(Get it, “post”??) Anyhow, what I love about the early post-spawn: It’s not just one deal. Some fish will still be up shallow, some might be out deep already, some are inbetween. In other words, you can almost fish whatever and catch ’em however, depending on the conditions (weather/water color/water temp) and what you’ve got goin’ on in your lake.
Soooo in this’n gonna have a buffet o’ bassin’ stuff for this time of year — enjoy mang! And get out n fish!
You ever tried NOT working a topwater? I know, it’s tough…but sometimes that’s the deal with poppers. Believe it or not, the Boss Pop — which is pretty much hotrodded Pop-R — can be let sit and barely moved in pockets along the bank. You gotta be able to cast well, but it works!
Or you could work it slow on spawning flats, or work it hard around shad spawn cover. Good colors are “moonphase shad” (pictured) in clear water and “bone” for dirty water.
Gear: 6′ 6″ to 7′ M or MH casting rod, faster 7 or 8:1 reel, 15-20 lb mono.
Here’s how AR hammer Chris Jones fishes it (vid).
2. Lunkerhunt Impact Pencil Popper
Lunkerhunt’s bassin’ offerin’s continue to expand, and one new deal is the Impact Pencil Popper. Pencil Poppers have been havin’ a bassin’ comeback the last couple years cuz they work and they give the fish a different look. This’n walks, does the sploosh, is 3.5″ and just $4.99…. Diggin’ that “charcoal” color.
Easy one: If you crank and don’t have multiple sizes of Rapala DT (“dives to”) cranks in your box, you’re nuttier than a 5-lb fruitcake mang! That’s “smash,” one of the Ike’s Ink colors, which all the pros like so dang it I need to like ’em too.
Side note: No idea what a fruitcake is, never seen one, but Googled up this pic:
Couple reactions: 1) I get the whole “nuttier than” thing now; and 2) who would create such a thing and then EAT it??
2. DUEL: Targeting the shad spawn.
BPTer Zack Birge:
> “My favorite time of year to fish is during the shad spawn. This usually happens after the bass have spawned and spring is in full force. Days are a lot longer and the high temperatures are in the 80s.
> “Once the water starts getting into the mid-70s is when I get on the bank and start targeting the shad spawn, covering a lot of water. My go-to search bait in these conditions is a DUEL Hardcore 2+ in gizzard shad. If the lake has experienced a lot of rain and the water has a lot of color to it I will switch to chartreuse/blue back.
> “Typically when I approach this scenario I am always burning the bank and looking for transitions in the bank: chunk rock to pea gravel, rock to sand, rock with wood laydown, banks leading to docks — anything different in the bank is where I will find the bites.”
If your bass are in that inbetween stage or you just like fishing that not quite shallow zone or cranking, you owe it to yourself to try the MR-6. This bait was demanded by and co-designed by BPTer Mark Daniels Jr — vibes, hunts, rises slow, low knocking sound, dives to 6′ on 12-16 lb fluoro, 2.25″.
What MDJ said:
> “Its profile is a big part of it — the size of the bait…it really mimics a lot of baitfish and other forage. Lots of things in that small size range, that 2” range, are very vulnerable…something that bass feed on. That’s one of the things that makes it really effective.
> “Also the action — it’s not as tight as a Rat-L-Trap…hits harder than a ‘Trap but it’s not wide, wobbly bait which allows you to fish it at higher speeds…allows to entice a lot of strikes.
> “…color selection, have all standard baitfish and crawfish colors covered, so it can match anything you can think of in terms of forage.
> “I’ve got that thing tied on every tournament, every single day of practice. It’s always ready to roll.”
16 colors right now, and to my eyes the colors they offer in the MR-6 are a little different. Here’s 4 I like — clockwise from top L they’re amber shad, threadfin shad, chartreuse blaze, Rayburn red craw:
Topwater AND crank
1. Yo-Zuri: Post-spawn shad spawn
Elitist Clent Davis:
> “Targeting the shad spawn is one of the best times of year to catch massive numbers of fish. I’ve often had 100-fish days fishing the shad spawn, so it’s also a great time to take your kid fishing and make memories that will last a lifetime.
