Shad spawn may be a major factor

EUFAULA, Ala. — Bass and shad could be spawning at the same time when B.A.S.S. Nation Southern Divisional anglers compete on Lake Eufaula this week.

“I think the shad spawn is going to be a major factor,” said Bassmaster Elite Series pro Kelley Jaye.

“If someone can find a good shad spawn in an area, they can catch 17 to 20 pounds in just a matter of 30 minutes.”

The Alabama pro suggests looking for spawning shad around the riprap of bridges. His top picks for throwing around the baitfish are a No. 8 Shad Rap crankbait (chartreuse and white) and a walking topwater plug such as a Lucky Craft Sammy or Zara Spook.

“A shallow bite should dominate that tournament,” said Jaye, who noted Eufaula bass will either be spawning or in the early stages of the postspawn. Flipping a Texas rigged green pumpkin Brush Hog to shallow cover or pumping a 1/4-ounce chartreuse-and-white spinnerbait with oversized gold willowleaf blades in the grass should be productive patterns during the tournament. The best areas for these tactics should be the spawning pockets with pea gravel or sandy banks on the lower end of the lake.

Lake Facts

Forage base — threadfin and gizzard shad

Surface acreage — 45,181 acres

Average depth — 15 to 18 feet

Shoreline mileage — 640 miles

Expected water clarity — 1 to 3 feet of visibility

Dominant structure/cover — ledges, grass, riprap, shallow bushes, piers

Predicted winning weight — 61 pounds