Spring fishing can be the best time of year to fish, but also the most challenging. Based on weather conditions, water temperature and spawning the fish will be changing their response to feeding and relocating their habitat. As the water temperature warms the fish will want to move out of deep water and toward shore, bays, and rivers to spawn. At this time of the year the fish can be caught very easily as they move up onto the spawn beds (hard stone, gravel bottoms and away from mud). This is where they will lay their eggs.
Be aware that fishing the spawn beds is illegal in some states, and you will want to check with your local Department of Fish and Wildlife for the local rules and regulations regarding spring fishing. Even if it is legal to fish the spawn beds it is an ideal and recommended time to ‘catch and release.’ Make sure to release the fish in the area you caught them and they will naturally return to the spawn beds.
If a sudden cold snap comes in the fish will stop biting. This will be a time for finesse fishing. Finesse fishing calls for very small bait (3-4 inch plastic worms), and keep the bait in the strike zone. Fast moving baits will not work, and you will have to be smart, as well as, patient to be successful.
This general fishing methodology will apply to all species of fish. Salmon are best caught at the mouth of the rivers because the farther they move up rivers the less likely they are to feed, and thusly, the quality of the meat goes down. You will have to change your strategies somewhat for the species of fish, but overall the two main points you will want to remember are: fish with smaller baits and use slower techniques. You can only move to larger baits and quicker techniques as the weather, and water warms. Happy spring and happy fishing.