chunk rock to sand, these are stopping spots where fish can pause and feed en route to the spawning grounds.
The choice here is a Strike King Series 3 crankbait in crawdad color. Burning down the bank, Smith’s simply trying to make bottom contact to mimic something a hungry pre- spawner seeks.
CONDITIONS AND CONSIDERATIONS
Early spring can be volatile
and Smith does his best to
leverage the productive weather
periods. “I like the nastier days,
the days where you get a good
storm to get the fish moving
around,” he said. “I’m not talking
about the cold storms; rather, the
Pineapple Express storms, or a
steady warming trend with a little
“Cold fronts set the fish back
so far that when the temperature
drops into the 30s, I’ll sleep in
and put all my effort into the
afternoon. I’ll just wait it out and I
usually catch my best fish later in
Calling pre-spawn fishing a moving target, Smith warns against getting caught in a tunnel vision mindset. Weather will keep this game dynamic, so expect fish behavior and location to change from day to day.
Smith’s advice: “If you keep an open mind, you’ll catch them quicker than chasing ghosts.” •