> “Hard baits are by far the best way to fish effectively during the late spring/early summer when you see millions of shad gathered in a foot or shallower near the blanks. I will generally start out by throwing a Yo-Zuri 3DR Mid-Crank
in gizzard shad, but also keep a topwater handy when the sky is overcast.
> “The 3DR Mid-Crank has always been a staple in my arsenal — I call it my “auto bass” because I’ve caught so many fish with it.
> “When the water temperature is in the lower 70s and it’s overcast, I almost can’t put down a Yo-Zuri 3DB Popper
> “I’m always looking for banks that are close to bass spawning areas and have the most action. Whenever I see bait flicking the surface or huge amounts of shad spawning near the bank, I’ll typically spend the most time in that area.”
1. BOOYAH Melee bladed jig
Bladed jigs ain’t just for grass! Just something I learned from watching Brett Hite fish, who never puts down a dang bladed jig! And still catches ’em….
Anyhow, the Melee I believe is all about fishing it in swim-jig or jig or squarebill territory: smacking it into shallow wood, shoreline cover, docks, rock, riprap. Rep is it comes through wood especially great.
> Gear: 7′ – 7′ 3″ MH rod, 7:1 reel, 20-lb fluoro.
Here’s Chad-dog the Mad-dog Warner runnin’ down the Melee for ya (vid). And a quick underwater vid showing how different types of trailers affect the Melee’s action. Very cool to see — my faves are the ultra-aggressive action with the YUM Boogee Tail split-tail trailer and the kinda perfect action with the 3.5″ YUM Pulse swimbait.
If you’d rather swim-jig, check the BOOYAH Swim’n Jig (white, river killer or tinfoil) in the same areas. Gear: 7′ – 7′ 6″ MH or H rod, 7-8:1 reel, 20-lb fluoro or 30-50 lb braid.
One mo’: Here’s Alton Jr talkin’ FLIPPIN a white jig during the shad spawn (vid). He has a 3/8-oz Baby Boo Jig:
2. Jewel Gem Blade Spinnerbait
Stoked Jewel’s Gem stuff is now on Tackle Warehouse. The Gem series is specifically designed to work with Keitech Fat 3.8s, and it’s a heck of a design:
> …engineered and created using Jewel’s Resin Tech over-molded injection process, which provides a super durable and perfectly balanced head design that swims and tracks true at any speed.
Check this quick clip of the Jewel Gem Spin Underspin:
Also have a Gem Swimbait Head that looks killer:
Do you get your buzz on? Of course you do ya dang bass-head! Well check that Fish Head Primal Buzz — cool, eh? It’s DIFFERENT = key. More compact and more flashy-er with that lower blade, which “can easily be adjusted for the blade to clap off the head”…which I have to try.
4. BioSpawn: Dress your stuff differently.
Everyone fishing the same thing? You been fishing the same thing for a while? Dress your stuff differently.
Couple quick things from BioSpawn:
> Check this PlasmaTail on the back of a bladed jig. Personally am a huge fan of contrasting colors on plastics, and that PlasmaTail can have a lot of action too:
> Here’s some more contrast…but it sorta goes together. Believe it’s a junebug VileCraw on the back of a pb&j jig. If you’ve never tried combining different jig/trailer colors, look at it in the water — looks killer, even better than this:
5. War Eagle Double Willow Spinnerbait
You know the deal: Don’t eat a Dorito if you don’t wanna be buyin’ Doritos the rest of your life. Same with War Eagle spinnerbaits….
Gitcha a gold frame for dirty water (white/chart, hot mouse or the mission-critical spot remover) and a nickel one for clear (white silver, blue pearl shad and green shad). Blanket your casts around anything shallow, preferably around spawnin’ shad.
> Gear: 6′ 6″ – 7′ 3″ MH rod, 6-7:1 reel, 15-20 lb fluoro.
