The spawning season for bass is an awesome time to fish, and many legendary bass have been caught during this time frame. But like every great thing to be had, the bass spawn will make you earn your catch. On a good day fishing the spawn, you could load a boat full of big bass, but on days where you just can't seem to find the fish, you might as well be angling in the desert. The spawn is also short when compared to other seasons, often just a couple weeks on the long end. Combine the short duration and time spent finding fish, and you could miss the spawn completely. Effective spawn fisherman are well-versed at two things: finding fish and cycling through the best baits to find the bite-getter. Many professional bass anglers preach bait cycling to find the one that is most effective during the spawn. Why beat a dead horse by fishing the wrong lure too long, right? Spawn fishing is also a good time to throw big baits. Big baits equal big fish, but when the bite is tough, don't be afraid to go the finesse route and present realism to your target. If you've found the fish, these might be the best lures to put the bass in your boat.
1. Texas Rigged Creature Bait
I love a good Texas Rig. It is realistic, weedless, and as versatile as a bass fishing rig can get. Soft plastics come in a variety of body styles and a plethora of colors making it possible to find the perfect combination for any situation.
When it comes to sight fishing clear water around spawning areas, many anglers will fish a Texas rigged creature bait through the shallows or near beds. If you're trying to determine what body to throw, it's a mixture of personal preference and what the fish are keying on. Soft plastic lizards, craws, and worms seem to be popular choices for the Texas Rig.
2. Jigs with Craw Trailer
Jigs can accommodate a similar fishing style to that of the Texas Rig and also provides many of the same benefits: realism and versatility. Selecting a dark colored jig and pairing with a craw style trailer is often the ticket when it comes to pulling a bass off of the bed or out of the shallows.
Jigs can provide a more hardy bait with a slightly different presentation than the Texas Rig. Working a craw-patterned jig on the bottom will often either trigger spawning bass to bite or cause bedding fish to become aggressive and protect the bed. Either way, it produces bites and is very effective at doing so.
3. Squarebill Crankbaits
Crankbaits are incredibly versatile and can be shallow water fish catching machines. The key is to run a squarebill crankbait to keep the bait in a desirable depth while fishing shallower water, somewhere in the 1 to 3 foot range.
Bluegill and craw colored lures work well in shallow water and mimic bed intruders. A crankbait can also be more versatile in retrieve than most know. Starting and stopping your retrieve and working in the occasional rip of the rod might give a more realistic appearance than that of a steady retrieve.
4. Shaky Head Worm
When the bite gets tough or the fish get pressured, it's time to break out finesse tactics. A great place to start would be the shaky head worm. Often downsized from the average Texas Rig worm and presented slightly differently, the shaky head worm will help get those stubborn bites. Along with the great amount of color options, shaky head worms are weedless and realistic. They come in at 4 to 5 inches and can be worked along the bottom of deeper water. Gently shaking the bait as it approaches structure is where a lot bites happen.
The bass spawn is a special time of year, but timing and efficiency is what will put the bass in your boat, not just a magical calendar date. Fishing the spawn can be difficult, but if you can find the fish and put the right bass lure in the water, great things can happen.
Remember, when fishing for spawning bass, don't be afraid to try many different bass bait presentations. It might take some time to find the right one, but once you find it, it's time to hang on and turn the livewell on!
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