By Guest Columnist and Pro Angler Scott Suggs
Post-spawn fishing for bass can encompass everything from hatched eggs to shady summer haunts, but it pretty much begins as soon as the bass start leaving their spawning beds and runs throughout the summer. Though some anglers love this time of year and others hate it, once you get post-spawn bass pinpointed you could be in for some of the best fishing of the year.
Just because the bass have quit spawning doesn’t mean they’ve quit being bass, so some of the tactics for spawning bass will still work. One of my favorite spawning baits is also very effective during post spawn. One of my favorites is a Power Lizard in green pumpkin, one of the most productive bass baits ever made. After the spawn, I’ll Carolina rig the Lizard and fish it for post-spawning bass in areas where I expect to find the fish coming off their beds.
Even when I’m fishing offshore areas, I’ll still fish the lizard—either Texas or Carolina rigged—to catch bass during the rest of the year. But if the post spawn coincides with the shad spawn, I’ll look for some shallow chunk rock or riprap that will hold spawning shad and target the predatory bass nearby.
Sometimes post-spawn bass will take to the shallows or other staging areas until they leave for their summer hangouts. When I go after post spawners in the shallows I prefer a Power Tube jig. I’ll rig the tube with a lightweight slip sinker if I want a slow fall to let bass see the bait longer. If the bass aren’t feeding actively, and I want to trigger a reaction strike, I’ll use a heavier sinker like a 5/16- or a 3/8-ounce and fish it around any type of cover I can locate. I’m betting on getting a strike as soon as the bait hits the water and begins to fall. If the bass don’t take the bait on the fall, I’ll pop the lure up one or two times off the bottom. If I still don’t get a strike, I’ll reel the bait in and pitch to another piece of cover.
Remember, the post-spawn period is much longer than the pre-spawn and spawning periods, so learning how to fish this time of year will ensure you’re catching fish even up into the dog days of summer.
Scott Suggs is the 2007 FLW Champion and the first angler in professional bass fishing to win $1 million in a single tournament.