When you hear that the bass are spawning most anglers immediately think about visually catching them off of a bed. Many anglers love it. Many anglers don’t. If you don’t, this is the blog for you.
Where are they?
Bass like to spawn in protected pockets where the wind can’t mess up their beds and the sunlight can warm their eggs. These are the areas you should be looking for and where they will be when you’re fishing for them.
Additionally, most bass like to make their beds where they have something to rub against. This is why bass bed on harder bottoms. In Florida, it’s often sandy bottoms. In manmade lakes, it’s often on hard red clay or gravel areas. Along with hard bottom areas bass like to have a stump root, rock edge, stick or just about anything else they can rub against in the immediate area.
Clear water is where most anglers are fishing for bedding bass so they can see them better. When you are not looking at them, I would go more towards the slightly stained to muddy water. These fish are less spooky and generally bite a lot better. No matter the water color, though, casting distance is important. Try to make long casts to where you think they are bedding. This will increase your bite numbers significantly.
What are you going to throw on them?
Spawning bass are generally territorial. They do not want something in their bed. Predators eat their eggs. Other bass may try to spawn in their bed. That is grounds for a fight. Your lure selection should be governed by those territorial factors.
The most common and effective bait is a wacky worm. I think this type of bait looks like a small predator that’s trying to get and eat their eggs. It triggers an instinct in them to remove it — carry it off, kill it or eat it.
I fish a few different wacky worms but the Missile Baits “The 48” Worm is the one I like the most. It’s versatile and has a moderate fall rate. Senkos generally fall pretty fast and can be effective. Trick Worms typically sink slower and can also be effective. I generally like a Gamakatsu Octopus hook in the 1/0 or in the No.1 size with my wacky worms.
A Texas rig can also be hard to beat. During the spawn you might consider upping your sinker size. The bigger sinker will thump and scratch the bottom the bass are defending. That can be a big deal in getting bites while blind casting for bedding bass. Creature baits like a Missile Baits D Bomb Creature Bait are what I usually go with here. You want a bigger presence so they can find it, and it needs to be obtrusive to the bass. That helps too.
However, in Florida, they often get really tuned in to biting straight worms. Not sure why but it’s definitely a deal that seems to go on down there during the spawn.
ChatterBaits and spinnerbaits can be a great way to get bites too. They aren’t the most effective baits in clearer water, however. You may have to make repeated casts to get a bite. Hookups or hooking the fish can be a real problem because the bass aren’t usually trying to eat. They’re fighting off predators.
Don’t worry about looking for a spawning bass. Instead throw where they should be bedding. You’ll catch your share.