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Dial-In Prespawn Bass Now

2024 Classic 4th place finisher, Jay Przekurat, shares tips for more early spring bass

Muskegon, MI – 24-year-old Wisconsin-based tournament bass pro, Jay Przekurat, finished fourth at the recent 2024 Bassmaster Classic on Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees near Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“Even though it was getting chilly, I was finding fish on pea gravel that were probably getting ready or already on the spawn,” recalls Przekurat.

But waters north of Tulsa, Oklahoma, have seen weather shift from cold to warm, warm to cold, meaning largemouth bass are probably in pre-pre to prespawn in a lot of other lakes and reservoirs right now. That being the case, we pinged the top-finishing pro to ask his advice for locating and catching prespawn fish (where legal). 

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Water Temperature

“To catch prespawn bass, the first thing you want to look for the water to hit the mid- to upper-50s. Anything below 50 degrees is a bit different. But 55-degree water is typically full-on prespawn,” says Przekurat. 

Lake Topography 

The second factor Przekurat pays close attention to on his mapping are the “flatter parts” of the lake; “areas that aren’t super steep.” 

“I’m looking for places where points come way out and there’s a lot of flat bottoms, which is less water to work with, but the water warms up on these spots quicker. There’s not as much bottom and water, so the water temps can be ideal earlier for staging, prespawn bass,” notes Przekurat.

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Isolated Structure

Przekurat also keeps his eyes open for isolated structure, his second tip for locating prespawn bass. “I’m looking for an isolated brush pile, grass clump, dock, boulder—anything that stands out in an area with flat bottom—which could be a large area or flat of the same depth range.” 

He says it can really depend on what lake or reservoir you’re on, but prespawn bass will pull up on isolated structure as ambush feeding spots and probably because the cover can warm up the water a little bit around it. 

“Let’s say the over is in that 5- to 12-foot range,” says Przekurat. “before the bass push up into the super shallow water and spawn, they’re looking for warmer water, whether that’s a small flat off a point or isolated structure along a larger flat. They need three things: warm water, flatter areas and pockets, and sometimes cover.”

And he says sometimes it can be on the main lake, too, not necessarily in a pocket, bay, or cove—as long as it’s flat. Also, he says the cover can be stuff underwater you can’t always see with the naked eye—structure just off the bank of the main lake, too – or backwaters.

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The Right Prespawn Presentations

Speaking to avid (but serious) bass anglers not necessarily fishing tournaments where it’s common to have a dozen or more rods rigged, he distills his presentations down to three rods and reels (in his case, Lew’s gear), each with a must-have prespawn bait.

“If I was going out fun fishing with just three rods on deck, I’d have a jig; a jerkbait; and some kind of moving bait, either a spinnerbait of ChatterBait,” shares Przekurat.

“I generally have those three baits tied on. The first step would be using the jerkbait just to see what kind of mood the bass are in. Once I know how aggressively they’re reacting, I can dial in my presentation to their mood.”

He adds that if it’s super windy he’s generally throwing the jerkbait, spinnerbait, or ChatterBait. But if it’s calm, he’ll pick up a jig and work it slowly around isolated cover if current and wave action isn’t at play.

Jay is known for his prowess with a jig, so we had to ask what kind and color he recommends.

“I like the Strike King Structure Jig, either in 3/8- or ½-ounce, paired with a Strike King trailer. Color-wise, my confidence is in green pumpkin jig/trailer combos, but if the water’s dirty, I’ll fish black/blue. Really, though, I like the duller colors in spring. I’m more of a green pumpkin guy,” concludes Przekurat.

You heard it from one of the top bass tournament anglers in the world – four factors for more prespawn bass that coincide with his recent 4th Place at the BASSMASTER Classic on Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees. If that advice isn’t worth something, best just to stay home…

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