Here’s BPTer Andy Morgan givin’ you the rundown of what spinnerbaits he uses:
The sweet spot. That’s PART of what the VMC Tokyo Rig can do — keep your bait in the sweet spot/strike zone:
> With a tungsten weight anchoring the rig to the bottom, it is ideal for keeping the bait in the sweet spot and shaking it in place, until the fish can’t stand it and bites.
If you’re fishing it shallow like that — on beds or just shallow — use a 7′ to 7′ 6″ rod and your preferred line setup: straight braid, braid to fluoro leader, straight fluoro, or mono.
Here’s Ike talkin’ ’bout WHY the Tokyo Rig can be an advantage over regular regular setups with the weight on top of the hook eye:
Still one of the best hooks ever made for soft-plastics…really. Get the weedless version or the regular, only up to 2/0 but wish they would make it bigger!
You believe some bass-heads have never fished a lizard before?? Hasn’t been all that in tourneys or whatever for the last decade+, but dang they catch fish! YUM’s Lizard comes in 6″ and 4″ and that pumpkin/chart color is killer! (Wish it came in black/chart.) TX rig it, Carolina rig it, Tokyo rig it, weightless rig it, even dropshot it. #works
1. Quick Seaguar line guide.
Bearing in mind I am in NO WAY pro-ish level in my understanding of bassin’ stuff, here you go:
Best braids: LOVE colored braid. Use Flash Green Smackdown braid for any braid technique where you don’t need low-viz line, and use Stealth Grey Smackdown braid for any technique (like frogs) where you do. Seaguar’s flippin’-specific braid down below….
All-around fluoro: Good = Red Label, Better = InvizX, Best = Tatsu. InvizX is real popular and now comes in 600-yd spools so you can save some $$ over the long term….
Around cover/snags/zebras fluoro: AbrazX. YMMV but I’ve fished this stuff around zebra mussel minefields and never had a breakoff…on 6-lb! AbrazX will forever be one of my favorite lines. Huge confidence in it.
Flippin’ = too easy: Flippin’ Fluoro (20- to 30-lb) or Flippin’ Braid (50 and 65). BOTH designed by Denny Brauer, who knows more about flippin’ bass than 99.9999% of bass fishermen (maybe 100%), and might have won more pro $$$ by flippin’ than anyone else so….
2. The Kistler Argon Series is back.
Kistler rods are high end and also American-made…so you’re not gonna find one for $99.00. BUT they just reissued their Argon series (casting here, spinning here) for around $180.00, which Trey Kistler says is a lot of value for the $$. And if Trey says it, you can take it to the bank man. Got my eye on the 7′ 1″ MH, which slings 1/4- to 3/4-oz baits….
3. Alpha Angler Chatterbound Rod
Once’t this rod was just a special-run deal, but it’s so dang popular now that Alpha head man/rod nerd Jake Boomer had to come out with the Chatterbound as a regular offerin’. It’s a 7′ 2″ MH X-Fast that handles 10-20 lb line and baits up to 1 oz. Jake says:
> “The Chatterbound was developed with a glass tip section to promote the erratic bait movement that generates bites, along with a composite butt-section for solid hook penetration and fish-landing success. It’s the ultimate bladed jig rod.”
In this quick “Jake goes fishing” vid you can see the action of the rod on the cast and hookset. Also works killer with spinnerbaits….
If you haven’t bought yourself an Alpha yet, you owe it to yourself to. Turned many folks onto ’em, as has Pat “the Bunny” Renwick of StrayCasts, who like Jake is a big-time rod nerd. Here they are in high school:
1. Make sure you maintain yer rig with Sea Foam.
Whether you have an older-model outboard or a new one, it needs to be maintained just like your truck. Sea Foam Motor Treatment rocks for doing both, though if you can find it locally yet the new Sea Foam Marine PRO is better for outboards. Good news: it’s easy, even for the not so mechanically inclined like myself…. Here’s Brian from Sea Foam showin’ ya how to do it on his own bassin’ tub:
You should be able to find Sea Foam Motor Treatment at any auto parts store, Wally Mart, etc.
