Here are the go-to baits as the water starts to warm.
As the days get longer and the mercury rises, the fish start biting. With the longer days comes warmer water and more fishing activity. Hit the water with the baits below and you’ll be sure to catch fish.
1. Wax Worms
I don’t care if you think live bait is cheating. Wax worms are a great bait for bream as the water starts to warm. Fish them on a casting bubble with a fly or drop them over deep weed beds.
2. Dry Fly Foam Spider
As those bream move shallow and closer to the surface dry flies are the most fun way to catch fish. No bull bluegill can resist the slow twitching legs of a floating dry fly spider. Personal Michigan preference, black spiders with white or hot pink legs.
3. Blakemore Roadrunner
You can’t fish it wrong as long as you fish it slow. This lure will catch almost anything. Bass, pike, crappie, and catfish can’t resist the allure of this lure. Cast it with a straight retrieve, jig it, or drop it off the side of the boat and jig it over a school. You will catch fish with this lure.
If you read the article about The Top 10 Bass Lures you probably noticed this one was missing. I made it a point to include it on this list. Nothing makes a spring night or morning like trolling with a jitterbug.
5. Rapala Husky Jerk
When going after sluggish fish you have to work hard for that bite. Slow rolling a husky jerk can trick a bass or pike into biting. If the slow and steady retrieve isn’t working then the imitation of a wounded bait fish will get the job done.
6. Mepps Inline Spinner
An inline spinner is one of the most versatile lures. You can pull it through a trout stream or pick up roaming perch. Increase the size of this lure and snag bass and pike.
7. Berkley Squarebull
Square bill crankbaits are great for when the water is colder and the fish don’t want to work hard. I like to use this as a locator bait to find schooling bass or perch. The key to this bait is smacking the bill on every piece of structure and rock you can find.
I love fishing this lure for deep cruising pike. The Rat-L-Trap will get bites from anything, crappie, bass, perch, whatever you are after this will work.
9. Night Crawlers
Live bait works. Drag it on the bottom for catfish, bass, giant bream. If you are located in the South or where the water is warmer skip the wax worms and use night crawlers. The green ones are the best.
10. Dardevle Spoons
Spoons are another versatile bait. While I prefer to use them for trolling for salmon, trout, and pike it isn’t limited to those species. Just switch out colors until you get bite.
11. Rapala Clackin’ Crank
Noisy lures catch lazy fish. With a unique action and a clack that will spark the interest of any predator. This is a great locator bait for finding schools of fish.
12. Rapala Down Deep Husky Jerk
This is the walleye trolling bait. Lake Eerie walleye fall for this bait trolled past them every time. Even when being cast it’s effective.
13. Pheasant Tail Nymph
I’m still new to fly fishing for trout and this fly is invaluable.This matches a hatch pretty much year round. Many a trout has fallen to this fly pattern.
14. Smithwick Rattlin’ Rogue
Big profile, big toothy fish. This bait is perfect for fishing the warmer spring waters for musky and pike. Run it around sunny weed beds with access to deep water and watch your pole bend.
I don’t know why they work but they do. Throw one under a float for great lakes perch, trout, and salmon. This bait is just as effective on your smaller bodies of water and salt water.