Last week was a super good week at home with the family. Becky and I had a chance to spend some time together and I had a chance to take the kids fishing just for the fun of it. It was all great.
Before I tell you about the fishing, however, I want to make a couple of observations about my last column. The number of responses was overwhelming. I knew the topic would be something tournament anglers had strong opinions about, but I didn't expect so many from recreational anglers.
I appreciate every one of them, and that includes the ones that disagreed with me and that criticized me. In my mind it was important to get this issue out in the open and talk about it in a public forum. That's the only way things will ever get any better.
We're blessed to live in a country where we can express our thoughts with little or no interference from anyone. We should all be thankful for that. I am, for sure.
OK, we've talked enough about that. Let's talk about the postspawn in New Jersey and why it's so great, especially if you take kids fishing.
When the postspawn is on up here you have two situations that help you catch bass. The first is that we have fry-guarding males right up against the bank. They might be small but they'll bite almost anything. We also have the bigger females moving off the bank. A lot of the water around here is shallow so they can only move so far. That means we can find them and catch them.
I took Vegas and Estella out fishing on a lake near our house. We had a ball throwing weightless plastics. The great thing about them is that you can't fish them wrong. All you have to do is get them in the water. If they're wet, they catch bass.
When you want numbers toss your plastics up near the bank. It's pretty easy to know if you're fishing in the right place. Look for the fry. If they're there it'll look like rain when hitting the water when the bait goes through them.
When you want a bigger bass have the child toss his or her bait out a ways into the thickest stuff you can find. The females stop in those places before they move on out. You won't catch as many but they'll be bigger.
Either way, the kids have fun because there's something pulling back on their line that they can say they caught. It's perfect. It develops a love of the outdoors and an appreciation of fishing in them at an early age. It also creates positive family memories that they'll remember even if they don't fish as adults.
For the males we used a couple of different baits. The primary one was a Berkley Havoc Flat Dawg. We also used The Jerk. Farther from the bank we fished with a Pit Boss and a Devil's Spear. I rigged everything weedless.
Give it a try. It's easy. All the kid has to do is feel the fish and pull back hard. Everything else takes care of itself.