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Author Topic: Spawning Favorites  (Read 489 times)

D.W. Verts

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Spawning Favorites
« on: April 25, 2018, 05:21:55 PM »

I have a very few baits and techniques that I prefer to use for pond fish once the spawn actually begins. These will also work, of course, for reservoir fishin', but I chose to do this article for the bank beaters.

The biggest item for me during the spawn is water clarity. There are several ways to look at this, but it really is pretty simple- in clear water the fish will be more spooky, and they can see you. But then there's the trade-off that you can see THEM too, making your presentations more of a precise deal.

In stained water you may not actually see the fish on the bed- what you WILL see is them chasin' sunfish away from the nest, and that will get you close as to where the bed actually is.

Remember- a bedding bass is not a feeding bass. They're in it for the protection of their eggs and fry. You need to play this accordingly! Repeated casts, over and over, and over some more, may be a necessity.

Okay- my baits that I prefer for spawning bass, in no particular order are:

The Arbogast Jitterbug. This thing really seems to torque them sometimes. I don't worry too much about colors, but I do throw the 3", 5/8 oz. version almost exclusively. On your first tosses past/over a bed, just crank it on through the nest with a slow, steady retrieve. Try to get a "read" on how the fish reacts. If you don't get bit, try some stop and go action and see what happens. Strikes can be violent! The Jitterbug works in clear to moderately stained water.

Plastic Lizard. This is the old standby- the premise is that bass HATE lizards, 'cuz lizards eat eggs. I have no way to prove or disprove that, but I do know that spawning bass will SMOKE a plastic lizard. I use both 4" and 6" versions on a Texas Rig, with a fairly light sinker. I like black, or dark/natural colors. I may use PINK. The fish don't care. The lizard works in both clear, and stained water.

Soft Jerk Bait. I've caught some killer strings on these things where I couldn't really see the beds, even in the clearer water where I'll be throwing them. Just use a slow, twitch, twitch, pause... twitch, etc. etc. All colors work well- try one in Bubblegum to really blow their wheels off when they're on the nest!

Tubes. The 3" and 4" Fat Gitzit-style baits will always be a sight-fishing staple, especially for spawners. This is a clear-water deal- you're throwing the bait into the nest where you can see how the fish reacts, and see the strike. All colors work- I also use the Bubblegum here, and sometimes a pure White tube. Again, the fish don't care and it helps me see the bait and where it's at in relation to the fish/bed.

Jigs. The live rubber jig is my go-to for stained water spawning bass. Those that read my writings know that I'm old-school and prefer the old Uncle Josh Pork Frog in cooler water, and spawning water temps are cool water. The jig will work dressed with any trailer, but keep 'em short and compact. We don't need to be giving them "more than they can chew". They're not eating, remember? I very much prefer dark colors here (dirty water). The fish probably don't care.

Floating Worms. Man, I love 'em, and they are FUN to fish. I use the 6" size, and I rig 'em on a #1 or 1/0 sproat hook, exposed. I use this bait as a FLOATER- too large of a hook and it doesn't do that. The trick is to insert the hook back into the worm about one third of the way, just before the egg sac (if its got one). This lets you BARELY move the bait- it wiggles and giggles and drives those spawners CRAZY. Again, this is a clear to barely stained water technique and lure, and the colors are BRIGHT. Bubblegum. Chartreuse. Blaze Orange. Florescent whatever. Really freaks 'em out.

Finally, I wouldn't fish a pond for spawning bass without a 6" Rapala (or similar) floating minnow. Thrown just pass a bed, drug slowly over the fish, and just left there to set with the SMALLEST of twitches sometimes can really blow their doors off. This is a really good big bass tactic that I feel has been lost over the years 'cuz it just isn't cool. Whatever. When a real toad wraps it's lips around that minnow, now THAT'S cool. For whatever reason I like the Gold finish here. This is also a clear-water trick.

One final thing- for whatever reason, bass are really turned on by bright colors when they're spawning. As I alluded to in some of my color choices above, florescent and glowing colors really work well, and they are also an aid in seeing the fish bite.

