Bait migration and final thoughts

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fisherman holding largemouth bass

One thing you’ll want to pay close attention to as you track bass through the post spawn is the migration of the bait. Bass will move to wherever the food is. Shad typically start to spawn about the time the bass finish up spawning and they do this in shallow water. So shad spawns will keep bass shallow too for a while. But as soon as the shad finish up their spawning process, they’ll begin to make their way to deeper water and the bass will follow.

Bluegill spawning up shallow can also throw a kink in things and keep some of the bass population shallow even longer. Looking for bluegill beds shallow throughout the summer is a great way to catch bass and some big ones, even after the majority of the bass population has moved deeper.

Focusing on the migration of the bait and the depth at which the water temps start to cool off, you should be able to find and follow fish as they make their way through the post spawn. Stay focused shallow early on. But after a couple weeks, start to look for those first pieces of brush or slightly deeper docks to find fish. And then you’ll see a large population of the bass move fully offshore later in the summer.

But again, these bass are spawning in waves, so they’re moving through these sub-phases of the post spawn in waves as well. If you get on a particularly good dock bite for instance, it may last several weeks as waves of spawners come off the bed and begin to work their way into the post spawn phase. What you’ll often find is that there are some fish in all three of these sub-phases for several weeks since the bass aren’t all spawning and coming off the bed at the same time. So hone in on something that’s working, and fish it til it’s not. There’s no need to leave fish to find fish. But if and when that bite dries up, it’s time to move with the fish.