SALEM, Va. (WFXR) — John Crews is a champion on the Bassmaster circuit.

Earlier this year, he won the Bassmaster Elite Series St. John’s River Championship in Florida. So, when he dispenses bass-fishing wisdom, the rest of the fishing community probably needs to stop and listen.

WFXR News’ George Noleff caught up with Crews at Missile Baits in Salem which he owns. He says spring is the time to catch big bass.

“This is the spring of the year. You got all these dogwoods blooming, things like that; that means the bass are spawning and up around the bank,” said Crews as he pulled gear out of storage and laid it on the deck of his boat. “They’re getting territorial, they’re defending their nests, they’re defending their beds.”

While some anglers prefer to sight fish bedded bass, Crews says that is not necessary. He uses a “no-look” method. In fact, he just wrote about it extensively for Bassmaster.

“You see the places where those fish are, the backs of the pockets, around those dock pilings, up next to the bank; those are the places you want to make longer casts to,” Crews said revealing what he looks for when fishing bass on the beds.

So, what lures does he recommend?

“Soft plastics are probably the best thing you’re going to want to use,” Crews advised as he picked up a Texas-rigged creature bait, which is one of the first baits he likes to use. “This is a Missile Baits D-Stroyer. This is what you want. You want that bigger profile. It is intimidating to the fish. They are trying to get that thing out of their bed. It looks like some kind of creature coming in to eat their eggs.”

Crews told Noleff he also likes a straight whacky-rigged worm or small dropshot-rigged worm to take bass off the beds.

With the number of big females patrolling near the beds, the potential is there to catch some really huge bass during the spring. Anglers who do catch bedded bass have to remember to get them back into the water quickly. Whether you catch the fish on a boat or land, you want to snap a picture and then release it immediately. Most bass released back into the water immediately return to their beds.

Watch the full interview with Crews above.