Here comes the bass!

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Kevin VanDam

Kevin VanDam

In the world of professional bass fishing, Kevin VanDam is at the pinnacle and arguably the best in the world.

The nasty, nationwide weather is making a change for the better and bass fishing is about to go crazy.

For most of the country, we’re heading into one of the best fishing weeks of the spring season.

How do I know? Just look at the conditions.

First, most of the country’s lakes are lagging way behind the spawning season. The weather has been yo-yoing back and forth; it was 40 degrees or less for most of the country this past week and we’re almost into May.

Yet, that’s changing today, and we’ll hit 70 or more; and in Michigan, we’ll see 70s for the first time since last year. This weather will melt the frozen lakes of the far north, and the south is going to see stable conditions that always lead to better spring fishing.

Secondly, we’re leaving a full moon phase and the fish are in that spawning mode. Those that aren’t in the spawning areas will be there in the next day or so. They’re going to be prowling the shallows, the pockets and backs of the creeks. That’s where they want to be.

I saw it coming two weeks ago while I was doing a media event on Table Rock Lake. It was cold and blustery but then it got calm and started to warm up. While we struggled to catch fish under the tough conditions when the weather was bad, as soon as the weather warmed up slightly I caught an 8-12 off a bed in 52-degree water and a couple of 5s!

That tells you just how the time of year is more important than all other factors, including water temperature and moon phase. Anglers tend to put too much stock in water temperature; while rising water temperatures certainly help, the fish want to be up there no matter what.

Make no mistake about it; the full moon drives bass to the beds under stable conditions. But without stability, they’re still going be close and ready to go when the days get longer.

It’s kind of like the whitetail deer rut. The longer days tell the deer it’s time to mate. For fish, longer days push them towards spawning flats because that’s what they need to be doing despite the colder water.

Those experiences at Table Rock gave me an inclination that a lot of fish would be shallow at the Bull Shoals Elite event the next week.

I was right, except I expected them to be a little farther ahead than conditions warranted.

The bad weather wasn’t right for them to spawn. The bass were up there swimming around and starting to make beds, but they weren’t fully committed.

I believe this week they will be committed throughout the south.

In Deep South lakes, they’re probably locking down on beds. But even if the big females have dropped their eggs, they haven’t moved too far away from those spawning areas.

In northern climates, they’ll be in the prespawn mode and either on or very near those spawning flats.

That means you can focus on those shallow places because that’s where all the fish are going to be.

If your forecast is calling for warm, stable weather like most of the nation this coming week, it might be a good time to burn some of those vacation days and go fishin’!

Remember, it’s all about the attitude!

Kevin VanDam's column appears weekly on Bassmaster.com. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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