If you love bass fishing as much as I do, then you know how much easier and rewarding it is to catch bass during spawning season than during any other season of the year. Bass patterns are much more predicatable during spawning season, and where they prefer to hide makes fishing a snap.
Identifying these key spots is a trick of the trade, though, so here are the seven best spots to find bass during spawning season.
Bass love grass because it gives them a place to hide and to search for food possibilities. They especially like the flank areas of grass that line creek channels or sharp drop-off points. You can use a craw-colored crankbait in these areas by casting near the edge of the grass and reeling quickling along the perimeter, allowing the bait to “skip”. You’ll find that these strikes are violent and very rewarding – prepare for a fight!
#2. Creek Bends
Bass love to hide in small nooks and crannies, and creek bends are the perfect staging areas. They also give the fisherman an opportunity to create a realistic prey for them. Use a black and blue or black and red jag attached to a matching pork trailer in this area. Drop the line to the bottom of the bend, and then let the bait skip along the edge to attract larger bass.
Find an area of a large lake that has an overhanging ledge or shoreline. This works best when the water is apoximately 6-12 inches below the edge of the cove. Bass spawn here and look for food possibilities, so be prepared for explosive strikes. Spinnerbait are great for this type of fishing; simply drop the bait as close to the edge of the cove as possible and crawl it toward any other point of structure.
#4. Stumps & Structure
Structures, such as stumps, lilly pads or fountains, in the middle of ponds and lakes are popular havens for bass. They congregate in groups, especially during cold seasons, and are typically at least halfway between the top of the water and the lake bed, if not lower. Cast as close to the structure as possible and then slowly begin reeling in, jerking the bait every five or six rounds. Continue to cast to the same area several times before giving up – the bass might get tired of seeing your bait and strike.
#5. Rocks & Gravel
Rock and gravel beds are the most common spawning sites, which means that you will see several bass. Minnows are excellent for this type of cast, as are 1/16 ounce jigs. You must be careful not to be spotted by the bass, and to cast directly into the bed. Slowly drag your bait across the bottom, letting it skip in the manner of an injured fish.
For some reason, docks and piers are the most overlooked places to catch spawning bass, but they are the most fruitfull for me. Bass feel safe under the dark, shaded docks and often find cooler water here during the hot summer months. Drop your bait near the edge of the dock and let it rest on the bottom for a moment. After waiting, slowly begin to reel it in, giving gentle tugs every one or two revolutions.
Staging bass – fish that are preparing to spawn – are always aggressive and are actively feeding just before they begin to spawn. Consequently, these are prime fish for catching. Use a depth-finder to locate drop-offs and ledges near the edges of a spawning alcove, where these fish are likely to be. Brightly-colored lizards and worms are your best bet for catching these fish, and there is no need to be discreet. Just cast and wait – they will come!