Post-spawn fishing in notoriously tough. The bass have just come off the beds and are exhausted. With their sole focus on resting and recuperating, they often times refuse to bite if it requires much energy at all. Elite Series pro, John Crews, steps in to help us breakdown the early post-spawn, where to look first, and how to target and actually take advantage of the post-spawn.
Post Spawn Bass Fishing: Targeting the Bass fry
The main thing to look for in the early post-spawn is bass fry. You’re looking for fish based on where you think the bass fry will be. Look for isolated cover that’s back in pockets and protected. A topwater bait works really well because the fish are up high in the water column around the fry.
Post Spawn Bass Fishing: Looking at Ledge Lakes
They get on the shallow bars first. The long points and hard spots near the spawning areas, with shallow being 6 to 10 feet. They’ll be on that kind of stuff for 2 or 3 weeks.
A Carolina rig is really good this time of year with a smaller bait.
If you get a lot of wind or weather you can catch them on a jerkbait and cranking too. But the Carolina rig is definitely my go-to with that deal. The thing about a Carolina rig is you can throw it up there in 1 or 2 feet of water and work it all the way out to 10 or 15 feet. Plus, you can pinpoint exactly where they are. Sometimes they’ll be up on top of the point really shallow and sometimes they’ll be out in 6 or 8 feet of water farther out on the point. But if you’re throwing a crankbait you’re kind of locked into one particular depth range.
Once you find out what depth they’re in, you can throw something else at them like a crankbait to give them something different to look at. A Fluke is really good on those shallow bars too.
Post Spawn Bass Fishing: Looking at Highland Reservoirs With Herring
Any of those lakes with the blueback herring in them, bass get on those red clay points and saddles where those bluebacks will be spawning. The herring spawn right after the bass so the bass will finish spawning and 2 weeks later they’re gorging on those bluebacks.
That usually is a morning bite with a topwater bait or swimbait, but they’ll be around those same areas all day. Later in the day you can finesse them with a Ned rig, shaky head, dropshot or Carolina rig. And sometimes you can still trigger them up later in the day with a topwater bait too.
Post Spawn Bass Fishing: Use the Shad Spawn to Your Advantage
The shad spawn starts about the same time the bass start to spawn but the shad spawn lasts longer. The shad spawn is an early in the morning thing and then it’s over with. But you can fish around the bass fry all day with a topwater.
The shad will spawn in marinas, along floating docks or riprap, bushy grass, willow grass.
But the key is, it’s got to be calm. If you get any wind at all, the shad won’t spawn. If there’s a little ripple on the water, that’s a deal breaker.
Post Spawn Bass Fishing: Find Bass in Docks and Marinas
In the immediate post-spawn, the bass will usually be on the walkways or on the back sides of the docks. Not out on the ends but up shallow. That’s where the fry will be hanging around. A wacky rigged MISSILE Baits 48 is hard to beat.
The marinas are more of a shad spawn deal to me.
They will either be there early during the shad spawn or there won’t be much there. Some will hang around the marinas all day, but the shad spawn is definitely the primarily deal there.
Post Spawn Bass Fishing: Key in on Shallow Brush
You can definitely catch fish in the early post-spawn around shallow brush. But for me, it’s not something I do a lot. I don’t fish the same lakes often because I’m fishing on the road, so I don’t have a lot of shallow brush I know about on the top of my head. I more so pattern points and docks that I can see rather than isolated brush.
The post-spawn is the one time of year I don’t throw a jig, other than a swim jig. If I am fishing brush like this, I want to throw something straight and non-intrusive. Like a shaky head, dropshot, Neko rig or ned rig. Throw something more on the finesse side and you’ll catch 5 times as many fish. They’re out there healing up and they’re still eating, but they don’t want a lot of wild action to the bait.
Post Spawn Bass Fishing: Always Check Around Bream Beds
They get on bream beds heavy in the early post-spawn too. Those will be in the back of pockets and you can kind of run a pattern if you start catching a few fish on them. You can see the beds from a mile away. If you get up there to where you can actually see the bream on the beds, you’re too close. You have to make long casts on those deals.
The little prop baits and poppers are good on bream beds. But an old school shaky head is hard to beat. I like a wacky rig around bream beds too, but for the most part, that shaky head is the deal.
The early post spawn is one of my favorite times of the year to hit the water. These bass do get finicky, but when you figure out their deal, you can catch a boatload! Make sure you give it a try this season!