That special time of year is here for parts of the Deep South and will be here soon enough for our Northern brethren. The time of year where targeting bedding bass will be the primary way to catch them! For me, this maybe my favorite time to catch fish. It offers an incredible opportunity to not only target fish the way I like in shallow water, but it’s such a great time to enjoy nature and literally watch bass in their natural habitat. You can really learn a lot about bass behavior this time of year and see how they react to baits. While I will save my favorite baits and setups for another blog, today I want to cover a couple mandatory things to keep in mind and in your boat during the spawn!
Swift, but Silent
This is a fun line to try to balance! It’s important to move quick enough and not waste time while searching for bedding bass, but at the same time, it’s equally as important to be stealthy and silent. You can surely waste a lot of time in dead water or casting around to uncatchable bass if you let yourself, so I try to make it a point to move quickly until I find an area worth spending some time in. Yet, if you come in with a trolling motor blaring, electronics pinging, and making a lot of noise then nearly every area will look like a ghost town of empty beds because the vast majority of fish will be spooked. I like to use a push pole of some sort to navigate my way around shallow bays and backwaters and attempt to keep a low profile when approaching potential areas to fish.
If there is one thing to keep in your boat (and on) at all times, it’s got to be a good pair of polarized glasses. In this season, we’re locating fish primarily with our eyes. That $5000 worth of electronics aren’t going to be much help, but even an entry level pair of polarized glasses can be the difference between catching fish and going home with a skunk. I even go so far as to stock up on a few pairs of cheaper glasses to keep in a storage compartment barring the chance of losing or breaking a pair. You do not want to be caught on the water without these!
Don’t Get Attached
My last point can’t be stressed enough, but it is only really something that is learned with experience and even the pros fall victim to this at times. DON’T WASTE TIME ON A BASS THAT ISN’T READY TO BITE! A lot of times we can become emotionally invested in a bedding bass, especially a big one. But it would behoove you to learn about bass behavior and try to understand what to look for in a bass that is either ready to bite or one that you don’t stand a chance at catching. On the ground level, if he/she is reluctant to leave the bed, leaves and immediately comes back, and goes nose down on your bait; you can probably catch this fish pretty quick. If the fish isn’t reacting at all to your bait or is leaving the nest altogether; it’s best to mark that bed and come back a little later.
This can be a phenomenal time of year to experience everything we love about bass fishing, and it can be a great time to learn a lot about the creatures we adore!