The next best thing to figuring out a hot bass pattern while competing in a tournament is dialing in while pre-fishing. During a recent warm spell, I set out on the river near my house to see if I could find some lunkers in preparation for a weekend competition, and although I got distracted by a ledge holding little bass, I eventually figured out where the bigger fish were and what they wanted to eat.

In many areas across South Louisiana, bass have already wrapped up their spawning duties, but the spawning season begins later and lasts longer on many of the region's rivers. If you think you've missed it, you haven't.

The hot bait for the day was a MirrOlip, a new bait by MirrOlure that's technically designed for saltwater fish like speckled trout, redfish and snook, but it's a great option in freshwater as well. The one I fished floats slowly and dives to 3- to 5-foot depths.

I also caught fish on a watermelon candy-colored Zoom Speed Craw under a 3/8-ounce tungsten bullet weight.

Like the video? Please give it a thumbs-up and subscribe to Marsh Man Masson on YouTube. Also, leave a comment below or on the YouTube page. What are your favorite lures when bass move up to the beds to spawn? Also, what's your philosophy on hook-setting? Do you have an itchy trigger finger, or do you let the fish run a bit before setting the hook?