Early Vs Late Spring with Brandon Card by Tyler Brinks

Bass shallow and deep through the spring



C T ard

he four seasons are part of our yearly routine,

and each has unique weather characteristics

no matter where you live. But, when it comes to bass fishing, there are many more seasons involved

as the year moves along. The differences between early

and late spring are stark, and that all has to do with three

mini-seasons: pre-spawn, the spawn, and post-spawn.

Bassmaster Elite Series angler Brandon Card tackles

each of these segments of the calendar differently and

also changes his approach based on the lake type. Here

is a look at how he approaches fishing early in the year.


In the simplest of terms, Card likes to target shallow water before and during the spawn and deeper water after the bass finish their yearly routine.

“Lake type is a factor, but mainly I am looking for shallow, rocky areas before they spawn,” said Card. “I am going to be looking to cover water early in the pre-spawn and look for active fish in dingier water.”

After the spawn, Card says his first choice is to fish water around 10-feet of water.

“In my experience, that is the first place they pull out to,” he said.

These are the generalities for his approach, but many factors change how he approaches spring bass fishing.


When asked for his top early spring lure, Card didn’t hesitate and named a squarebill crankbait, because it allows him to fish as fast as he possibly can to look for active bass.

“I like to fish it around flatter rocky points because they warm up faster,” said Card, who said the Yo-Zuri 3DB Series Squarebill is his top pick, but he will also mix in a shad-profile crankbait like the Duel Hardcore Shad.

Another productive lure is the jerkbait, which is no secret when it comes to pre-spawn bass fishing.

“I fish it in similar areas as the square bill: rocks, riprap, and points,” said Card. “If it is a grassy lake, I’ll be fishing it over the top of grass. No matter what kind of lake it is, finding baitfish is a key.”

He prefers a Duel Flat Minnow 110 and varies his cadence as it gets closer to the spawn.

“It varies day-to-day and on the conditions, but normally I will start fishing it faster and with shorter pauses, as it gets closer to the spawn,” shared Card. “The jerkbait is one of the most versatile baits this time of year because you can also fish it around docks and anything else you come across.”

When fishing a grassy lake before the bass spawn, Card also likes to fish a lipless crankbait, and like a jerkbait, he varies his cadence.

“One of the first things to figure out is the cadence they want. It could be a ‘yo-yo,’ ripping through the grass, or just ticking the top of it,” said Card, who also varies his bait size between a 3/16- and 3/4-ounce Yo-Zuri Rattl’n Vibe.

“The lipless is doing the same thing that the square bill is doing and making contact with the grass, but you can fish it at any depth.”

Once this mini-season of early spring and the post- spawn wrap up, the bass will spawn, and any number of techniques can put fish in the boat. Once that is done, Card heads to deeper water.


Card prefaced his discussion with the fact that he prefers to head deep but doesn’t forget about shallow water.

“There are always going to be some fish that stay shallow, but I like fishing a little deeper because that is


Spring 2020