Post-Spawn Fishing

Post-Spawn Fishing

By James”Big Ed” Everhart

It’s still the middle of the spawn and unless you are site fishing the bite can be tough, for those of you that like to throw reaction baits the good news is it’s about to get fun.

Post-spawn is one of those magical times of year when the fish that were hard to catch during the spawn all of a sudden become eating machines. As water temps reach 65 degrees different kinds of bait fish such as Bluegill, Crappie, Pond smelt, Catfish and Shad will all begin to or have already spawned. This loads up the lakes with protein that the fish have just spent during their spawn. The fish have pulled off the beds, are starting to feed up and move to their summer haunts, this is when reaction baits really start to shine. Mostly you are going to focus on bait fish imitations such as the Rover, Bling, Biggie and the Whopper Plopper by River2Sea. Some of my other favorites are the Helips, Little Stik, Skimmer and Roumba by IMA luresAll these baitfish imitating lures can be deadly in the post-spawn. 

Locating fish is your first priority this time of year, what I like to do is go in reverse of the pre-spawn. I start by hitting the points just outside of the spawning areas, I like to start at first light throwing the Skimmer or the Rover which are both topwater baits, I make long casts close to shore working the bait at a quick pace. I’m looking for the fish that are trying to get that one big meal first thing in the morning. As the sun gets higher I like to switch to subsurface lures like the Bling (spinnerbait), Zoom super fluke and the Biggie (square bill crank bait). I believe the  fish start to move down the point to the first structure they come to, so, if you find a rock pile, log, stump or tree in deeper water while your fishing close to shore this would be the area to target as the sun gets higher.

Working structure with reaction baits can get costly if you don’t pay attention, make sure you use sensitive rods and quality line when you decide to throw your spinnerbait or crank bait  into a bush or tree. Getting caught up in the bush is alright if you can rip it free, that’s when you will trigger some bites. One of the other covers I like to find during post-spawn is grass, quality grass such as Hydrilla can really hold a ton of fish especially if you can find areas where it grows to the surface and creates a mat. When you have grass that is only subsurface bringing your spinnerbait or crank-bait through this grass and ripping it out when you get hung will elicit some ferocious bites. The grass will also hold schools of fish normally (if it’s a good size patch) so don’t leave after you catch one fish throw back through it ten or twenty times making sure to change angles and baits you would be surprised how many fish you can find in one decent size patch of grass. This also applies to solid structure like logs and bushes make many casts at different angles and switch baits intermittently. Back to the grass that grows to the surface and makes a mat, this gives you a bit more of a challenge to fish but it also allows me to interject one of my favorite post-spawn reaction baits, the hollow body frog. 

I can and will write an entire blog on fishing frogs but for this blog I will just introduce it. The hollow body frog can really produce some giant fish in the post-spawn but what it also allows you to do is fis

Frog, Bass, Post-Spawn

Post -Spawn frog fish

h cover that other top water and subsurface baits cannot. Always fish this bait on braided line 65 pound at minimum and with a heavy fast action rod 7′ to 7’6″. They are extremely weedless and easy to get off a snag if you happen to get into one. Make as long of a cast as you can across the mated grass then twitch, drag and hop the frog across the top of the grass stopping intermittently. One key to this bite is DON’T SET THE HOOK UNTIL YOU FEEL THE FISH! A lot of times they will blow up on the bait and miss it if you leave it right there and start working it again they might come back and get it.

Post-spawn bass are looking to eat and they aren’t super picky, so this is a great time to take your kids out fishing (and the brother in-law) and let them catch fish with baits that keep them interested. Reaction baits allow them to cast and still catch fish so don’t forget to let them tag along this time of year.

I hope this helps you next time your on the water.

See you on the Water

Big Ed