Shaw Grigsby may be one of the best sight fishermen to ever fish professionally. In fact, Gerald Swindle once said, “I’m not sure if Shaw Grigsby is an organ donor, but if he is, I want his eyes.” Grigsby has a rare talent for not only finding big bass on beds but also getting them to bite and landing them. He shared his 5 best tips for catching bedding bass in the spring.
Anglers that spot a bass on a spawning bed tend to get a little excited, and the high number of casts they drag through a bed often reflects the adrenaline rush.
“People make far too many casts to a bedding bass in a short period of time,” Grigsby said. “When a bass sees a lure going in and out of the bed repeatedly, they aren’t enticed to eat it nearly as much as when that lure threatens the sweet spot — where the eggs lie.”
In other words, let your lure hang a couple of minutes until it becomes a nuisance in the bed.
Cast beyond the sweet spot
A typical spawning bed is about the size of a trash can lid, but the eggs will be deposited in a much smaller area, about the size of a softball, within the bed.
“That’s what I call the ‘sweet spot’—where they’re most likely to defend and bite, but don’t cast right at it,” warned the 16-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier. “Instead, cast past the bed and slowly drag the lure into the sweet spot to entice them.”
Leave the male alone
Most anglers know the smaller of two bass near a bed will be the male. But a somewhat false belief is that by catching the male first, the female will then surely bite next.
“People think if you catch the male first, then the larger female will automatically eat next, but often times, when you catch that male first, the big female swims away from the bed and never returns.”
If the male bites first, don’t set the hook. Instead, keep working until the larger female eats.
Catch more spawners on spinning tackle
“Don’t get me wrong, I carry both baitcasting and spinning tackle when targeting spawners, but more times than not, a bass will bite lures on lighter line with spinning tackle far faster than if you’re using heavy equipment.
“The three B.A.S.S. Invitationals I won on Sam Rayburn came around gnarly, flooded bushes, and I was using 10-pound monofilament on a spinning reel back then. You just have to make sure you’re using a spinning reel with a great drag, and take your time fighting them.”
Grigsby’s top choice for spawning equipment includes a size 30 Quantum Speed Freak spinning reel on a 6-foot, 10-inch medium-heavy power rod. He spools the spinning reel with 20-pound Seaguar braided line, tied to an 8-pound Seaguar InvizX fluorocarbon leader.
White is right for beds
“The absolute number one color for bed fishing is white, or what Strike King calls pearl. It’s not because the fish prefer that color, but rather because you can simply see white better on the bed most of the time.
“In the ‘80s and ‘90s it seemed like we always used tubes and lizards around spawning beds, but these days I generally reach for a Strike King Rodent or Rage Bug.”
Grigsby emphasized carrying a wide variety of lures, including tubes, lizards and beavers. If they won’t bite white, he uses black/blue or summer craw.
Fact is, you nor Swindle can have Grigsby’s eyes, but we can all become better sight fishing anglers during the spring, but we can capitalize on the ones we find with these great sight fishing tips.