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Discussion Starter #1
Think of post spawn bass as recovering from surgery, they want a safe place to rest and meals delivered to them.
Post spawn bass tend to locate on the post spawn bass are not in condition to case down prey. Baby bass and shad are easy meals at this time, so lures that look like a bait fish moving erratically and moving slowly close to where the bass is holding, becomes a target of opportunity.
Locations are usually close to the spawning areas, like secondary points with structure and cover or any close deeper cover. The bass leave the spawning area to seek deeper water and stay close because they do not have the energy to relocate to the summer locations.
Lures to target post spawn bass are small surface poppers, hard and soft jerk baits, 4 1/2 to 5 1/2" plastics worms that represent baby bass or shad and Senko's are all good basic choices. The post spawn bass usually will not case down a lure, it needs to stay close to the bass. When the bass have recovered and move to summer locations, then faster moving crank baits, spinner baits, buzzers, Texas rigged larger worms, Carolina or slip shot rigged larger worms and creatures, frogs for mats, jigs or whatever you have confidence in should work.
Tom
* corrected pre to post
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The best all around lure color of choice for post spawn bass should be baby bass. LMB will target baby bass simply because the fry are close to the location where the post spawner's are holding. Minnows are minnows to a bass and just another food source. Baby bass are light green with chartreuse and silver highlights. Small 3" lures are best, however a 5" lure will work.
Tom
 

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that screams out fluke and sluggo to me ;)
 

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Crappie prefer to spawn in waters 62-66 degrees, just ahead of largemouths. Bream get going about the time the bass start, but mostly around full moon periods. I say that because those spawns produce eggs which attract egg predators, and fry to feed fingerlings and a large host of predators in general. That includes bass feeding on bass fry and fingerlings, as well as all the other species trying to survive to age one. Clouds of bream arrive to compete for spawning bed areas the bass like too, but the bass are at a great advantage. They feed on those pilgrims. Until the whole of all the fish hatched get scattered and able to hide, the bass hang around the spawning areas. Just thought someone might want to know why they do that. :D

Ah, but knowing that helps us determine where to most likely find the bass. It isn't likely they will be deeper than 10 feet until about mid June here, a little later northward USA. But each week till then the bass will move farther out from shore to include more shad to their dwindling minnow diet. When the bream finish and move out for the next month, what remains will hardly interest spawn-hungry bass. Bream will be back to spawn again, maybe a couple more times into mid summer.

If you haven't caught it yet, the post-spawn is a reversal of the pre-spawn. In the pre-spawn bass juggle water temperature, length of day, hormonal urge, and forage supply in their journey up from deep winter haunts. They can't get ahead of their food supply.

In the post-spawn they juggle area familiarity with rising water temperatures, bonus forage arrivals and departures, and the need to get closer to shad or whatever other major forage supply. Threadfin shad move deep and well away from shore each day, visiting the shoreline nights to feed, rest and spawn. They begin spawning toward the end of bass spawning into July. When spawning they might remain shallow for a few hours past daylight, but it's most important to know they otherwise swim out deep at daylight and return around dusk. That's why so many successful anglers are done fishing by 9-10 am. They know to pay attention to shad movements. That's also why late evening shallow bassing is usually more active than mid-day bassin. Once the shad are schooled up deep they are scattered and hard to find, for us and the bass. I highly recommend taking time to discover the routes taken by shad to their shallow haunts, then ambush bass following along that way. It pays to know as much as possible about any shad or other small fish in your lake that become meals for bass.

At this point in the bass season the bass, as Tom mentioned, will prefer easy meals. That's why bass prefer to take up ambush points along those shad trails. They just suck in shad passing by.

Jim
 

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Yeah, baits imitating bream, like a big fluffy black/blue trailered jig or shad imitator will certainly get their attention.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Shad colors like silver/translucent purple/chartreuse/smoke work great if the lake has a threadfin shad population, add orange for gizzard shad. Lots of lakes don't have a shad population, then bluegill & crappie and baby bass colors are the ticket, or use both color combinations, including white all work good for post spawner's feeding on baitfish. The key is putting the lure close to the bass so it doesn't need to chase it down. Once the bass have recouped or new pre spawn bass are in the area a faster bulky type reaction lure works.
Where I do most of my fishing the big bass will go on a shad bite as they transition to deeper water summer sanctuary's. The shad bite indicates to me that post spawn is over and the summer period has arrived.
This is the time when most bass fisherman stay tied to the shoreline, instead of going back outside where those pre spawn bass staged. Summer is time to use your electronics and not to put the sonar/GPS away. Reread where do big bass go after the spawn. It's not that all the bass go outside, summer is a time when bass scatter and go everywhere that prey provides them a good opportunity to feed and cover and structure provides a safe haven from fishing pressure.
Tom
 

