April can be a tough month as far as weather goes. A string of warm days can be interrupted by just as many cold days, and this has an impact on the smallmouth bass fishing on South Carolina’s Broad River. But no matter the weather, anglers can still find plenty of bronzebacks willing to bite. They just have to be flexible when selecting lures.
Guide Mike McSwain of Broad River Smallmouth (843-763-3805) said fish will bite during cold fronts just as well as they will during warm spells, but what they’ll eat does have a lot to do with the temperature.
“It really all depends on the baitfish, which change their behavior based on the weather,” he said, “and this month, that can change from one day to the next. But once you recognize what the baitfish are doing on any given day, you’ll catch your share of smallies as long as you know which lures to use.”
On warm days, McSwain said anglers can’t go wrong with spinners like the Mepps Black Fury and Aglia. A variety of colors will work; he likes to stick with No. 3 and No. 4 sizes. He also catches his share on Texas-rigged soft plastics like a Zoom Speed Craw. Instead of fishing it strictly along the bottom, he often swims it fast enough to keep it on top — or at least near the surface.
On cold days, McSwain said baitfish are sluggish and often hunker down in slightly deeper water, so he goes to a Rapala X-Rap, which he said is deadly when the water is slightly cooler.
“When you reel this lure, it wobbles side-to-side, and when you pause it, it suspends at whatever depth it’s running,” he said. “It just freezes and sits still in the current. It’s incredibly life-like, and does exactly what the baitfish in this river do. It will get strikes when nothing else will during a string of cold days.”
Many April days start off with a brisk chill in the air but warm up to the point of being hot by noon. McSwain said on these days, you can expect to catch fish on the X-Rap early, then find success by switching over to a Mepps spinner or soft-plastic creature bait.