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Fishing offshore after the spawn

Elite Series rookie John Soukup says if you like moving around a lot, off- shore postspawn fishing is for you. Photo by Grant Moxley

For many anglers, the postspawn blues can be a frustrating reality. But for Bassmaster Elite Series pro John Soukup, the immediate postspawn period can be full of opportunities if you are able to perfectly align the pieces of the puzzle.

“I do like [fishing the postspawn]. It is a challenge,” the Sapulpa, Okla., rookie said. “There is a lot of movement, and it is never the same. Every day is a little different, which helps someone like me who kind of likes moving around. Your size goes down. You don’t catch as heavy of fish because they are spawned out, but it is also a time that if you unlock it the right way, you can have 100-fish days. If those fish school up just right, you can catch the snot out of them.”

When it comes to finding postspawners, particularly the big females, the style of the lake will determine where the fish will transition to. But it is important to remember that these bass are looking for two things above anything else in any fishery: good water quality and a consistent food source that will help them recover from the stress of the spawn.

“Feeding and recovery. And recovery with the least amount of effort,” Soukup said. “That is why you see a lot of fish go to isolated cover. They will pull off the spawning banks and maybe there is one stick; a log is great, but a little stick is fine, too. They will come and settle on that stuff for peace and relaxation, trying to get a breath, feed a touch, stay there for two, three days, maybe a week, but then they will make their move to the next drop, and that drop could be 100 yards away or a quarter-mile away. But typically it is where the bait is gathering.”