Have fish all to yourself in the postspawn

Every angler loves the spring spawn, when fatties are up shallow and can be plucked off of beds. While I enjoy bed-fishing, as well, what I really look forward to is what comes next: the postspawn.

Many anglers hate this time of year because they claim bass scatter, become erratic and can’t be patterned. That’s simply not the case. 

In fact, it’s a time of year when you can absolutely pound on the bass — and when you find them you can have them all to yourself. 

So what’s the key? That’s easy: baitfish.

I mean, what are bass doing when they come off beds? They are feeding to make up for the time spent focusing on spawning activities. That means locating bass is simply a matter of locating baitfish.

But a lot of people miss that bite because they’re not out searching deep enough. They don’t understand that, when the true postspawn starts, bass got the deepest they go all year long.

Bass are moving off of their spawning flats and heading to deep ledges. But they don’t swim out to those drop-offs over night. Instead, they work their way along bottom features like points. So you can up your odds of locating postspawn bass by identifying the longest, flattest points that run out and drop off into 40 feet of water, 45 feet of water. That’s where you’re going to find the fish during the true postspawn, once all the bass on a lake finish up the spawn.

I guarantee postspawn bass will be somewhere on those points.

That’s because you baitfish spawns are beginning: The shad spawn starts, the gizzard shad spawn starts and the bluegill spawn starts. All those baitfish are moving on those same points, which means bass will be there, too.

So if your electronics light up with baitfish on a long, flat point with a sharp drop-off this month, you can count on bass being there. You simply follow them deeper as they head of the baitfish at that deep drop-off.

On that same point, you might begin catching them in the beginning of the so-called postspawn in 4 feet of water on a shad spawn, and by the time the true postspawn is over (which means everything on that lake that is going to spawn has spawned) they’re out in 35 or 40 feet of water resting up.

It’s the same group of fish — you’re just moving out with them. But everybody thinks, “They’re not that deep.” Baloney: They are moving out there, man. And they get so deep. 

The great thing about this period is the misconception most anglers have means those of us who capitalize on the deep bite can really shine. You have those bass all to yourself; nobody’s bothering those fish out there.

Effective lures when the postspawn begins include white swim jigs, ChatterBaits and jerkbaits. And you’re moving yourself out with Carolina rigs. 

By the time you get out toward the end of the baitfish spawn, you’re throwing football jigs, deep-diving crank baits and Carolina rigs out deep. 

And then you simply follow those same bass out of that deep water to their summer haunts in anywhere from 10 to 25 feet of water, depending on the lake. It’s really that easy. 

So don’t be afraid of the postspawn. It’s a time of the year when you can catch a lot of unpressured bass while your buddies are scratching their heads.