Thanks to an early spring the spawn is over in much of our country. Most of the fish are moving away from the beds. That doesn’t mean they’re out in deep water. However, there’s still plenty of action for flippers and pitchers, and the time to start doing it is now.
We’ll talk about specifics in a minute. But before we do, let’s talk about generalities. You can catch a lot of good bass in deeper areas near their beds. It’s the first place they’re going to stop. I know you’ve heard this before but it’s worth repeating here. Deep is a relative term. If they’re spawning in 2 feet of water and the adjacent area is 3 1/2 feet deep, that’s deep water to a bass. How long they stay in those places is primarily determined by three factors.
- Water temperature: They’ll not usually stay around their beds, even in the deeper areas, after the water warms 10 degrees or more above their spawning temperature. For example, if they spawned at 58 degrees look for them to move to their really deep summertime spots when the water reaches about 68 degrees.
- Water clarity: The water usually starts to clear after the spawn. The quicker that happens the quicker they’ll move really deep.
- Food: If the shad and other baitfish stay shallow the bass will stay shallow. If the baitfish start moving, the bass will follow them.
None of this is pure science. All three factors work together in ways we don’t totally understand, and much of what I’m saying depends upon conditions in your individual lake. Nevertheless, if you think about them as you plan your fishing and pick your spots you’ll do a lot better.
With these factors in mind here are my favorite three places to flip and pitch for postspawn bass. One or more of them will be found in almost every lake.
- Flip and pitch flooded buck brush, willows or any shoreline cover like that. Lots of times the bass will spawn on the shallow backside of this stuff. Immediately after the spawn they move out to the deeper side. That’s usually in front. You can target them there and often have a pretty good day.
- Boat docks are another great target. The spawn here usually happens on the inside of the pillars closest to the shore. In the postspawn you should target the outside pillars closest to the channel. Fish the deep side first.
- Last, but by no means least, check out laydown logs that run straight out from the bank. The bass spawn against the shore, alongside of them. Immediately after the spawn, however, they move to the deeper front side. Flip and pitch every twig.
My bait choices are pretty simple at this time of the year. I’ll flip and pitch a Strike King Flippin’ Tube immediately after the spawn. Once that’s over — and it doesn’t last very long — I switch to something with a little more movement to it. That’s a Strike King Rage Tail Craw.
And, I only use one hook these days — the new Mustad Grip Tin Extreme. I’m proud to say I helped design it. (It should be available this month.) It’s a straight shank hook that’ll noticeably increase your hooking percentage, and it’s designed with a large barb on the shank that’ll hold even the softest plastics in place. It’s available in sizes from 2/0 through 6/0 to meet every angler’s needs.
Now, stop reading and go catch a few!