Berkley Tacklebox: Rock solid postspawn tactics

The postspawn bass in your home lake are on the move and tough to pattern. One thing is for certain: You know the fish are moving from shallow to deep water. Beyond that, postspawn is all about a game of intercepting the movement of fish that generally are not aggressive, coming off the rigors of the spawning cycle itself.

 Conventional postspawn tactics dictate back-tracking the same routes used by the bass when they were inbound to the spawning flats. Creek channel bends, secondary points docks and other habitat bordering deep water all will produce throughout the spawning cycle.

 Bassmaster Elite Series rookie Casey Ashley pinpointed another key type of structure sometimes overlooked when it comes to postspawn success. In doing so, the 23-year-old angler won the Elite Series contest held during postspawn on Virginia' Smith Mountain Lake.

 "In a postpsawn situation I always am looking for riprap, be it around a bridge or along a shoreline," he says. "The reason why is the shad and bluegill are typically spawning during that cycle of the spawn."

 At Smith Mountain, the bluegill spawned in mass during the tournament. Ashley targeted rock accordingly, reasoning the baitfish spawn on the hard substrate.

 Alternatively, he suggests augmenting the success of the rock pattern by targeting long, tapering points near the mouths of tributaries emptying into the main lake.

 You're going to find the fish early on those points, chasing baitfish," he adds. "That's a perfect setup for topwaters."

 After the feeding frenzy subsides, Ashley reverts to a leadhead jig, probing the breaklines of the same points. The bass, he notes, use the contour breaks as ambush points to snipe at an easy meal should it come their way.

 "A guy can basically go with this wherever he is right now," sums up Ashley. "It's just a matter of eliminating the other cover and focusing on the points, the rock and the baitfish."