Bass Fishing: Post Spawn Patterns
In much of the US, once the bass are done spawning, the shad spawn is the next event to focus on. In the southeast, the herring spawn comes almost immediately afterward and as the bass try to regain their strength from the struggles of reproduction they find bluebacks to be an easy target. They spawn off tapered points comprised of rock, clay and gravel.
Where Do Bass Go During Post Spawn?
As the bass exit spawning flats, they stage near the shad spawn typically on purpose to be able to simultaneously guard their fry and feed before summer. Once summer comes, the bass and shad move to main lake points with access to the deep water. When they spend time off the shallow points though, they feed veraciously and topwater lures can be not only the most effective but the most enjoyable way to catch aggressive fish.
What Lures to Use During Post Spawn?
Some key lure choices include topwaters like various walking baits, swimbaits, and of course you can never discount soft jerkbaits skipped across the surface. When it’s cloudy and/or windy, the bite can last all day, but don’t stop looking for it just because the sun pops out. You may be surprised how long the bite continues even then. The only adjustment you’ll probably have to make is to upsize your baits when it’s windy, and favor smaller ones or soft plastics when it’s slick.
Once the shad are done reproducing, a large percentage of bass will move offshore and stay there until fall, but don't discount the ones that stay permanently shallow. They’ll key in on bream beds, darting in and out of the big pods of craters for an easy meal. This is a good chance to get away from the crowd and throw a frog and a wacky rig around grass.
When it gets really hot and you start to notice bait suspending in open water on your electronics though, you’re sure to find bass following them. Sometimes they’ll push them up to the surface, and once again walking baits, swimbaits and soft plastic jerkbaits are great presentations. Look for these situations both on the main lake and in larger tributaries, especially on the lower end of the lake where the clearer water exists. Make sure to cover lots of water, make lots of casts, and fish fast. Many times, the bite will last basically all day.
During the late spring early summer months, you can find fish in sometimes all three stages of spawn, and you can find them shallow, and deep. Many times, the best tip is to fish your strengths but know this, before and after the spawn, bass will be looking to get nice and fat, and use that idea to your advantage fishing reaction baits high in the water column. Once it gets warm out, you can escape the crowd by staying shallow, and if you like the deep bite, follow the bass from the spawning bays and don't stop until they hit their summer haunts. One things for certain, find the baitfish and you'll find the bass. This is true now and continues to stay true through your fall fishing too.