Well, there ya go. Spawning bass can obviously be caught on almost any bait you choose, but these are what has worked for me for over forty years. I hope it helps you streamline your tackle in the coming weeks, or maybe there's something new here for you to work with. Wishin' ya'll the greatest of luck.

Peace.
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Lipripper

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Re: Spawning Favorites
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2018, 05:58:28 PM »

Dale thanks for your insight on fishing spawning Bass in Ponds from the bank. ~c~ ~c~
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zippyduck

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Re: Spawning Favorites
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2018, 06:41:29 PM »

Dale,

Great info. I never tried a rapala on them before, cool idea.

I only have one to add sort of, a Buzzbait will fire them up, but then you had the jitterbug that is far more versatile.
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D.W. Verts

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Re: Spawning Favorites
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2018, 08:01:13 PM »

Any topwater will work for spawners. A Jitterbug is just about my favorite, plus you can leave it over the nest for a while.
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Jslice008

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Re: Spawning Favorites
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2018, 12:00:42 AM »

Great stuff Dale. Thanks.
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basss

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Re: Spawning Favorites
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2018, 02:53:56 PM »

Thanks for the tips.

I have a boat but still enjoy bank fishing ponds and other out of the way holes.
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Pacific NW Ron

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Re: Spawning Favorites
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2018, 05:27:26 PM »

Good tips to remember.  Thanks for sharing
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D.W. Verts

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Re: Spawning Favorites
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2018, 05:47:31 PM »

Another great bait for fish on the nests and just after they come off is the Devil's Horse, or similar "prop-style" bait. Don't know what it is, but fishin' these plugs in short twitches just flat MESSES 'em up. I fully plan on catching a seven pounder in the next couple of weeks on a 'Horse, Dying Flutter, Nip I Diddee, etc.

If ya'll check my IBass fish these last few weeks, you'll find that I matched the baits that I wrote this topic about almost to the "T". I love bein' right once in a while. It really doesn't happen very often.

Ask my wife.
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Smallie_Stalker

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Re: Spawning Favorites
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2018, 06:47:09 PM »

Great read Dale!!!  ~c~

I don't think I ever tried a Jitterbug or a soft jerkbait on bedding fish but If I can get out at the right time i'll give em a try for sure.

And thanks for mentioning the original Rapala floating minnow. Us old guys seem to be about the only ones still throwing them. Which is just fine by me.   ;)
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D.W. Verts

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Re: Spawning Favorites
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2018, 10:59:12 PM »

Great read Dale!!!  ~c~

I don't think I ever tried a Jitterbug or a soft jerkbait on bedding fish but If I can get out at the right time i'll give em a try for sure.

And thanks for mentioning the original Rapala floating minnow. Us old guys seem to be about the only ones still throwing them. Which is just fine by me.   ;)

I caught two over six in the last week on that Rapala. One spawner, one post-spawn.

And i caught a 7-1 off the nest two weeks ago on the soft jerkbait. Just sayin'.
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analfisherman

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Re: Spawning Favorites
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2018, 11:20:09 PM »

I often use a traditional Popper......can basically be fished sitting in place right near or above a bed and the featered tail for what ever reason makes them want to get it away from the bed....and they have only one way of doing that.  ;) :)
Not to mention its pretty hard to push/hit a popper from the front and the back has that dreaded rear feathered treble.
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Smallie_Stalker

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Re: Spawning Favorites
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2018, 04:03:06 PM »

I often use a traditional Popper......can basically be fished sitting in place right near or above a bed and the featered tail for what ever reason makes them want to get it away from the bed....and they have only one way of doing that.  ;) :)
Not to mention its pretty hard to push/hit a popper from the front and the back has that dreaded rear feathered treble.

Joe, I'll let you and I guess everybody else in on a personal secret. With very few exceptions, prop baits that have a prop on both ends being one of them, I tie a feather tail on the rear treble of most all of my topwater baits if it doesn't already have one. Got 'em on a lot of my crankbaits and lipless cranks too.

 ~shhh  Don't tell anyone else.   ;)  ;D
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