Finding bass during the spawn is relatively easy. The bass are on their beds and you can “sight” fish them in the shallows. With a little patience and persistence, you can usually get them to bite. But what about after the “honeymoon” is over? Where do the bass typically go after spawning and how can you put more fish in the livewell during this transitional period? Boomerang Tool Company, the world’s leading manufacturer of “retractable” fishing tools, and Boomerang pro staffer and BASS Elite Series pro, Russ Lane, offer these useful tips for locating and landing “post-spawn” bass.
Where to Find ‘Em
Once the bass are finished doing their thing on the beds and the fry hatch, the males generally stick around in the shallows and guard the hatchlings for at least two to three weeks. The females, however, head out deeper to feed after the spawn. According to Lane, on larger “reservoir” type lakes, the best places to find schools of the bigger females are secondary points, rocky areas and stumps in about 10 to 12 feet of water. “On a lot of the bigger lakes, the post-spawn fish tend to school up in open water near these kind of spots,” said Lane. “On lakes where boat docks are the primary cover, post-spawn fish can also be found holding in the shady areas of the docks,” he added.
Techniques for Schooling Post-Spawn Bass
A self-proclaimed “power fisherman,” Lane loves to use big, deeper diving crankbaits to entice post-spawn bass that form into schools off secondary structure. “I’ll typically tie on a SPRO Fat Pappa – a 3-inch, 3/4-ounce crankbait I helped design – and work it back to the boat with a fast, erratic retrieve to get reaction strikes” he noted. “Once I’ve gotten one or two of the fish to react, this usually fires up the whole school and ignites a feeding frenzy.”
Enticing Boat Dock “Post-Spawners”
On shallower lakes where boat docks are the primary cover, Lane likes to use a slower jig presentation focusing on the shade created by the docks. “I’ll typically flip a half-ounce Buckeye Mop Jig with a Big Bite YoDaddy plastic trailer to the shaded side of the docks and the outer posts,” he said. “This is where the bigger females tend to hold and ambush bait. Most of the time, fish in these type of situations will hit a jig on the drop. If they don’t, I’ll use a slow drag, or even a couple of light hops, to get their attention.”
Prime Time for Employing Post-Spawn Lures and Techniques
While April and May are generally great months to target bass using the post spawn strategies and lures mentioned above, Lane is quick to point out that post-spawn time frames can vary. “No two bodies of water are exactly the same,” he noted. “When bass begin and finish spawning depends on variables like region, size of the lake or river system, the dominant type of cover, and water temp and clarity. Simply put, when you stop seeing fish on the beds, it’s time to look at using post-spawn strategies, lures and techniques.”
Make Sure You Have the Right Tools By Your Side
Post-spawn fishing action can be productive and fast-paced, so it’s important that you have your essential fishing tools handy. “Boomerang tools, like The Snip, feature built-in retractable tethers, so they’re always secure and there when you need them,” said Lane. “If I need to re-rig during a hot bite, I don’t have to search around for my line cutters – they’re right by my side. The Snip also makes cutting any type of line, including braid, quick and easy. All in all, this saves me valuable time – and more time means more fish.”