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

Shaw Grigsby and Alton Jones 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 we’ll let Shaw Grigsby of Gainesville, Florida, and Alton Jones of Waco, Texas, tell us how they locate and catch post-spawn bass. Grigsby, the host of “One More Cast with Shaw Grigsby” TV show, has won over $1 million on the BASS circuit. Jones has fished 11 Bassmasters Classics and has had four, tour-level wins on the BASS circuit.

Shaw Grigsby:
You really have two options for post-spawn bass. The body of water you’re fishing determines where you’ll find the bass. Just after the spawn, many bass are still in shallow water protecting the newly-spawned fry. At this time of year, I prefer to fish a jerkbait like the Wild Shiner from Strike King and a soft-plastic jerkbait like the Z Too in shallow water to cover a lot of water and fish these lures fast down the bank to locate bass. Click to enlarge

When a jerkbait lands near the fry of the bass, it acts like it’s trying to eat that fry. The momma and the poppa bass will attack the threat to protect their fry. Using this tactic, you can limit-out pretty easily at this time of year. During the spawn, the females usually come into shallow water, lay their eggs and then pull back out to deep water. They’ll be hanging out in the areas where they hold during the pre spawn. You often can find big females ganged-up on the points and/or on little brush piles there, perhaps on the first drop-off from the spawning flats. The bass usually will be holding on some type of cover on that first bottom break away from the spawning region.

One of the best ways to locate and catch these bass is with a lipless crankbait like the Red Eye Shad, a great search bait you can fish quickly. The lure’s weighted nose falls fast and swims as it falls. My other choice will be a Strike King Series 5 crankbait. You have to pick the color of lure to match the water conditions on the lake at the time you’re fishing. But my favorite colors at this time of year are shad colors. The female bass have lost weight during the spawn and theyClick to enlarge need to fatten back up, so they’ll primarily be feeding on shad.

Alton Jones:
After the spawn, some bass always stay in shallow water because then the shad and the bluegill spawn - both fish that bass like to eat. For this reason, the bass don’t necessarily go out to deep water after the spawn. My favorite place to target right after the spawn is shallow water near bream beds, where shad sometimes spawn too. Bedding bream and spawning shad offer the bass a steak dinner that’s always in the same location. Many times the bream beds will be in or near where the bass spawn.

This time of year is best to pick up a spinner bait and wear the water out with it. I prefer a 3/8-ounce white Booyah spinner bait with silver or silver-and-gold blades, generally willowleaf. For clear water, I’ll be using straight silver blades, but if the water’s stained, I prefer the silver-and-gold blades. Since I’ll fish around cover, I prefer 17- or 20-pound-test fluorocarbon line.

Another bait I’ll fish in the post spawn parallel to a weed or a grass line is the buzzbait, especially in lakes where the water’s stained. Some days during the post spawn you can fish a buzzbait all day and catch bClick to enlargeass.

To catch the big females, identify the routes the females use when they come into the spawning grounds because they’ll follow those as they leave. Wherever you’ve caught female bass prior to the spawn, those are the same places to fish in the post spawn. Generally the female bass will be suspended on the edges of or right over ditches or creek channels.

My favorite type of bottom break or ditch to fish may only be a 1- to a 2-foot change in bottom depth – those subtle bottom breaks that often get overlooked by anglers. They don’t show up on most lake maps, so you have to use your electronics to find them. I’ll fish the edges of those ditches with a pearl-white Bomber 6A crankbait quickly until I locate the bass. Often you’ll find a wolf pack of bigger bass and perhaps catch as many as six in one spot.

Always remember, the bass are moving in the post spawn. You may find them in one spot one day and later they may be 200 or 300 yards from there, still on creek channels or ledges. Many people think that catching bass during the post spawn is tough because the bass are usually moving, making them hard to locate.

Tomorrow: Denny Brauer and the Post Spawn

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 4