Key on other spawns

no-image

Before and after spawning, bass feel the urge to feed heavily. On the front end, they need to store up calories that’ll last them through a strenuous period, while after the fact, regaining lost weight is critical to survival.

As Canterbury notes, nature provides ready made opportunities through the reproductive cycles of primary forage species.

Shad Spawns: Usually lasting only an hour or so after sunup, thousands of baitfish frantically flickering around docks, grass, seawalls and flooded bushes offers easy pickings. This is straight-up reaction bait fishing, so keep a mix of topwaters, squarebills, spinnerbaits, swimbaits, bladed jigs and underspins handy.

“The shad will spawn several days in a row in the same location, so it’s important to find several of those places in practice,” Jones said. “And try to match the size of the shad with your bait, whether it’s big gizzard shad or little threadfin shad.”

A good shad spawn bite can fill your limit in a hurry, but it can just as easily deliver heartbreak. Just ask Joe Uribe Jr., who enjoyed two days of raging shad spawn action until big winds the night of day two pushed the bait and the bass off his spot. What had been a turkey shoot, became a ghost town on the final morning.

Bream Beds: More consistent than shad spawns, bedding bream are one of the top targets for post spawners. When the panfish start packing into shallow spawning grounds, the honeycomb look of clustered beds is unmistakable to anglers, while the vulnerable appearances of distracted meals is irresistible to opportunistic bass.

“What comes to mind here, is this is the one time of year you can throw a topwater all day, regardless of weather conditions,” Jones said.

Frogs, big walkers like a Zara Spook, poppers and prop baits — all will earn you big-time bites when bass target bream beds. Jones likes a barred pattern for mimicking young bluegill, but he won’t hesitate to dress up a plain sided bait with a permanent marker.