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Bassin on Reelfoot - Pre Spawn

 I got to sit down and talk to fishing guide Jeremy Seals about the keys to catching bass on Reelfoot and particularly to catching pre spawn bass. Even though the spawn has almost started now with the last few days of warm weather, we thought this info might be helpful.

 First of all Bass fishing on Reelfoot is almost always a shallow sport and Bass fishing in water over 10 feet deep is the exception to the rule. With the deepest water on Reelfoot being just over 20 feet, it makes for plenty of prime shallow water bassin habitat.

  In early spring, You can often find Bass congregating around the downstream end of the ditches where large groups of baitfish are schooling. Many people don't realize it, but there is a significant flow of water through the ditches, especially in the high water conditions that accompany spring rains. Shad and minnows will often be found on the downstream end (usually the south end) and where there are baitfish there are bass.

 The lily pad stems on the upper end of the lake are also one of the best places to find pre spawn bass. The first bass moving in to the spawning areas can often be found in and around these stems in 3 to 5 feet of water. Locate the stems and you've got a good chance.

 Let's talk about some of the preferred baits that Jeremy uses for Reelfoot Bass fishing.

 Texas Rigged Plastic Worms and Lizards - probably the most used bait in all of bass fishing and here at Reelfoot is no exception. It's snag resistant design allows you to fish the many thick and tangled areas that bass love. Colors that are popular are shad or black and blue.

 Spinnerbaits - maybe Reelfoot's number one bass catching lure, these baits are perfectly made for fishing Reelfoot's many stumps. White and or chartreuse are the colors of choice, with white having the edge in clear water and chartreuse working better in stained or muddy water. Copper blades are the most popular, especially in the murkier water. Jeremy fishes white spinnerbaits most often, but says that sometimes chartreuse will produce bigger fish for some unknown reason.

 Rat-L-Trap - this bait is one of the best locater baits that there is. It emits a very loud rattling sound and can sometimes provoke early season bass into biting. It is also good because you can cover a big area to find where the fish are located and then come back with a worm or other lure to cover the area more thoroughly.

 A somewhat newer bait that has really worked well on Reelfoot is a shallow diving crankbait called a Swim'n Image. It's got a short lip, a paint job that really sparkles and emits a rattling sound, kind of like the rattle trap, but not as loud. Here's a photo to give you an idea. They are made by excalibur and designed by the man himself, Bill Dance.


 Another fact that Jeremy pointed out is that Blue is an all around good color for fishing Reelfoot. Whether it's crankbaits, worms or jigs, blue just seems to work better than most.

 On a final note, remember that pre spawn conditions often mean colder water and sluggish fish. Slowing down your presentation can mean all the difference this time of year. Don't get in a hurry.


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