In those few weeks after the bass move off to deeper water and into more traditional post-spawn patterns, many people switch to slow, finesse techniques as their primary method. There is good reason for that, as bass tend to go deep in the heat and don’t feed as aggressively as they do in the early spring, but don’t put away those reaction baits just yet!
Here are 3 ways to fish fast during the post-spawn:
Topwater - If you’ve ever caught a topwater fish, you know how much fun it is and summer is the perfect time for this technique. Particularly in the morning and evening when the temperature is cool and light penetration is the lowest, bass are the most active. This is the time to bust out your buzzbaits, walking baits, poppers and buzz frogs. Many times, you can fish these along rip rap, docks, weed lines and even open water where there are schooling fish present.
Once the sun comes up you don’t have to put away the topwater, just adjust your strategy a little bit. Slow down your approach with a hollow-body frog, targeting the shade pockets and thick cover. This can also be a great time to fish things like a rat-type bait or the hollow bluegill/sunfish imitators. Change with the weather and you can keep the topwater bite going all day in the post-spawn and that’s just a flat out good time!
Deep Crankbaits – When the water temp goes up, the bass head for the coolest, deepest water that still gives them the access to an easy meal. Many times, these are ledges just outside of flats and spawning bays or main lake points. This is deep crankbait time and you can put a lot of schooled up fish in the boat in a big hurry.
If you have electronics, it can be easier to identify where those schools are located, but you can also use your crankbait as a fish locater. Set up in 20 feet of water, cast toward the shoreline and work your bait along the bottom until you locate a school and then stop, trying to maintain the same casting lane. Try the real deep cranks like the Strike King 10XD or the DUO Realis G87.
Punching – This might seem like an odd technique to include in an article about fishing fast, but punching is really a reaction technique that you can cover a lot of water with. You need a heavy flipping stick, big braided line (65-80 pound test), bobber stopper, 3/4 - 2 ounce bullet weight, heavy flipping hook and a beaver-style plastic of some kind (and sometimes a punch skirt can give more “bulk” to the bait).
During the post-spawn, bass will hide up under the heaviest, thickest cover they can find. Find a bank with heavy grass, milfoil or hyacinth, basically any type of vegetation that makes a canopy on the surface for bass to hide under. Set up just outside the weedline and flip that heavy punch weight through the canopy and let it go to the bottom and slowly raise it up. Make sure you’re ready to set the hook right after the bait punches through the surface, as many times that’s when you’ll get bit. The strikes can be bone-jarring, so be ready to pull that fish out of the junk in a hurry. It’s very much a reaction bait technique and you can work quickly down the bank. A killer post-spawn technique that is highly effective.
If you’re tired of dragging a Carolina rig or a drop shot when the weather heats up, try these faster techniques to keep moving when everyone else is slowing down.