John's Journal...

Bass-Fishing Pros’ Tips for Catching Bass After the Spawn

Tim Horton on Post-Spawn Bass

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: With the bass on the bed, most anglers can find and catch them because they can see them.  However, after the spawn, the bass seem to vanish. This week, six of the nation’s top-bass-fishing pros to tell us where to find post-spawn bass and how to catch them. Today, Tim Horton of Spruce Pine, Ala., will tell us how he fishes for bass during this exciting time of year. Horton has participated in nine Bassmaster Classics, won the Angler-of-the-Year title in 2000 and won over $240,000 last season in tournament winnings.Click to enlarge

The post spawn is one of the most-intriguing times of the year for a fisherman because there are a number of different patterns that will produce bass. My favorite tactic early in the morning is to fish top-water lures, like the Zara Spook and the XCalibur Zell Pop. I like to fish those lures over secondary points and the edges of main creek channels. The bass are coming out of shallow water where they spawn and moving toward the main lake. So, these top-water lures can be deadly effective, especially early in the morning.  On clear bodies of water, I’ll fish transparent colors, like clear with a blue back, and in stained water, I prefer brighter colors like citrus and chartreuse.

Later in the morning, I’ll look for schooling fish holding on offshore structure. Bass will school-up at this time of year and be really aggressive because they haven’t been feeding much during the spawn. When I find those schooling bass, I’ll catch them on a No. 6 Bomber Fat Free Shad in either the citrus pattern or the threadfin shad pattern, or a Yum Lizard in the green pumpkinseed or watermelon color on a Carolina rig.  Click to enlarge

With the Fat Free Shad crankbait, I’ll be fishing a 7-foot medium-action All Star rod with a Pfluger Supreme 5:1 gear ratio baitcasting reel and Bass Pro Shop’s 10-pound XPS fluorocarbon line.  I prefer to use a steady retrieve that’s not too fast and not too slow, giving the bait a stop-and-go type of motion.

When I’m fishing the Carolina rig, I’ll be fiClick to enlargeshing a 7-1/2-foot All Star medium-heavy-action rod with a 6.3:1 Pfluger President baitcasting reel on 17-pound test XPS fluorocarbon line. I’ll fish the Carolina rig on main lake and creek-channel points that come out in the main lake. These two tactics are productive mid-morning through the middle of the day. When I’m working the Carolina rig, I’m pulling my rod parallel to the water rather than vertical. This way, as I drag the lead across the bottom, I can feel the cover on the bottom or the transition in the bottom if it changes from sand to gravel or from mud to rock.  The bass often will be ganged-up on those bottom transition areas.

At this time of year, I rely heavily on the buzzbait, especially if I’m fishing for big bass. I like the XCalibur 1/2-ounce buzzbait in black or white. I generally start with the black buzzbait, especially early in the morning or on a cloudy day. If the water’s clear, I use a white buzzbait. If you’re fishing a stained-water lake, you can catch bass during the post spawn all day using the buzzbait.

Tomorrow: Shaw Grigsby and Alton Jones on Post-Spawn Bass

Check back each day this week for more about "Bass-Fishing Pros’ Tips for Catching Bass After the Spawn "

Day 1: Kevin VanDam
Day 2: George Cochran on Post-Spawn Bass
Day 3: Tim Horton on Post-Spawn Bass
Day 4: Shaw Grigsby and Alton Jones on Post-Spawn Bass
Day 5: Denny Brauer and the Post Spawn


Entry 455, Day 3