One of the reasons swimbaits are so effective in March is because bass will be in all stages of the spawn. Some will be on deeper ledges and secondary points waiting for the right time to move closer to shallow water. Others will have moved to docks at the mouths of pockets. At some point, these bass will all move into the shallows to build nests and spawn. After the spawn, fish will move back to the secondary points to recover before moving out to deeper water.

Throughout these stages, bass encounter pods of baitfish, no matter what depth or stage of the spawn. Swimbaits are very realistic, and an array of available colors and sizes makes it easy to match resident forage They are also easy to swim in every level of the water column, so anglers can cast the same lures — and catch fish on those same lures — in deep, open water, on secondary points, along docks, and in the shallows where the beds are present.

Bass will also eat throughout all stages of the spawn. The toughest time to get them to bite is when they are on the bed, but some days, that doesn’t slow them down. While not as hungry then, they often strike baitfish near their nests to get rid of what they view as potential predators of their eggs and fry.

While fishing swimbaits alone is very effective, angler Al Odom said fishing multiple baits on 3-, 5-, and even 9-armed Alabama rigs is deadly, and quite possible the only way to win a tournament. 

“Honestly, if you’re not fishing swimbaits on Alabama rigs this month, you’re fishing for second place at best,” he said.