The surface temperatures on our area lakes have been fluctuating a lot over the last two weeks. One day you may get readings in the shallows in the low to mid 50’s. Then a few days later surface temperatures may rise to around 60°F. This brings the bass shallow. Then another cold front hits and the surface temperatures plummet to about 50°F. These wildly changing temperatures do affect the bass.
The only lakes or areas that remain fairly stable are the ones that are completely protected from any water movement from wind, waves and current. Whenever you find moving water it will mix, and this means it stays cooler longer.
But, on the other hand, if there is no mixture, water will warm up faster from sunlight. This is what will attract the early spawning bass.
The calmest, most sheltered areas on the lake always warm up faster than everywhere else. Look for narrow cover that runs east and west. To do this you have to spend a lot of time with maps and on the lake exploring. This is especially true on the larger lakes like Lake Fork, Toledo Bend or Rayburn. If the water is clear you can actually see the bass on beds. If the water is dingy you have to move around a lot and make lots of casts.
This time of year I usually prefer lizards, Sienkos or creature baits. Bass are still a little lethargic, and you have to slow down a lot.
Most of the lakes I’m fishing now still have bass staging just outside of the spawning area. I’ve heard some fishermen say they fished for several hours without a bite or they only caught one or two bass. Any time you fish the bank for two or three hours without a bite, it’s time to back off and target the five to eight-foot depths.