By: Kyle Quine
Beds are vacant and the spawn is over. So what do the fish do now and where do they go? After the spawn fish are stressed and tired from their reproductive routine as well as angling pressure. So this is the time when they need to rest and recuperate from this activity. Bass will leave the shallows and head to main lake points where flats give way to deeper water. This is when the bite can be the toughest. Bass really aren’t too aggressive while they’re recovering from spawning. But soon they will venture back in to forage. By this time there is a big push of bluegill in the shallows to spawn and the bass love to gobble them up.
Something to keep in mind is that not all bass spawn at the same time and there are usually beds that are a little deeper and out of sight so probing around a little bit can pay off. However, if you are really at the tail end of the spawn then trying to fish the edge of flats where they move to first can be difficult. Slow rolling paddletails such as the Eurotackle Profiler are a good choice. Other options include Texas rigged baits. Eurotackle has a full line up of terminal tungsten tackle such as worm weights. Tungsten is a top choice as it provides better sensitivity and a smaller profile than lead.
As they gain some energy back and move in again, fishing hard baits and jigs are a great choice. Bass start to become feeding machines again often traveling in packs. Eurotackle offers tungsten flipping jigs in two sizes and six color patterns so you can match the hatch regardless of where you live. Trailer options are also available in several different size and colors in the Metacraw and Profiler styles. While baitfish and craws are often thought of as the main food sources for bass, bluegills are also on the menu. Once the bass get focused on gills they gorge themselves to the point that when they’re boated they sometimes spit up whole fish. During this time small crankbaits, such as the Z-Cranker (especially in Baby Bluegill) are an effective choice. Great places to look for post spawn bass are ambush points. Areas such as docks, downed trees, thick weeds and boulders are all the right spots to find them.
Topwater baits can also be good choices during the post spawn.
As fish push deeper, a drop shot is arguably one of the best finesse presentations. Light line paired up with the right bait and terminal tackle will put a lot of fish in the boat. The Swagger is Eurotackle’s best bait when it comes to drop shotting.
If you haven’t noticed, I’ve covered a lot of lures choices for this time period. The key thing to know and understand here is that there really is no pattern when fishing for post spawn bass. I’ve found that definitive patterns don’t really form until the heat kicks in and the fish are forced to change behaviors. A lot of anglers get set on patterns and rely on what they think should be working instead of trying different options. A variety of baits can bring success to the end of your line when the bass are feeding heavily. Seasonal changes will put fish on the move though and that is when we see patterns form and feeding activities become more specific.