Some lakes have huge flats that are home to tons of smallmouth bass early in the year.  For example, there are many bays on the Great Lakes that have huge flats with water in the 2 to 8 foot range.  Smallmouth bass move onto these flats early in the season as water temperatures warm up into the mid 50s and lower 60s.  Fish these areas from pre-spawn through post-spawn and you can experience some awesome fishing.

On smaller bodies of water, you won’t have the same areas to fish in terms of size, but you will find areas with flats and the same thing applies on the smaller lakes as well.  Fish the flats early in the year as water temperatures warm up and bass go through the 3 spawning phases.

Spring is Prime Time

Fishing the flats can be just as productive as fishing the drop-offs for smallmouth bass, however, it is all about timing.  During the spring, smallmouth bass will come onto the flats in bays and along shorelines to get ready to spawn.  If you can get out and fish during this time of year, the fishing can be flat out awesome.

Cover Some Water

Because the flats can be huge areas of water, it is essential to cover water quickly and find active fish.  To cover water quickly, you’re going to want to use baits that you can wind in with a steady retrieve.  Try swimming grubs, ringworms, swimming worms and smaller swimbaits on these flats.  Rigged on a jighead or your favorite soft plastic rigs, you can keep your baits just above the rocks and out of the snags.

Sight Fish the Flats in the Spring

If you are fishing in clear water, the sight fishing can be unbelievable during this time of year.  Get out when the sun is up and start looking for active bass.  Keeping the sun behind you is essential is seeing more fish and keeping them from seeing you.

Make Long Casts

Since you are fishing shallow water, longer casts are so important to catching more fish.  You can always catch some fish by getting up on top of them and sight fishing them, however, you’re going to spook a lot of fish this way.  If you can find a good flat that is holding fish, you can catch a lot more fish by staying as far away from them as possible.