Starting in March and April you will have some of the best fishing days at Lake Havasu, Ariz. The water is warming and the smallmouth are staging and some will be already spawning. The largemouth will be on the pre spawn pattern in March. Normally the largemouth will be right in the spawn by the end of March. When traveling to Lake Havasu in the early spring, you need to start in the bays off the river. This is where you need to start looking for spawning activity such as beds being polished.
You can go into a bay one day and everything will look normal. You can go back the next day and see polished beds. I have found that generally smallmouth and largemouth make their beds at night. But, just because one day there aren’t any beds in one area, don’t discount a good spawning area, because the next day there could be beds that were made during the night.
As the water continues to warm as we get further into spring, the spawning activity in the lake should be starting. When fishing the lake, you want to look for the protected coves that warm up quickly that have shallow cover such as grass, cages, tules and so forth. Generally, the spawn will start going off in the Bill Williams and main lake first and then move through the narrows of the lake.
A good place to start looking for beds is in all the protected areas with cover in the lake. If these are void of beds and the fish have not started setting up home yet, they will be staging in the deeper cages and ledges leading to the spawning areas. Around these areas, when the bass are staging off shore, I love throwing ¼- or 3/8-oz jig in browns, purples, and greens dressed with a Yamamoto double tail 4 or 5-inch size, chigger craw, and a #11, 101 pork frog.
Be sure to fish the shorelines that are facing the warm, westerly winds and have a lot of sunshine all day long. These will be the ones that go off first. If you have located an area where they have just started beds and are not locked on, and a storm front moves in, the bass will move off and be a little deeper below the light breaks. They won’t go far. Just fish a little deeper and slower generally with jigs, drop shot, and nail-weighted Senkos.
By the time we get to April, the spawn should be in full swing for smallmouth and largemouth. You should have some of the best and greatest fishing days of the year at Lake Havasu.
In March of 2010, I weighed in 26.62-lbs for five fish setting the WON Bass Record at Lake Havasu. Also, I broke the two-day record of 43.38-lbs. My biggest fish was an 8.67 largemouth. In the same tournament Jeff Klicka weighed in an 8.29 lb largemouth. In March of 2011, Shaun Bailey broke my two-day, ten fish total, weighing in 43.61 lbs. The first day of that tournament he weighed in a 9.50-lb largemouth. You can expect to weigh a 20-plus lb bag in the months of March and April. As we start getting into post spawn, the weights will start dropping.
My favorite baits that I like to use this time of the year are drop shotting a four and six-inch Folkestad Special, Oxblood light, and Kerrlicious all made by Roboworm.
When using a slide sinker, especially around heavy cover and cages, I like to peg the sinker and use a 10-inchTami’s Rock’n Roller made by Maverick.
I also use the Yamamoto Senkos in the five and six-inch in browns and green colors. I like to fish the Senkos wacky-rigged and weightless in the shallow water. If I’m fishing it a little deeper, I will put a nail in the nose.
Small crank plugs in crawdad and shad colors are very effective at times. The ones I like are made by Jackall and Lucky Craft.
I use spinnerbaits in shad colors, and always combine a stinger hook . Generally, using a medium to slow retrieve bouncing it off the bottom or objects will entice some GIANT bass to engulf the spinnerbait.
And, don’t forget your tubes and jerk baits. My favorite tube color is the Klicka Special and Old Ugly. My favorite jerk bait color is Lucky Craft sexy shad.
I use a 7’ Daiwa spinning rod with a Daiwa 2000 spinning reel with 6-lb test Seaguar Fluorocarbon line. Sometimes, I will use 30 lb Samurai braid marrying it with 6-lb test Seaguar Fluorocarbon. On my Daiwa baitcasters, I use a 7’ Daiwa baitcasting rod and reel and the Seaguar Fluorocarbon can vary from 10- to 20-lb test.