May is one of my favorite months of the year for many reasons. The biggest reason is that I love to see fish in several different stages of the spawn, which gives me lots of technique options. That should be the case this week at Toledo Bend. Based on the recent air temperatures, a big majority of the fish will be finished spawning and ready to feed back up after the rigors of the mating season.
One of the greatest lures to target these fish is a topwater bait, more specifically the Heddon Super Spook Jr. In my opinion, this bait is the greatest topwater lure ever created. The way it walks and the noise the bait makes drives bass crazy, and I have won a pile of money on this lure.
Where to fish it?
After fish spawn, the males will hang around the hatched out fry and guard them for a few days. You will often hear us refer to these fish as "fry guarders." The Spook is a great way to catch these fish. Look for pockets where the fish have been spawning. The fry will often gather around cover such as laydowns, bushes or boat docks, and the bass won't be far away. Make long, precise casts to cover and you will catch them.
May is also a great time to target schooling bass and bass feeding on spawning shad. Again, the Spook is your best bet.
Keep an eye out for schooling fish. They could come up anywhere as they feed on shad after the spawn. The shad spawn usually happens about the middle of May in my part of the country, and bass will be there to gorge themselves. Shad spawn in low light so this bite only lasts for a couple of hours each morning. Look for cover the shad can spawn on and look for bass actively feeding on them. If you hit the right stretch, it won't take long to catch them.
I never throw a Spook the way it comes out of the package. I change the front hook to a red #4 Mustad round bend treble. Then I change the back hook to a #4 feathered treble. My favorite color for the bait is bone.
Having the right setup for a Spook makes all the difference in the world, starting with the right rod. Walking a Spook is something that takes a little practice, but the right rod will help you tremendously. I use an MHX-HM-MB862 from www.MudHole.com. The 862 is a 7-foot, 2-inch rod with a medium power. I build this rod myself with a little bit shorter handle than normal for this technique, which helps with arm fatigue when throwing a walking bait all day.
I use 30-pound-test Vicious braid with a six foot leader of 15-pound-test Vicious monofilament on a 7:1 baitcasting reel.
I will give the Spook Jr. a workout this week at Toledo Bend and really hope I can catch some good ones on it.