Bed Fishing

Bed Fishing for Bass

By James “Big Ed” Everhart

As we shake off the winter doldrums one of the really fun types of fishing starts to rear its head, Bed Fishing. This is one of my favorite types of fishing. Not only is it really fun to go out and find the big fish on beds, it’s also really fun to try to entice them into biting a bait that they really aren’t looking to eat.

Bed Fishing can and really is a difficult skill to learn. Some people think you just pull up on a fish throw a bait in their face and pull out a bass. Let me reassure you it’s not that easy. Now I’m not going to say it’s never like that, sometimes you get lucky and find a bass that is just locked on to the bed and defending it vehemently. The reality of the situation is that big bass are usually big for a reason, their not stupid but they can be fooled. Anger+Aggression=Foolishness, that’s what you are trying to accomplish to be a really good bed fisherman.

I have a three-step process I go through to catch bed fish. 1) Find out if the fish is on a bed or just thinking about it. One of the mistakes I see people make is trying to fish for a bed fish, that really isn’t  one. This time of year the bass start to move shallow and think about bedding, just because you see one sitting in the shallows doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a bedding fish. I see people spend hours trying to catch a bass that has no intention of bedding that day. One trick I use is to run the fish off then turn around pull away and see if it moves back to the same spot (this should only take 30 seconds or so). If the fish doesn’t come right back to the same spot move on that fish is not ready. 2) Once I know the fish is on a bed I set up with the sun to my back and at a distance that allows me to see the fish yet the fish feels comfortable. How do you know if the fish is comfortable? Most of the time you will know because the fish will turn its back to you, showing that it doesn’t find you a threat. 3) Bait time, I like to start big then go small then have the deal sealer ready to go. Depending on where you are in the country big might be an 8inch trout or a 5inch bluegill either way I like something that will really piss them off. Then I put something really small on the bed, this will sometimes be all it takes to get the bite. By small I mean a 1inch to 3inch bait just something that is non menacing but easy to eat. If that combo lacks the result I’m looking for then I take out the “LBS Tackle” “Bed Basher”, this is the bait I use to really piss this fish off and get it to make a foo

Bass Fishing, Bed Fishing

The Bed Basher catches a Ten+ off the bed.

lish decision.

How to work a Bass on the bed? I start with my big bait, when you first start working the fish most of the time their not aggressive. So, I put a big trout in there and get them to start pushing it and bumping it. The fish is now beginning to defend the area, watch for the gills to flare, the mouth looks like she is barking at the bait or she picks it up and moves it from the bed. This is when I pick up my tiny bait, most of my experiences have been when the big bait leaves and the tiny one hits the bed they eat it right away. Now when you get a fish that just isn’t responding to these tactics I get the Bed Basher out and start getting aggressive myself. First I introduce the bait to the fish by casting it out and dropping it right on the bed and letting the fish swim off then come back to the bait on the bed. I then pull it out and recast, this time I cast behind the fish and sneak it up as close as I can and smack her in the butt with it. I get about 65% of my bites on the knee jerk reaction to being hit in the butt. I have learned that fish don’t like to be touched, at all. Just keep pestering the fish this way over and over switching up between baits

eventually it will make a mistake and you get a photo opportunity.

Remember to put your fish back. This is a fun way to fish and the research shows that it does not effect the spawning cycle in the lake nevertheless it is always better to release these fish back to the water that they were spawning so they can get back at it. The future of your favorite lake will always be better if you practice catch and release this time of year.

Clearlake, Big Bass, Bed Fishing

10+ bed Basher victim.

Hope you enjoyed the article. See you on the Water

Big Ed