brandon card on spring conditions

springtime depths can vary

Spring 2020


where the groups of fish are going to be,” he said. “Rocky lakes and grassy lakes both usually have a good offshore bite right after they spawn.”

Hard baits heavily represent his late spring bait selection, and three of his best are two different topwater and a big walking topwater bait.

“My first choice is a Duel Hardcore Crank 3+ because it hits that 9- to 12-foot range, and that seems to be the first depth they head after they spawn,” said Card, who switches to a 4+ size of the same bait as fish move along to deeper water.

“That is after they have moved closer to humps, ledges, and other deeper structure. It doesn’t have to be a river ledge, just anything that is adjacent to a spawning area with a drop.”

While much of his time is spent with a deep crankbait in his hands, Card also keeps a topwater bait close by.



“I like both sizes of the Yo- Zuri 3DB Pencil, because they are big enough to draw fish from deeper water when they are chasing bait, and you can use that same bait up shallow,” he shared.

If he finds that the offshore bite is not strong that day for whatever reason, he will go shallow and cast to cover.

“The topwater bite can be an all-day deal, and sometimes you just have to lock in your hand and hit every piece of cover and shade you can find,” shared the Tennessee pro.

“Post-spawn bass are usually pretty aggressive when it comes to topwaters and almost always sitting tight to cover or shade. You can get into a groove with that bait, and you can get some pinpoint casts because it casts so well.” While he prefers to move quickly with a crankbait or topwater, he will slow down and use a few other techniques during this period.

“A swim jig is another good choice, and I will always spend some time flipping and pitching during late spring,” added Card.

When fishing early in the year, reaction baits allow Card to cover water and find active fish, no matter what phase of the spawn they are in. •