Bass are moving off the beds across a good portion of the country as we enter into the post spawn phase. This period of the year can make for some pretty tough fishing at times. The fish are on the move and often times reluctant to bite in the early post spawn, as they’re trying to recover from the grueling spawning process. Today, we’re going to look at 5 great baits for the early post spawn period which will help you catch more bass.
Walking Style Topwater
One of the best things about the early post spawn period for bass, is that it coincides with the shad spawn. Shad spawn in the thousands against almost any sort of cover along the surface: docks, grass lines, tree tops, riprap, etc. So having a few baits on deck that mimic shad during the early post spawn period is key.
That’s where a walking style topwater like the Strike King Sexy Dawg comes in to play. Walking a bait like this along the surface through one of these shad spawns is great way to catch bass, and lots of them quick. But finding a shad spawn can be a little tricky at times. No matter, a walking style topwater works great during the post spawn even without a shad spawn. Fish it along the banks early and through tree tops and along docks later in the day and you’re sure to draw some big blowups.
A squarebill like the Castaic Squarebill 1.0 is another great bait for the early post spawn. Again, if you can find a shad spawn, a bait like this does a great job of mimicking a shad just below the surface. And a squarebill actually gives you a great complimentary tool to the topwater for the shad spawn in case the bass are only blowing up on the topwater and not willing to eat it all the way.
But similarly to the topwater, even if you can’t find a shad spawn a squarebill still works great in the early post spawn, especially in muddy or stained creeks. A lot of the bass in these areas will stay shallow all year and never really move offshore. So a squarebill gives you a great bait to throw around shallow laydowns, stumps and other cover throughout the post spawn to target fish like these.
A wacky rig is another fantastic bait to use during the early post spawn. As the bass come off the bed, they can be a little finicky and hesitant to bite moving baits as they seek shelter in the shade of docks and trees to try to recuperate. Skipping a wacky rig around all sorts of shallow shady cover works really well in the early post spawn period.
Bass are also ‘guarding fry’ during this time of the year, meaning the male bass are hanging close to the newly hatched schools of baby bass (or fry) to protect them from bluegill and other predators. A wacky rig falling slowly through a school of fry is a great way to entice a fry guarder into biting.
Medium Diving Crankbait
As the fish start to move to a little deeper water, medium diving crankbaits like the MONSTERBASS Rollo 6 work really well around riprap, secondary points, brush, docks and any other shallow to midrange cover. Bass are looking for cooler water as the summer heat starts to set in. So a large portion of the population will start to make their way off the bank and out into deeper, cooler water.
Having a good crankbait that will dive to the 6- to 10- foot range on deck helps you check those slightly deeper areas to see if the bass have begun to move out. And remember, bass spawn in waves, meaning not all bass spawn at the same time on a fishery. So they’ll also work their way into the post spawn in waves and you may catch some super shallow on the same day as you’ll catch some a little deeper. So keeping a medium diving crankbait on deck gives you a good option for checking those slightly deeper holes throughout the day.
Perhaps one of the best post spawn baits of all time, a drop shot rigged with a soft plastic like the Z-Man Trick ShotZ works really well this time of year. Again, the fish will start to move towards deeper water during the post spawn period, but they may still be a little finicky. So you’ll want a finesse bait you can fish a little deeper. That’s where the drop shot comes in.
Using a drop shot to pinpoint mid-range to deeper offshore cover works really well during the post spawn. Bass will hunker down around stumps, brush piles, bridge pilings, dock posts and other cover in 10- to 25- feet of water, and even deeper as the summer goes on. Having a bait that you can precisely drop vertically or pitch to that cover is critical when trying to get a bite.
The post spawn can be a little tough at times. But there are certainly lots of ways to get bit still. Take these five baits out with you on your next trip and you’re guaranteed to have something that will get bit and hopefully help you catch a monster bass.