We live in a high speed world where everything we do is fast paced. Fishing is no exception. However, when it comes to targeting spawning bass, the best practice is to S-L-O-W down and observe the nest.
We already know that tube jigs, lizards, creature baits, Senko style lures and stand-up jigs are great choices and sometimes the first cast may bring an instant aggressive strike. Other times they seem to ignore everything. In that case you may need to study the reactions to the normal activity of the male and female on the bed. No matter how big the bed, there is ALWAYS a “sweet spot” that the female has chosen to lay her eggs or has already deposited them there. This is the primary target zone. Often times it is not in the center of the bed. You will often see small bluegill and other fish darting in and out of the bed but if you watch long enough you will start to see a pattern of aggression towards a smaller zone. Using Fluorocarbon line for stealth, always cast beyond the sweet spot and gently bring your bait to the edge of the zone. Observe the reactions of both fish to determine the techniques to use for working the bait.
The old approach was to catch the male first and place it in a witness relocation area notably your livewell, however some believe not to do that but to keep shaking off the smaller male in an attempt to make the larger female more aggressive rather than spooking her away. Next time you approach a bass bed with a potentially worthy fish take a little time and simply study the bed, the rewards can be worthwhile.
Be sure to check back next Tuesday for more tips from our staff experts and pro-staff from around the country.