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I think we'd have to sort lakes by shad species to identify "the shad bite" timing for a lake. Here in Central Arkansas where threadfin are common, the shad bite definitely begins in post spawn while bass are still reluctant to chase. They need to stock up on easier meals for now to gain enough fat to sustain a chase & eat habit. All that while shad are on the move and feeding stripers already in the chase. In our case the summer season begins when bass metabolism snaps into high gear and the chase is on. For that matter our fall season begins as soon as late summer depressed bass resume chasing after a month or two of summer doldrums, high heat shutting them down about like winter cold does.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Agree, I was thinking "shad bite" as serious surface and shoreline feeding activity by bass similar to striper's and shad schools being targeted outside by big bass on deeper breaks, instead of being ambushed quietly by pre spawner's. This type of pattern can go on during most of the summer in cooler water of highland reservoirs.
Tom
 
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Bream get going about the time the bass start
I wanted to say that I know in Texas Bream do not spawn at the same time that Bass do as Jim noted. They spawn starting late May but mostly in June. Bass are for the most part finished spawning at that time and are however looking for easy Beam meals. In the past when I lived there late May and June was a good time to use bream swim baits like the Castaic Bream or now the Matlures Bream.

Florida, Bass are done spawning here and I have seen Bream beds popping up. They are not hard to spot as they are all in colonies in large clumps. But I always heard that Bream spawned after LMB? That is what I have been told and have observed myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I believe Jim was talking about black or white crappie (specks), not bluegill or (bream), depending where your from. Crappie out here in the west spawn about the same time as bass, however bed near the base of dense brush or wood, the bass* may use similar areas a little more open space and bluegill & redear sunfish spawn when the water is above 65 to 70 degrees in shallow flats, bedding in colonies close together in 1' to 3' of water.
Bluegill are a primary egg predator for bass and bass are a primary predator for bluegill, lots of interaction between those species. Bass also target crappie during the spring and early summer periods. All small baitfish are bass prey, including carp, catfish, sculpin and anything else that is about 5" long and available along the weedline. Florida bass like larger baitfish up to 10" long and that one major difference between NLMB and FLMB, the size of preferred baitfish.
Tom
*northern largemouth bass, smallmouth and spots go deeper and prefer rocky areas with crawdads as their prefered prey source and will move up to feed on smaller baitfish, usually under 4" long.
 

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A little clarification is due.

"Bream" here means panfish other than crappie. It doesn't require they be related. They are mostly bluegill, green sunfish, redear, warmouth and rock bass, though we have about 20 more panfish (bream) species bass eat. Not many anglers can accurately identify them so they are all lumped together.

Starting off the spawn are the crappie, staging at 55, spawning 60-65 ideally, but can start earlier if water clarity at a good depth is suitable, and can end later around 70. They overlap with black bass on the lower temperature end. Bass prefer 60-68 on average, though you will see ranges from 58-66 to 62-73 depending on region and fishery type. Those are preferred ranges, not limits. Sometimes black bass are forced to spawn in warmer water, but late spawns don't fare well.

While the crappie are spawning the bluegill stage, eating crappie eggs. They spawn 70-75 preferred, but spawn several times into summer. At that time warmouth (goggleye) pre-spawn, waiting for 70 degrees, feeding on fry. They all are staged in their own pre-spawn when black bass are spawning. They switch from eating crappie eggs and fry to bass eggs and fry. About that time green sunfish join in, though a degree cooler sometimes, and not prolonging their spawn like bluegill. Towards the preferred end of the black bass spawn both green sunfish and bluegill begin their spawn, treating worn out bass to their own fry.

By the statement "Bream get going about the time the bass start" I should have gone into the detail given above. Bream come up and get going very early, are most certainly present in their various pre-spawn periods, pestering bass, but spawning about the time bass are guarding fry. Some begin earlier than that. On Lake Ouachita it all happened at once because of the unusual cold weather that broke up a normal warming trend, followed by a sudden warming.

If you list all species and their preferred temperatures, it would appear their spawns are well separated. In real life that doesn't happen like we want it to, requiring us to pay more attention to weather and trends. Very few anglers got in on that first major spawn in March because most believe the bass spawn should be in April, bream in May. They waited and fished cold water in early April. We've already had a tremendous bream spawn that most anglers missed. That was the one to fill freezers up with.

