Spring Fever

Jeff and Jess Patton show off some beautiful Percy Priest Lake bass.

Even though March can be a great time to fish, sometimes spring doesn’t arrive as early as we would like, pushing some of the best fishing back a few weeks into April. For those anglers who were reluctant to face the cooler temperatures in March, no problem; April often offers the best fishing that the season has to offer. 

For those who are pursuing bass during April, finding water that is just a degree or two warmer than the rest of the lake can often produce huge results. Knowing that pre-spawn bass will be looking for the warmest part of the lake will send most anglers into feeder creeks where the waters will warm faster. This isn’t always a bad idea; I have personally had great success doing just this. But if I am looking to give myself a slight edge, I will sometimes target shallow pockets along the main lake where fish will move into spawn. These smaller areas are often overlooked by anglers, but they occasionally offer some of the best fishing, with the least amount of competition. 

Small pockets with gravel bottoms along the southern edge of any lake will warm slightly quicker and bass will move up into these areas to spawn. My lure of choice for this type of scenario is a Carolina rigged 6- or 8-inch lizard in a watermelon seed with red flake. As water temperatures get into the mid-60s, some fish will move into just a foot or two of water and commit to their bedding sight. After fishing some of the deeper areas of a pocket, it’s never a bad idea to move right up onto the bank and search for these bedding fish. A good pair of polarized glasses will give you a lot better look down into the water if you are looking for bedding fish. 

It can sometimes test your patience when trying to make a bedded fish bite. It can take a lot of casts in order to catch a bedded bass, but there is often a sense of personal pride in accomplishing this feat, despite the size of the fish. This type of pattern will last up until the water reaches the lower 70s. 

It is important to remember to factor in all the conditions around you to predict the best way to fish. The angler who gets caught in a single mindset of where to fish and with what type of lure will often leave the water frustrated. The most successful anglers are those who are dynamic and adjust to all the changes. 

If you have any questions about spring fishing or would like to book a trip with me, please feel free to give me a call anytime at (615) 278-6311. You can also check us out at briancarper.com to see our daily catches and updated fishing reports. 

Good luck and God bless!


About the Author

Brian Carper is a local fishing guide working Percy Priest and Old Hickory lakes. For any questions on fishing, contact him at (615) 278-6311 or brian@briancarper.com.

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