Bed Fishing Tricks
Learn all the little tips and tricks that get bedding bass to bite in this video!
Hey guys. This is Gene Jenson, with BassResource.com. Today, we’re going to do one of my favorite things. This is one of the first things I learned to do when I was bank fishing. It’s one of the things that got me addicted to catching bass, and that is bed fishing, where in early spring, the fish are in full spawn. I’m cruising the banks right now looking for beds. I’m going to go try to hit all of the details, all the things that I’ve learned over the years about catching bass on the bed. That’s a bed right there; I just pulled up on one.
Some of the things that I look for to find a spawning area, I’m looking for a protected pocket, or protected cove, usually on the north side of the bank or the lake; somewhere that the north wind or the west wind don’t hit. That’s the area that’ll warm up first. After a little while, it doesn’t really matter, they’ll pawn anywhere as soon as the water temperature gets pretty stable. I’m looking for hard bottom. As you can see behind me, I’ve got some sand on the bank, I’ve got Georgia red clay, and I’ve got rock, so I know that there’s a hard bottom around here. Then I just start cruising the shallows and I’m looking to spook a male bass off the bed. When I do that, I stop, I turn around, and I just watch. I try to figure out where he comes back to locate exactly where that bed is. You don’t always see a nice beautiful white patch of cleared ground where this bass is spawning. I’ve got one right here. I’ve got a pair of bass spawning right here, I just saw them. You can’t see the bed because it blends in with everything else, but I see the 2 fish . . . I’m wheezing, just getting over a nasty cold, actually, the flu.
I see the bed, I see the 2 fish, and I locate exactly where that bed is, where that male bass comes back to. It gives me a good idea. Then I stop and I try to figure out ‘How long does it take that bass to come back to the bed?’ Not only how long when I first spook it, but how when I make that first cast. If it’s more than 30 seconds, I go somewhere else, because 45 seconds, a minute for them to back each time you make a cast can take all day long. If it’s not a 10 to 15 pound bass, it ain’t worth it.
Once you’ve located that bed, the key part when you’re in a boat is positioning. You don’t want to position your boat to where you’re blocking deep water access, because when you spook that female, she’s going to deep water. If she goes under your boat, you’re liable to spook her for good. Back up, try to get away from that deep water access. I like to get up against the bank to where I can see them and I still fish them, and I’ll anchor down. Dummy me, today I forgot my anchors. I use my trolling motor and I use my back motor, and I just put them down in shallow water, and then I start casting at the fish.
Another thing to remember when you’re bank fishing, or when you’re bed fishing, is that bass don’t like to bed real close to each other. They don’t like to be within sight of each other. They also like to find a place that’s pretty protected. Up against the grass where 3 sides are protected, they only have to guard one side from the blue gill, or up against a stump or something that they’re protected on 3 sides. That’s ideally. A lot of times you don’t’ see them that way, but ideally, that’s where they want to be. That’s the areas you’re looking for. Another thing I need to address is what you’re wearing. When I’m bank fishing, I’m wearing full camouflage; camouflage hat, everything else. When I’m out on the water, I’m wearing soft colors, or I guess as women like to call them, pastels. I’m wearing these soft colors that blend in with the sky and they don’t’ spook the fish so much. That means that the red hat has got to go.
This is what I wear: Nice long bill to block out the sun. It’s got these flaps that go down all the way to your neck, but the reason I like them is because they cover the back of your ears. Ideally for bed fishing, you want sun. The optimum way to set up is with the sun at your back. When you do that, the problem is the sun shines in on the backside of your sunglasses and it keeps you from being able to see as well as you need to. I get something with ear flaps that cover my ears and cover the back of my sunglasses, and that’s usually ideal. Soft color doesn’t spook them so much. I covered the dress; I covered how to find them. Let’s talk about equipment.