The main point I wanted to put forth is to know what forage species are present in your fishery so you can locate bass more easily.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You don't hear the term bream at all in the north and west, we tend to use bluegill for all sunfish, except red ears because they are so much bigger and grow over 3 lbs and average 1 lb, whereas sunfish are little and usually about 3" pumpkinseeds or green sunfish to 5" bluegill with a rare "pounder" showing up now and then. In the south you have a wider variety of breams, like coppernose etc. Larger lakes have several areas that overlap and the spawning season can be extended for a few months and that is important to remember, so you can target pre spawner's in the deeper colder water zones, even during the "spawn", except in lowland reservoirs, ponds and small lakes. Knowing the prey fish is very important to determining lure size profile and color. Try to remember that not all bass are LMB and each species has different preferences as to prey.
Tom
 

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I guess it IS impossible to boil all this down to simple, huh?

Now here on Ouachita we have the LMB and SMB complicated by stripers, no wipers or Floridas. A few miles South is Degray Lake, having the same black bass, but Florida strain has been introduced to battle it out with their wipers. That ought to be interesting in a few years.

But if a feller were to focus on one lake at a time he ought to get it down pretty good. I guess make up some flash cards. But if there are plans to follow a tournament trail involving many states, it's time NOW to study up on all the species you might run into if you want to be in the top 5%. If you will notice several top pros had a background in fisheries, degree and/or work experience.

The most misunderstood season, post-spawn, can be less of a mystery knowing all you can learn about their forage and probable destination. I've heard it said many times and have experienced it, hunters make excellent fishermen. I was a hunter first, and was taught to fish the way we hunted. We learned animal trails, water holes, redoak stands, habits, the works. I wasn't even allowed to have a cane pole in my hand until I passed the boiling pot test. Try it. You'd be surprised how hard it is. An old saying is "A watched pot never boils." That might be true for most folks, but a successful hunter/fisherman needs to develop the patience needed to disprove that. Put some cold water on the stove, and don't take your eyes off it until it comes to a full rolling boil. The one rule is your gaze must never move off that pot. If you can do that you can learn to out stare a buck, see a squirrel finally twitch its tail, or track a float at the end of a cane pole line.

Jim
 
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You cannot leave till you snatch this pebble out of my hand Grasshopper... :lmao: :rofl1: :rofl1:

Sorry Jim, that just reminded me of that for some reason.
 

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Gramps just didn't want little me in the boat with him. I remember trying the watch pot thing then giving up. Eventually I did it and was given one of his worn out steel baitcasters. But long before that I managed to get some braid line, a few hooks, and cut some wild cane down for a pole. Ta heck with that stupid rule. But now I understand why he put that on me. It's probably easier than snatching the grasshopper. :thumbup01:

The patience level I'm talking about is in fact borderline martial arts stuff. Without it you won't be much of a jig angler (as Tom hinted at), and probably would hate drop shotting. Without it you might catch some bass on a T-rigged worm, but the bites will be few and far between unless you specialize in that method. We often say "SLOW" to each other here, and we mean it. SNAIL slow is sometimes required. Well, it takes patience, all day long.

Now ya'll go see how much you have, watching that pot. Get someone to watch you. Eyes glued on the pot. Lots of folks can't do it, maybe most.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Had a chance to watch the Guntersville tournament today and wasn't surprised where and what the bass were doing, a post spawn transion bite. Some spawner's and mostly post spawn bass made up the heavier sacks.
We talked a little about primary secondary points, those points near a large spawning area that make a Y between spawning creeks or bays and pre spawn staging areas outside on the major points and river channel areas. Large shad were the targeted bait fish and large shad profile lures like deep diving crank baits fished slowly and slow rolled spinner baits being the big bass lures that won this tournament.
The up coming High Rock tournament should be vary similar, except the bass may be more into a early summer transition and more aggressive and less stacked up. It's fun to see these pro's work outside structure/cover.
Summer is comming fast and so are the weed mats and heavy cover fishing. I will still work the outside stuff until the afternoon and make a visit to the shoreline cover like boat docks and mats and stay there after dark, except work more open areas like swim beaches with good breaklines, secondary primary points and major points with rocks and brush. I don't like to fish mats at night, docks with lights are great.
Tom
 

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Breakline????sudden depth change? gradual?
show me the lite!!! what would the definition of a breakline be?
rich
 
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