Jacksonville Daily Progress
The spawning season is just about over. You can still find a few scattered bass in the shallow on nests and some guarding fries.
Depending on what section of the lake you are fishing you can locate some pre-spawners, a few spawners and a lot of post-spawn bass.
The north end of most lakes holds post-spawn bass, as well as the back end of major coves. These bass have started pulling out of the flats and into creek channels, ditches and any form of cover that leads from the shallows to deep water. I call it a mass spawn reversal. With the surface temperature running from mid-70s to near 80ºF, many bass will remain near the edges of flats and drops.
There is usually a brief time in May when the top water bite will be strong. At this time of year I look for a shad spawn. Shad begin their spawn immediately after the bass spawn is over. You will also see bream taking over the bass spawn areas. That’s when the bass begin harassing the bream. That’s a good time to tie on a perch-colored top water or crank bait. I like to fish the blue gill pattern.
One key location for migrating bass on lakes like Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend is grass lines. If you can find a distinct, shallow grass line or edge that grows on a point and runs from shallow to deep water you will have discovered a key migration route.
As surface temperatures begin to rise, these post-spawn bass will begin moving further and further out on this type of grass line.
Spinner baits and crank baits can be run across the top of the submerged grass early in the morning and on windy overcast days. Top water baits like the Yellow Magic and Zara Spook will at times entice bass into striking. As the sun gets higher and bass drop down deeper, worms and jigs will come into play.
The key to success during post-spawn and early summer is to find good cover on the edge of shallow drop offs, and edge of creeks. The more cover a drop has, the larger the school of bass it’s likely to hold.
I’ve discovered that most of the bass on Lake Nacogdoches have pulled out of the shallow, covered laden flats into the edge of the creek. There is so much cover in the form of hydrilla, coontail, pads and such that the bass are really scattered. When the bass are scattered I like to tie on a Nichols’ 1/2 oz. Hologram spinner bait and cover a lot of water. Right now bass seem to be keying in on bream colors, so I use the white, chartreuse colors. Adding a little blue or green won’t hurt.
Several fishermen from Jacksonville have returned from fishing the Texas State Bass Tournament on Toledo Bend. One of those fishermen, Frank Lusk, reported that the lake was in good shape. Lusk said, “Everything looked good.” There was lots of grass, along with willow bushes, lily pads, cypress trees, Bermuda grass, and much more cover. Lusk said, “There was grass growing out to 17 feet.” Most of the bass they caught were small. The average size bass was one and a half to two pounds. Lusk mostly fished a watermelon red Sienko with a Texas rig in the shallow grass.
One other team, Glenn Hamilton and John Long, targeted humps and pepper grass. They fished Cotton Candy Wacky Worms and Carolina rigged Flukes on humps. A lot of their keeper bass were small – barely over 14 inches long. The larger bass were reported coming off of very deep humps (32 feet) on one-ounce white spinner baits. It was reported that a couple of nine-pound bass were weighed in.
Jerry Miller can be contacted at: email@example.com