I like to use a medium-heavy, heavy rods with jigs; something that’s on the bottom so I can make good . . . so it will drop down onto the beds. I usually experiment with a lot of things. I’m not picky about what I bed fish with. I love the little Yum craw; I don’t know what it’s called, but it looks just like a crawfish. I put it on a heavy magnum Spot Remover. A magnum Spot Remover is my favorite jig head to fish on beds, just because when it lands, it lands with the bait straight up. It stands that bait up, so when the bass grabs it, it’s going to grab that hook almost every time. I don’t particularly like to use lizards. The reason I don’t like to use lizards is because they’re so long and the fish tend to grab a hold of their tail just to move them off of the bed. 9 times out of 10, you’re not going to get the hook in their mouth. I try to shy away from long baits. I will use a yellow lizard to tick off the bass. I’ve found years ago, that they get a banana-yellow lizard from Zoom really tends to tick off the bass. It’s what I’m looking for.
Somewhere on that bed is what we call the sweet spot. A turkey gobbling. Usually, it’s no bigger than a coffee cup. You’re goal is to find that spot. How do you go about finding that spot? Let me tell you. You will know by the reactions of the male bass when you get to that spot. You throw across . . . you’ll cast across the bed, bring it through the bed, and that sweet spot is usually on somewhere close to the middle; it doesn’t have to be, and it’s on something dark. There might be a root there, or I’ve even seen it on a coke can sitting on the bottom. There’s usually something in the middle of that bed that he’s got. It’s known as a sweet spot. I guess it’s whatever place the female will rub her belly up against when they’re spawning. I’m looking for that sweet spot.
Let me talk about what I do to get these bass to bite. When I get them locked on the bed, my goal is to aggravate the living snot out of them. I keep casting to . . . I don’t’ cast away from the bed. If is see them swimming off the bed . . . the biggest thing, don’t cast at them when they’re off the bed. Once they got back onto that spot, you cast to it, and you keep casting to it, and you keep casting too them, and they’ll gradually, more and more, they’ll get locked onto that bed and they’ll keep turning around back at your bait. That’s when I start beating them up with that heavy weight. I’ve got ¼-ounce on here. I like to use a ¾-ounce, but it doesn’t really have to be. I can’t see this bed very well, I’ve got pollen in the way, but I can just see it when he crosses over the bed. I’m just shaking it and I’m trying to find that little sweet spot. I’m just going to keep making casts.
It just landed on top of his head and it really ticked him off. He went [makes sound] and jumped right . . . he darted away from it and turned right back around to it. I’m just going to shake it and see what he does. All you see right now is his tail on top of the bed, so I know he’s not looking at my bait. He just turned a little bit. What I want to do is I want to keep hitting him in the head with the bait. See how he positions? If you can see the fish, good, great, that’s awesome. See how he positions on that bed, and bring the bait over the top of the back. He can’t see where the bait’s behind him. Come over the top of his head and drop it down right on his nose and hit him on the nose a few times, watch him flare open, and open that mouth and grab that bait. It’s more of a reaction strike when you do that. I’ll take and I’ll drag the line along his side, or the female if she’s locked on the bed; drag it along the side, and then I’ll just bump him with the weight. I’ll just jerk it up and pop it with the weight a few times. He’ll turn around and he’ll grab hold of it. Beat the snot out of him. It’s not going to hurt him. It sounds bad, and the way I’m saying it sounds bad, but it’s not so bad. You’re just trying to get him mad at whatever is invading their bed. That’s all I’m doing. I really cannot see this bed right now. I see very little of it because the pollen just moved in the way. He’s turning around quick on it. You love the ones that turn around really fast on the bed. They’re the ones that are catchable.
There we go. That, my friends, is how you do it. Bed fishing takes a lot of patience, but you’ve got to beat the snot out of them to get them locked down. Once you get them locked down, you start getting aggressive, more and more aggressive until they open their mouths and put the bait in it. Small baits, not big lizards. Big lizards are pretty frustrating.
Like I always say, visit BassResource.com for the answers to all your questions about bass fishing. Subscribe to my YouTube channel. Hit the Like button on this video if you like it. Have a great day. This is awesome.