In some areas, the arduous task of building and guarding nests and producing offspring has just ended for bass. While the male bass sticks around to guard the fry, the lady bass moves to deep water for some post-spawn rest and relaxation.
The strain of the spawning process still carries over into the post-spawn period. During the post spawn, male bass are easier to catch because they stay near the surface protecting fry. Meanwhile, the female bass move farther off the bank and suspend in treetops or under docks, along bluffs, points or channel bends.
Bass still have to eat during the post spawn so you can catch fish during this time using certain techniques. Three of the most productive tactics for catching post-spawn bass are Carolina rigs, Texas-rigged plastic worms and topwater lures. Here are some tips on how to catch postspawn bass from top to bottom.
Post Spawn Bass Fishing: Topwater
Twitching a floating worm or soft plastic jerkbait is an effective method for drawing strikes from bass on top. Bass spawn in the backs of creeks first, so you can concentrate on those post-spawn bass first and then follow the topwater action out to the main lake where the last group of bass spawn. Key on bluff ends and creek channel bends to catch post-spawn bass on the surface. The fish will be as shallow as 4 to 5 feet but will be close to deep water.
Floating worms come in a variety of colors, but you can narrow down your choice to white and yellow during the post spawn. Spawning bass crave bright colors, but the fish become more selective after the spawn. When fishing around heavy cover, hook the worm in a weedless fashion, but if the cover is sparse, leave the hook point exposed. A pearl soft jerkbait is also a good choice for postspawn bass on top.
Retrieve both lures the same way you would retrieve a walking topwater plug. Steadily twitch the lures and when a bass starts chasing it, shorten your retrieve to a short jerk until the fish grabs the bait.
Post Spawn Bass Fishing: Suspended Bass
A Texas-rigged plastic worm is one of the most effective lures for post-spawn bass suspended around or in cover.
On lakes with standing timber, you can find post-spawn bass suspended in the timber off of pea gravel banks either in coves or the main lake. Bigger bass usually suspends around the trees 8 to 12 feet deep over depths of 20 to 30 feet.
A 7- to 10-inch curly tail plastic worm weighted down with a 1/4- or 5/16-ounce bullet sinker is ideal for post-spawn bass suspended in the trees. Heavier weights are less effective because the sinkers fall too fast whereas the lighter sinkers descend slowly and remain in the strike zone of the suspended fish longer. A variety of worm colors will work, but it seems like plum or red worms trigger a lot of strikes for me.
Throw the worm past the cover and let it drop into the timber. Allow the worm to hit the bottom once and if you don’t get a bite bounce it one time before pulling up the worm to the next piece of timber.
This tactic works best when fishing a stand of multiple trees rather than targeting isolated timber. You will have a better chance of catching bass by throwing to two or three trees than throwing the worm to one tree and working it slow through that tree.
Post Spawn Bass Fishing: Bottom Huggers
The Carolina rig is the most efficient post-spawn technique for bottom-hugging bass because it allows you to cover water quickly while keeping your lure in constant contact with the bottom.
Look for long gravel points in coves or on the main lake that drop off into deep water to drag your Carolina rig. Post-spawn bass usually hold at depths of 10 to 18 feet and are about a cast length from deeper water (30 to 40 feet deep).
Plastic craws, Centipedes and creature baits are all good lures to drag behind a Carolina rig, but my favorite rig bait is a plastic lizard. The color of the plastic lizard to choose for a Carolina rig depends on the water clarity. Try dark hues for off-colored water and transparent colors for clear water.
A 3/4-ounce egg sinker works most of the time for post-spawn bass. You want to throw as heavy of a weight as you can without hanging up all the time. The heavier weight allows you to drag the lure along the bottom better and detect strikes easier.
When retrieving the lizard, pump your rod one full swing and let the lure sit for a second so the bait will float up a bit. Bass usually inhale the bait on the pause so watch for any line movement to detect strikes.
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