No one on the internet knows what it’s like to sit in and drive a Vexus boat unless they’ve done it, so don’t believe what you read — find out for yourself! If you’re budget-minded like me, you MUST check the AVX. Btw here’s George at Vexus giving an innerestin’ explanation of the hull:
If you want the Ferrari of bassin’ rigs and can throw down the $$$ like a sheik in Vegas (lol) then the incredible VX series is for you. Here’s my brief inside tour of it — or rather Keith from Vexus walks me/us through it.
Find a dealer here and DEMAND A RIDE/DRIVE like:
3. Do you have a boat? Cuz if so…
…you gotta have some T-H Marine stuff on there, right? Few things:
a. Chill Trax pads for your ‘lectrical motors
Stop your Ott DeFoe/TN-style bare feets from burnin’ on the motor pedal. Got ’em for Minny Kota, Minny Kota Ultrex and MotorGuide.
Might have to be new Chill Traxes soon if the LOTS o’ rumors about new BRANDS of trolling motors coming out at ICAST are true…but just rumors for now….
b. T-H Marine G-Force Eliminator Prop Nut
If you run a trolling motor, bettin’ you have one of these already. If not, guess I’ll say there’s a dang good reason many pros run ’em — or actually maybe 3: better, longer, QUIETER. Shallow bass are like:
Get yours here or here on the TW.
c. YOLOtek PowerStick
Pics/video or it didn’t happen, and video is better! Gitcha the Gen2 PowerStick, and if you don’t have an action cam and/or have an old phone, get the YOLOtek Phone Mount 360 for it.
Quick note on all the apparel: I wear all this stuff all the time. So much that my kids make fun of me for it, and my wife gives me looks like: Are you always going to dress like a fisherman? I’m like, Pretty much! Wore an AFTCO T-shirt out to dinner the other night, thought she was gonna kill me…. Anyhow here we go:
4. AFTCO Jason Christie Performance Hoodie
Here’s the deal: Jason is deadly serious about everything, not just fishing. He only smiles (temporarily) when he wins. So when he puts his name on a hoodie, it ain’t just another hoodie:
> “The specific features requested by Jason in his signature sun hoodie improve the surface area of sun protection on your face, neck, and ears while reducing overall glare from the sun’s reflection on the water when he is faced with situations like sight fishing during the spawn.”
Do you own bassin’ threads like that? Didn’t think so. Order ya one on TW. I don’t own one, but I do have other AFTCO stuff and it’s all good — high-quality…which is why you’re readin’ about it here….
5. Couple of my fave SIMMS thangs.
SIMMS stuff rocks — wear it all the time. Here’s a couple of my faves:
a. Vapor Elite Rain Jacket — This thing is light as a dang feather and keeps you dry. Not saying it’ll keep you bone dry when you’re running down the lake in a bucket-dumper, just if you ever think you’ll need a rainsuit or know you’ll need one but it’s too hot or whatever to put on anything bulky, this is the deal. Period.
b. Katafront Hoody — If you need a hoodie that’s a little warmer and repels water — AND you need to look cooler (who doesn’t??) — this is it. I got the camo one to look even cooler, if that’s even possible…HAHAHA!
6. Make sure you get a new CoolNet UV+ BUFF.
My 2c on the top reasons to get one o’ the new CoolNet UV+ BUFFs:
> Still the best, most comfortable, SEAMLESS design.
> Now even more elastic, and cool even better with HeiQ tech.
> CoolNet UV+ is approved and recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation!
> Looks cool. Check this — Ott looks cool wearin’ it even with a spin-rod:
Can’t beat that…. Zander on Tackle Tour reviewed ’em and loves ’em too — check that review here. Also, Ott DeFoe assures me that if you wear BUFF stuff like he does, you WILL win a Classic….
Ya got me
Jay Kumar’s BassBlaster is a daily-ish roundup
of the best, worst and funniest in bassin’, as curated by me — Jay Kumar. I started BassFan.com, co-hosted Loudmouth Bass with Zona, was a B.A.S.S. senior writer and a bunch more in bassin’. The Blaster is the #2 daily read on any given day in the wide world o’ bass so thanks for readin’!
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