Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Tips For Post Spawn Success Part 2 - Targeting Bluegill Beds

Handicapped Outdoors
Last week, we began looking at some tips to help you find success just after the rush of spawning is over.  As any angler knows, this is a time-frame when bass can seemingly disappear.  However, they are not Ninjas.  They didn't drop their little smoke balls and run into darkness never to be seen again.  They are closer than you think.

Courtesy of Bluegill.com
Courtesy of Bluegill.com
One late April-early May, I was fly fishing for Bluegills (When I could still do this physically).  Now I am not referring to the smallish sized bream.  I am talking about the bull Bluegill, all dark on top with spectacular colors down the lower flank of the body line.  They were sitting on their spawning beds in guard mode and every time my fly would hit the water's surface, it was inhaled immediately.  On a little 6 weight fly rod, this is almost better than eating glazed donuts...almost!

I had just hooked another nice Bluegill when something that was worthy of the title - the Kraken, Leviathan, Behemoth...you choose please, grabbed my poor fish and began running wildly away.  All I could do was hold on and pray that this thing let's go.  I had no chance of hooking the larger fish as the fly I was using was a tiny Adams Wolfe.  Fortunately, it did let go.

I reeled in what was left of my bream.  It wasn't good! It look like it had just gone through a nuclear blast.  It's eyes were weird and distant.  It had lost some of it's color and had areas of almost translucence.  Scales were missing where it had been ravaged.  This thing needed ICU.  Instead it got placed on a bigger hook and thrown right back in.  The big bass came right back and inhaled it again.  This time I connected and landed a beautiful 7.5 lb bass.

Courtesy of landstagers.wordpress.com
Courtesy of landstagers.wordpress.com
I began studying the movements of big bass just after spawn from this experience.  The truth is they don't swim that far away.  They set up and get over the shock of the riggers of reproduction for a week or two eating sparingly.  But once, the funk of baby-making subsides, Big Girl gotta eat!

The pond I caught the first  one is almost a perfect lab.  It has clear water and bream that spawn very close to shore.  I began noticing very large fish cruising the outer edges of these bedding areas.  Sometimes they would run together in packs of two or three.  Other times, a single fish would cruise by in the dominant rogue predator mode.  Either way, it revealed to me exactly where these Post-Spawn fish hang, near the kitchen.

This past weekend, I witnessed a large bass chase a bream completely out of the water in a ferocious double hit.  It was spectacular!  Check out the video below of an example of what I am talking about:
Ok, so what to use?  Anything that resembles or mimics the Bluegill.  Green Flukes, Stick Baits, Jerk Baits, shallow Crank-baits, Spinner-baits, Swim-Jigs, etc.  The Chairman of our Board was burning a Swim Jig and caught two bass without even trying real hard.  Just chunk it and wind it as fast as possible and BAM!!!

If you like fast fishing with lots of action, this can be one of the most exciting times to fish all year long.  Get out there!

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