No matter where you are in the country, chances are that in the month of April you’re going to have bass in your local water that are in one or more stages of the spawn. In fact, many times you’ll actually have bass that are in all three stages of the spawn at the same time. Some will be in pre-spawn, some in the spawn and others recovering in the post-spawn period.
Here are some tips to understanding a little about (and catching) bass in all stages of the spawn:
The few weeks before bass make their bed to lay their eggs can be some of the best fishing of the year. Typically, bass aggressively feed as they leave their deep winter spots and start moving to shallower water. This is a great time to throw reaction lures like jerkbaits, lipless crankbaits, swimbaits and even topwater. Target main points and secondary points leading into large cuts or coves and keep moving until you find those active feeders.
When bass pair up with their mates and start hanging around in the shallow water, you know it’s spawning time. Bass like to make their beds in the very back of coves or small bays, near structure like a rock pile, dock piling, submerged stump or other structure for protection. When you see the dark circle of a spawning bed and bass holding on it, cast brighter colored plastics like craw-style baits, creature baits, or senkos in and around the bed. When you see that bait disappear, set the hook!
Fishing can be tough for a couple weeks after the spawning period, so if you can still fish for pre-spawn or spawning bass, they might be easier to pattern. When bass are recovering after the spawn, they typically start to head towards deeper water for the remaining summer months. Targeting post-spawn fish can be effective with deeper crankbaits or plastics on the first drop-off outside of a spawning bay. You can also catch them shallow in the morning and evening on faster moving reaction baits and topwater.