Spawning time for bass can be prime season for fishing. During the early spring, male and female bass will be nesting in shallower, warmer waters, spawning the next generation. Since bass are reluctant to leave their nests during this period, the bass angler has to present irritable lures to get the bass to move off the bed and feed. Lures have to offer sharp hooks to help overcome the natural bass spawning behavior of grabbing a lure and just spitting it out to get rid of a perceived threat to the nest.
Soft Plastic Lures
Plastic worms, grubs, crayfish, frogs and insects are some of the top types of lures to throw at spawning nests. Choose plastic worms by coloring, keyed to the coloring of the water around the beds. If the water is murky, lean toward hotter colors like pinks, limes and yellows. Try plastic lures with imbedded scent properties or treat your plastic lures with spritz-on scent products.
Spinner baits are going to be effective on larger bass in particular. Use a spin casting reel to surgically plop a spinner bait—rigged with a brightly colored skirt and an extra dash of pork rind--just behind a nesting area, then retrieve the lure slowly across the face of the bass’ front porch. Big lunkers should be sufficiently annoyed at the disturbance to hit the spinner. If you’ve taken the time to sharpen the hook, you should be in luck.
Jigs are shorter than spinner baits and have more skirting. Try several skirt colors to find the combination the spawning bass are interested in. Add pork rind or a short plastic grub to the hook for additional interest.
Shad and other small fish are a staple in the bass diet. During spawning, when large bass are essentially stuck doing guard duty in the nesting areas, they can hunger for a snack that looks like a shad. Try various crank baits, with spoons and without, that present an interesting shad look and action.
Crank baits that have special sound-producing properties, rattlers, can also be very effective in coaxing bass off their nests. Drag a rattler over the top of a spawning site several times and see if the “pots and pans” rattling effect grabs the interest of nesting lunkers.
Importance of Presentation
Whatever lure you use, your presentation has to be spot on for the spawning conditions. The bass’ first priority will be in ejecting any intruder in the nest area. Eating will come second. Use the sharpest hooks to increase your chances of snagging a bass that has come out merely to chase off an intruder. The bass will suck the lure into his mouth and then spit it out almost immediately. A sharp hook on the end of any lure will increase the odds in your favor.
- Bass Angler's Almanac; John Weiss
- 101 Bass Catching Secrets; Roland Martin
- Kevin VanDam's Bass Strategies; Kevin VanDam