Everyone who has bass fever has experienced this, or just about everyone. You have a springtime bass trip planned for Lake Seminole in FL or Lake Guntersville in AL for the magic month in the spring when those giant females, swollen with eggs, are moving up behind the buck bass, staging on secondary points and drop offs, feeding up and getting ready for the spawn. Then you wake up the next morning to crisp, cold air temps in the 30's when it had stayed in the 50's and higher for the week or two before. We all know what this means, as most fisherman would say, "These fish have lockjaw today." Well those bass can be caught and until the water temperatures have time to adjust and cool off, you can catch them in those early spring patterns such as throwing crankbaits or lipless crankbaits in 8-12ft near spawning bays or working a crawfish pattern jigs around wood in those same depths near shallow spawning grounds. But after that first day, when the barometric pressure rises, and the blue bird sky's show up. That's when you have to work harder to put these fish in the boat.
Early spring time lunker caught in a brush pile in 12Ft on a Senko
Initially, after the cold front, the bass will be found in the backs of the creeks and bays near channel drops and wood piles where they can remain until the weather stabilizes. You can catch those on the above mentioned crankbaits and jigs worked slowly through those brush piles and channel drops. As the cold front hovers or moves over the bass can be found further towards the main lake and hunkering down tight to the wood or rock cover. If you just take the time to use your sonar, find some places outside your favorite spawning areas, you can find those creek channels, bends and drop offs that will hold these big lunker females that break your heart on an early cold spring day. Catching these fish will be tougher than the ones gorging themselves right before they move up because they were in that stage and now have had to adjust to the cold. They will bite but it usually takes some kind of reaction bite to make bass eat in this situation. A crankbait is perfect for this because it can be worked over rock and through wood, banging into the limbs and cause those big females to react to it by getting mad and slapping the lure. Sometimes it may take fifteen to twenty casts to the same brush pile to catch one, but often when one bites it can fire up the remaining school and make those fish eat also. So be quick to get your lure in the water and mark your waypoint, if possible, when you catch a big bass.
It's tough, but we can all put some big bass in the kayak or boat if we just put a little time into researching what and where you will be fishing so these springtime cold fronts won't shut you down. This big early spring spot was caught on a suspending super rogue by Smithwick, inside a slow eddy where the cold weather had forced the bass out of it's usual warm water spot. It is a testimony to what you can catch if you get out and still try when that cold weather rolls over you warm spring week.