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Bass Angler Magazine

Locating The Other Spawners

Brandon Lester 1When someone mentions springtime bed fishing what imagery comes to mind? It is probably a calm, protected backwater pocket with trees in the background and a light-colored spot near a stump around 10 feet from the bank right? Think a little more and you’ll probably also see another boat or two in the pocket either set up on a fish or blowing around the pocket with the trolling motor on high. That’s fishing for spawners in the Spring right? Stop and think a minute though about how many fish spawn in the lake. If they all spawned in those areas there wouldn’t be room for all of them. So where do the rest of them spawn? I’ve found a good number of fish spawn on the main lake and are very much overlooked. On Lake Guntersville they’ll spawn just off the main river – especially the big ones. Many people think the fish are just staging there to move into the bays and pockets soon. The reality is they actually spawn out there. It is natural to think the bass have to go shallow to spawn because a river system has current that is too strong for making beds. All they really need to spawn is a rock or a log to block the current. Keep in mind the spawning area out of the current really only needs to be slightly larger than the size of a bed.

Locating Main Lake Spawners:

Finding large stumps, logs and rock piles are the biggest keys to pinpointing main lake spawning fish. Points, river bars and humps near the main channel that you know have these pieces of cover are the places to begin your search. You can eliminate large flats as very few bass will make a bed on a flat. I use my Raymarine electronics to refresh my memory of these key places and to find new pieces of cover that are in the area. The CHIRP SideVision technology in the Raymarine units is outstanding for locating pieces of cover in great detail. Having the best electronics available saves me a lot of time searching for the right cover. Keep in mind that most bass will be spawning in 3-6 feet of water, which is deeper than those that spawn in the bays. Keeping the depth in mind will also help you pare down your search for areas to target.

Lure Selection:

Lures for targeting these fish on the main lake/river include lipless crankbaits, square bill crank baits and bladed jigs. Make sure and try to hit the cover with your bait. You also want to make casts to the cover from multiple angles. Sometimes on sunny day you will be able to see the cover. In that case you can make a long cast to it with a Gary Yamamoto Senko. Once you locate a piece of cover with one of the moving baits you should also make casts to the same area of the cover with the Senko. Keep in mind that the actual bed is going to be downstream of the cover. On a lake like Guntersville that has grass my first choice is a lipless crankbait like a 1/2 oz. Strike King Red Eye Shad in red craw patterns, chrome blue or gold with a black back. If the area happens to be getting a lot of pressure I will use a silent bait instead of one with a rattle. If the wind picks up or I am targeting deeper spawning fish I go with a 3/4 oz. Red Eye or Xcalibur XRK75 One Knocker. I swap out the hooks on both of these baits on the 1/2oz I use #4 Mustad Round Bend trebles and #2’s on the 3/4oz.

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Locating The Other Spawners Spring 2015 Bass Angler Magazine (Brandon Lester pg. 70-71)

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