speaking of exciting, the bass were finally (for me) on the bite.

Double Bass on Different Baits

First bass of 2024

After trolling for trout in the morning while the weather worked itself out (caught a couple trolling Rainbow Berkley PowerBait® Power Nuggets® , by the way), I managed to snag two nice largemouth bass in the middle of the day. The first fish fell for a classic – a Megabass Ito Vision 110 Jerkbait in GP Pro Blue. We don't yet carry these specific baits (they are spendy, though they work well), but we will be getting a stock of KVD Strike King jerkbaits in the following week that will catch you fish. After a few moderate to soft jerks followed by a decently long pause, I felt that unmistakable inhale that I had been waiting for all winter! It seems even in the cold water, a jerkbait with the right presentation can trigger a strike.

My second bass came courtesy of a 1/2 oz Berkley Power® Blade Compact spinnerbait in Hot Slaw color, with the thumping combo and flash of dual Gold and Silver Colorado blades. To downsize the profile for the colder water, I added a trimmed-down 3.5-inch Berkley PowerBait® PowerStinger in Watermelon Copper/Orange w/Red. This combo proved irresistible, with the second fish ambushing the bait near some grass beds in about 10 feet of water. I lost a third on the same bait, in the same conditions. I must still need to shake off the winter rust!

Bass with bait in mouth.

Spring Weather Brings Fickle Fish

The ever-changing weather definitely seemed to impact the bite. While the bass were present, their activity level fluctuated with the sunshine and rain. Patience and adapting presentations were key throughout the day.

Overall, yesterday's trip was a great reminder that late-winter/early-spring fishing can be a fun challenge. Be prepared for anything weather-wise, and don't be afraid to experiment with different bait presentations to find what the fish want. Tight lines!

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