Spring is here! Are you ready?

Spring is sneaking up on us real fast. I’m worried about my friends. A lot of them aren’t seeing it, and they’re going to pay a heavy price. It’ll be gone by the time they get started. Smallmouth don’t care about what the calendar says. They care about what Mother Nature tells them, and she’s saying spring is here.

My guess is that because of the mild winter and early spring, things are between two and three weeks in front of where they normally are in the second week of March. In most years we’d be talking about the full moon and the new moon in April. I’ve done that myself. It’s the way we’ve been taught to think. But this year we need to pay attention to the moon phases in March. That’s right now.

The full moon was yesterday. The new moon will be in another two weeks. That means the big smallies are looking for a bed today. Do not delay. Get out there and take advantage of what’s happening right now. Throw something at them. They’ll bite almost anything.

I’m getting good reports of catches on crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and even some jigs and plastics. Don’t worry about color. Just keep casting and catching.

The big thing is to fish in areas where they’ll be moving around and feeding. We’ve talked about that before, so I won’t repeat it here. If you don’t remember what I said about places to fish look at the last couple of columns. They’ll give you places to start.

Remember, too, that water temperature is critical. The important temperature is 55 degrees. When the water reaches that point they’ll spawn. That’s the way it’s been my whole life. It won’t change this year.

It might come at different times in different parts of the country, but it’s still going to be a few weeks early this year. If you wait, you’ll miss it. There is no better time to go smallmouth fishing than just before they move to the beds.

After this weekend they’ll be a slight — it won’t amount to much — slowdown in the action until the new moon comes into play. But that shouldn’t matter too much. They’ll still be biting real good. Stay on the water, follow their movements and you’ll do OK.

As you can tell, I’m really excited. This is the best time of the year in my opinion, and it’s one of the best years I can remember. I’m like a little kid in a toy store not knowing what to grab. Here in Tennessee the catches have been unbelievable. They’ll be the same way in your part of the country if you get on it.

For next week I’d like some of you to send in questions or tell me about things that you want to talk about. That’ll help keep things interesting. We’re all the same, anglers chasing smallmouth bass. The more we help each other the more of them we’ll catch.

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