Slow is the name of the game no matter what you’re throwing at night, especially if you think the fish are on the bed. When selecting which bait to fish, there’s a trade-off. The Texas rig is much more thorough but also a much slower presentation. Though, if you drag it through a bed or even close to one at night, you’ll likely get bit.
With with the spinnerbait and buzzbait, however, you’re able to cover a whole lot more water but you still want to fish them as slow as possible. If you slow the spinnerbait down until you can just barely feel the blade thump, you’ll ensure the bait is near the bottom where the beds will be and give yourself the best chance of drawing a strike from a big female that won’t likely want to move far from where she’s spawning, if she actually is on bed.
The buzzbait needs to be fished as slow as possible as well, just reeling it fast enough to stay on the surface. It’s a good idea to try several different buzzbaits since some can be fished a good bit slower than others. But you really do just want to crawl a buzzbait along as slow as possible to better your chances of a fish hearing it, tracking it down and blowing up on it.
You’ll start to see patterns develop as you fish this way more and more. Year after year, you’ll be able to go back to the same areas and catch bass at night that are likely spawning. There’s no way to be totally sure one was on a bed when you catch it, but if they’re slap full of eggs like this last one I caught, that’s a pretty good indication the fish was either on bed or getting real close to going on bed.
I’ve also found that the biggest ones usually come early in the spring. I believe this holds true for bass that are spawning during the day as well. The bigger bass are older, they’ve been around the block a time or two and I think they just instinctively know when to move up to spawn a little earlier than the smaller bass do.
That’s what happened with this 8-pounder. I threw a spinnerbait for about two hours that night and caught this one big fish and maybe two or three little males. I didn’t get a lot of bites, but that one I got was well worth the two-hour investment. She was ready to pop and the second largest fish I’d ever caught off that particular lake, which I’ve fished regularly all my life.