Post Spawn Bass Fishing Tips
This advice may be a bit pre-mature for my friends up north, but with the late spawning season in my area coming to an end soon it is time for some of the best fishing of the year, the post spawn bite. An angler may not catch the abundance of bass he did in the pre-spawn feeding, but larger quality bass are often caught post spawn.
One type of lure I have come to trust and use often for post spawn bass is the shallow running crankbaits like the Bandit Footloose and the Bomber Shallow A. The unique style of these crankbaits or sometimes call ?wake baits?, are designed for fishing at shallow depths, running about six inches deep. The lures feature low lip designs that retrieve below the surface of the water. These lures are exceptional for fishing shallow edges and submerged vegetation growing beneath the surface of the water.
In the smaller highland lakes of the Upper Cumberland area of Tennessee where I live, the post spawn bass are often stressed from fishing pressure as weekend anglers fish the banks during active spawning. This stress along with the spawning activity itself is tough on the fish. The fish seem to have disappeared following the spawn. But he fish that were on the banks a few weeks ago are not very far away, and can be caught.
Like most animals the bass need to rest and recover from the stress. They do not move far from the places they were during the spawn. Males will stay close and shallow as they guard nest as they wait for the fry to emerge. The larger females however will move to deeper water to recoup from the activity, older, weaker females often die in the post spawn slumber.
Surface lures and wake baits will work well now that the bass have moved away from the beds to initial break-lines and drop offs suspending near the bottom in a deeper zone, to rejuvenate their bodies and metabolism after the stressful effects of the spawn.
By fishing edges of the spawning flats in depths of five to twelve feet deep, you can catch these recovering larger female bass. They will naturally return to their predatory status as they heel and gain the need to feed. The time between the spawn and the water heating above the comfortable temperature for bass can be the best time of the season to fish providing you understand what is happening.
Points on open lakes where the spring wind is frequent is a great location for resting largemouth. Shallow flats with steep drop offs into channels also hold the big girls. In these areas you may want to change things up a bit, using top water popper occasionally alternating with wake baits. Select natural colors in clear water and brighter colors in stained water to get the attention of the bass.
The early angler will have the best success at this time of year, and there is nothing that can compare to being on the water at sunrise during the post spawn season. Overcast days are good as well, but at this time of year on into summer bass activity will reduce greatly in the sunlight.
Bass will move tight to cover, wood, vegetation, rocks, bluffs and so on during the daytime hours. If you can only fish at this time use your electronics to find what depth fish are holding and then key in on structure at this depth. Soft plastics rigged weedless seem to be more productive fishing structure in the post spawn.
I hope these post spawn tips are of some help to you as you enjoy what is left of the spring. In a few more days summers heat will be on the water and the night fishing rituals will begin for the hardcore anglers.