Springtime weather in West Virginia is very inconsistent and unpredictable. One week it could be pouring rain, and the next week could bring blizzard-like conditions. This can make spring fishing very challenging in the Mountain State. Patterns can vary daily depending on weather.
In this article, I will go over basic techniques and the lures I use to put muskies in the boat from early spring to early summer while fishing shad-based reservoirs.
As the water temperature increases from 45 degrees and warmer, I focus on flats and points near deep water. As the water warms, shad move to shallow areas trying to find the warmest water. If it is a sunny and warm day, I like to shortline troll with .22 Shorts, Rapala J-13s, and rattle baits.
I typically run two planer boards and two down-rods. The planer boards will be attached to my longer lines and will lead my shallowest-running baits. I focus on keeping the planer board as close to the bank as possible. With my down-rods, I troll deep diving crankbaits as close to bottom as possible, and sometimes bang them on the bottom if it is an area that is rocky and doesn’t have much debris.
If it is a cloudy, colder day, I troll in deeper water. I look for balls of shad near spawning areas and run my baits above them.
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