The post spawn has always been a dreaded time of tough fishing for most anglers, bass that have just moved off the beds aren’t in a feeding mood, bass are still spawning, and new fish are moving up all the time. It is more isolated in waves and not all fish are going to be in the classic post spawn funk at the same time. The good news however is they do need to eat again after expending that much energy and that’s when you can have some of the most explosive fishing of the year it just depends on where to look.
Once bass have done spawning both males and females will stick around in a defensive mood, often anglers mistake them for spawning fish but their telltale torn up fins and empty bellies are a good sign they’re protecting the nest, this usually only last a few days before big females head deep and you predominantly find buck bass in an area guarding fry. These shallow bass can be tricked with a shallow running Sensation Jerk Minnow, popper, Spook or weightless stickbait like a YUM Dinger on lighter line. The bigger females head for the nearest break or prime cover to recuperate until they begin getting their appetite back usually in that 5-10ft range. Look for them in and around prime spawning areas near brush, rock or grass where they can setup and recover in cooler water and ambush prey. A well-presented creature bait, weightless jerkbait, crankbait or jerkbait will deliver results.
As the post pawn period progresses bass will either move off deeper into prime summer structure like ledges, drop offs and humps or in shallow, grass filled fisheries head into ultra shallow cover. Our Kurper species will spawn in the shallowest water possible and when you find them bass won’t be far behind. Key areas are hard bottoms, with cover like Tules, brush or rock nearby deepwater cover like matted vegetation or standing timber for bass to transition from throughout the day.
Here reaction baits like spinnerbaits, swim jig and squarebill crankbaits to imitate the Kurper will deliver some of the biggest fish of the year. When they’re feeding on top during lowlight periods you can’t go wrong with a buzzbait, big spook or a prop bait like a classic Tiny Torpedo.
If you’re seeing bass visibly feeding in the shallows a weightless jerkbait or frog can wreak havoc, try and imitate the baitfish with natural colours like watermelon and green pumpkin in super clear water. Making long casts here are key and remember to upscale your line as you’ll often have to haul big bass over the top of vegetation.
As water temps increase bass start to migrate to deeper, cooler water around main lake structure like points, humps and channel bends returning to more predictable patterns. For boat anglers you can enjoy all day action with finesse baits, deep diving crankbaits and bottom bouncing rigs. If you’re limited to bank fishing during summer don’t give up, invest in a pair of waders and target areas off the bank or alternatively fish prime times during early morning and later afternoon when bass come onto feed. Arm yourself with all the usual suspects and topwaters like poppers, spooks and frogs.
Lure fishing for Tigers from the side can be both frustrating and exhilarating at the same time. In this episode, The Crow stopped for a quick 2hr session at Jozini Dam. The first hour was dismal on bait so he decided to switch over to soft plastics.