April 05, 2017
Catching Post-Spawn Bass: When bass move into the post-spawn period, there are several angling methods you can use to catch more fish, especially when fishing late in the day.
Here are two strategies from Major League Fishing professionals.
1 FISHING A SHAD SPAWN?
First, in your afternoon angling sessions, don't ignore the bank because there will still be plenty of fish hanging around up there. Take the post-spawn experience that two-time MLF Summit Cup champion Kevin VanDam had a couple of years ago during a May practice session for the Toyota Texas Bass Classic event that he was fishing on Lake Fork.
"I made a mistake while preparing for that tournament because I really didn't fish too much out in deeper water," said VanDam, a four-time Bassmaster Classic champ and a seven-time BASS Angler of the Year. "But it was hard to look offshore because it was so good on those main lake points. You could catch 6- to 10-pounders all day long. I had one day of practice when I had a 46- or 47-pound bag just fishing points up shallow with a big swimbait."
He also did plenty of damage in that event with his signature KVD Splash topwater bait, a bait that VanDam is bullish on for use during the post-spawn.
KVD throws a smaller topwater most in the post-spawn. When he was at a Toledo Bend event a few years ago, he caught a lot of fish throwing it around spawning areas. During the post-spawn, there are still fish up shallow guarding fry, and some cruising around near the bank that can't handle it when the bait goes by.
If you fish a shad spawn, and they start up during a post-spawn trip, VanDam then opts for the larger-sized Splash topwater bait. Try it on windy points to imitate a shad.
Brent Chapman targets the bait spawns with a buzzbait or some sort of shad-colored Livingston lure like Walking Boss or Pro Wake waking bait.
2 MIGRATING MONSTERS
A second strategic option for targeting post-spawn fish is to look for those fish that are beginning to migrate away from the shallows and towards their summertime homes in deeper water.
Kelly Jordan searches for spots in 18 to 25 feet of water that are near spawning flats or the back of major creeks, locations that have some sort of structural feature on them like underwater bridges, deep points, humps and even submerged pond dams.
When Jordan finds such post-spawn locations on his electronics, you can bet that he'll soon be dredging a lure there. "I'll probably throw something like I did at the Amistad MLF event a few years ago, a deep-diving Lucky Craft Flat CB D20 crankbait in some sort of shad color."
And you can also bet that KJ will be doing so later on in the day, putting to good use a lesson learned from his days as a guide all the way to his time as one of the sport's best tournament pros.
"Late in the day, that time when the MLF third period takes place, it's the perfect storm of everything coming together," said Jordan. "We're figuring things out as anglers, the fish are positioned and settled in, there is better visibility in the water, the water has warmed up and the shad are balling up pretty tight, something that usually gets the bass going.
"You can get up early at the crack of dawn and have maybe an hour of prime time fishing," he added. "Or you can go later on in the day and get in four or five hours of prime time fishing.
"It's something that I've seen happen a million times over in various places."