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Captain's corner

By LENNY CRISPINO

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 7, 2001


Spring fishing is variety time. As the water warms, bass become active and aggressive, chasing just about any lure thrown.

This time of year, always have several rods rigged. In spring, begin with a rattling crankbait or popping topwater in 3-5 feet of water. The bass actively feed in this depth so work the bait quickly and cover water. Good color choices resemble the bait fish (shad); silver, silver/blue and bone colors work.

As the sun comes up, move to 5-8 feet. Look for submerged grass. If you don't have a depthfinder, feel for grass with artificial baits. A crankbait or spinnerbait is excellent to find grass and bass. Once you locate these beds, work them thoroughly with a spinnerbait. Retrieve the bait slowly enough to maintain contact with the grass bottom (known as slow rolling). If you feel anything different, set the hook. A big bass will often come to the bait, open its mouth, pull water through its gills and inhale the bait, which can be hard to detect.

Use a Florida rigged worm and slowly work the grass bed with your rod tip and a tight line. If you're in dark water, use dark worms; in clear water, use translucent colors. As with the spinnerbait, if you feel anything different, set the hook. Last year around this time, one client set the hook on a line twitch and was surprised by a bass that weighed 10 pounds, 4 ounces.

- Lenny Crispino guides on Lake Tarpon. Call (727) 938-2379.

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