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IndianaFinesse

How to catch quality post spawn fish?

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So I have been having a lot of problems catching anything over the fifteen inch limit for tournament's lately.  For example, yesterday we caught 76 bass, but only three were over fifteen inches and all came on the ned.  With the cold front we downsized baits to the Ned rig to start out, but after catching 13-14 inch fish by the dozen with only a few good bass to show for it we decided to change our approach.  We tried using jigs, wacky rigs, t-rigs, Topwaters, swimbaits, square bills, just about everything in the box with no increase in size whatsoever.  Then we tried moving out to deeper docks and points hoping to catch the post spawn females, (everything except the males and dinks are done spawning) but again only caught less fish with no increase in size.  I fish in a small flatland reservoir with minimal wood cover surrounded by doghouse and docks.  Water clarity is usually about two feet, and water temperature is ~65 degrees.  Do you guys have any ideas on how to get on a better quality of fish?

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  I used to work the shallows a bunch and for too long this time of year.  And like you, I ran into mostly the same kind of bass.  It's easy & fun to keep getting bit but I rarely stuck the ones I was looking for.    More recently during post spawn, while the majority of the angling population is sore lipping the males at the bank, I spend a high percentage of my time on the water fishing the first (and sometimes the secondary) breaks in the immediate vicinity of spawning flats.   The females often seem to relate to these areas / breaks.  They may not always be willing to eat but that's where I find them most often.  I do not get even half the bites possible up shallower, but the bass I get are often the right ones.

 Almost any bait & presentation can work & often does but a jig & big craw is a main stay.  Where there is some hard cover (wood) on the right structure - that's the spot on the spot. Something not talked about but these are the spots I love coming back to on a moonless night  . . . . .

 A Post Spawn exception to this for me is during the bluegill spawn.   At some point, once the females have recovered and are ready to eat again, they will move very shallow to eat those bluegills heavy.  Doesn't last long but the action can be hot & heavy.  Swimbaits, Swimjigs, chatterbaits, spinnerbaits & big topwater all play.  When I hit this one right- -it's a ton of fun.

A-Jay

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20 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

  I used to work the shallows a bunch and for too long this time of year.  And like you, I ran into mostly the same kind of bass.  It's easy & fun to keep getting bit but I rarely stuck the ones I was looking for.    More recently during post spawn, while the majority of the angling population is sore lipping the males at the bank, I spent a high percentage of my time on the water fishing the first (and sometimes the secondary) breaks in the immediate vicinity of spawning flats.   The females often seem to relate to these areas / breaks.  They may not always be willing to eat but that's where I find them most often.  I do not get even half the bites possible up shallower, but the bass I get are often the right ones.

 Almost any bait & presentation can work & often does but a jig & big craw is a main stay.  Where there is some hard cover (wood) on the right structure - that's the spot on the spot. Something not talked about but these are the spots I love coming back to on a moonless night  . . . . .

 A Post Spawn exception to this for me is during the bluegill spawn.   At some point, once the females have recovered and are ready to eat again, they will move very shallow to eat those bluegills heavy.  Doesn't last long but the action can be hot & heavy.  Swimbaits, Swimjigs, chatterbaits, spinnerbaits & big topwater all play.  When I hit this one right- -it's a ton of fun.

A-Jay

What sort of depths are you looking for, and are the right breaklines the ones by the opening to the coves or farther into them?

 

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8 minutes ago, IndianaFinesse said:

What sort of depths are you looking for, and are the right breaklines the ones by the opening to the coves or farther into them?

 

Every body of water may be different.  For me here the majority of the lakes have very clear water which often dictates the depth they may hold at.  If the first break is at 10 feet and I can see the bottom clear as day - I'm looking else where.  Often the best spots are the first break or second drop, that combines sufficient depth to not be seen (might be 15-20 ft), and either the back (deep) side of an emerging weed line, or a bottom composition change (from weed to sand), or the best case scenario - both.   Throw any of this next to deep creek channel on an inside turn and I'm dropping the hook.

:)

A-Jay

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I am having good luck with a Rage Tail Rage Blade and Rage Structure Bug trailer.

Two From Grove

Started around 10:30 AM with no bites until 11:00.

Gear: MBR844C/ Chronarch 50Mg/ #40 Smackdown/ #15 Tatsu leader/ 1/2 oz Rage Blade (white skirt)/ Rage Structure Bug (white with the tail stained chartreuse using JJ's Magic).

Cast and retrieve near, but not on the bottom.

First bite, first fish at 11:00 on top of the ridge at the second culvert. I thought I was caught up on the jig magnet that you all know so well! Initially lifted the rod softly, but when the line jumped I became Bill Dance with my hook-set!  The fish inspired me and another guy fishing across the pond in the snake & tick forest. Estimated weight 6 1/2 lbs. A few more casts and back around to the walkway.

Second bite at 11:15 just beyond the second bench. I caught this fish several times last year and a few members here also landed what we believe is the same fish. Last year it was officially weighed at 7 1/2 lbs. I hope one of you catch and weigh her, I think she will go 8 or maybe even a little better.

Please be careful with our pets. Take a quick pic and release them gently.

-Kent

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How to catch quality post spawn fish?

Jump on my back seat ;)

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On 5/17/2016 at 8:00 PM, Catt said:

How to catch quality post spawn fish?

Jump on my back seat ;)

Sign me up

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On 5/16/2016 at 8:11 AM, A-Jay said:

  I used to work the shallows a bunch and for too long this time of year.  And like you, I ran into mostly the same kind of bass.  It's easy & fun to keep getting bit but I rarely stuck the ones I was looking for.    More recently during post spawn, while the majority of the angling population is sore lipping the males at the bank, I spend a high percentage of my time on the water fishing the first (and sometimes the secondary) breaks in the immediate vicinity of spawning flats.   The females often seem to relate to these areas / breaks.  They may not always be willing to eat but that's where I find them most often.  I do not get even half the bites possible up shallower, but the bass I get are often the right ones.

 Almost any bait & presentation can work & often does but a jig & big craw is a main stay.  Where there is some hard cover (wood) on the right structure - that's the spot on the spot. Something not talked about but these are the spots I love coming back to on a moonless night  . . . . .

 A Post Spawn exception to this for me is during the bluegill spawn.   At some point, once the females have recovered and are ready to eat again, they will move very shallow to eat those bluegills heavy.  Doesn't last long but the action can be hot & heavy.  Swimbaits, Swimjigs, chatterbaits, spinnerbaits & big topwater all play.  When I hit this one right- -it's a ton of fun.

A-Jay

Yep. And if you're stuck fishing from the bank you can have yourself a real dink fest this time of year. Occasionally you'll find a big cruiser willing to take your offering. Generally come June things start to pick up as the bigger fish move shallow early mornings and late evenings to feed. 

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