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May is the Time for Post-Spawn Bass Magic

May is the Time for Post-Spawn Bass Magic May is the Time for Post-Spawn Bass Magic
By Bill Vanderford

During the next month, quite a few unhappy fishermen will be singing the same song........ "The fish won’t bite". These unlucky anglers can see the bass taking swipes at their lures, but the ordinarily aggressive fish seem to missing the hooks.

Why are so many normally productive fishermen being forced to "sing the blues"? Could it possibly be a lack of understanding?

Lake Lanier’s bass are going through a major upheaval in their lives. The spawning season will soon become history, which will leave our "finny friends" weary and hurt. This period is known as "post-spawn".

Post-spawn bass act and feel somewhat like a person who has just endured a major operation. They usually don't want much to eat, nor do they feel like chasing their food. Understanding these facts could make the post spawn period pass more pleasantly for anglers.

It's time to retire the oversized lures and larger plastic worms for a short while, and take a page out of every successful trout fisherman's book .... "match-the-hatch". In trout fishing, that means finding an artificial fly that closely resembles both the size and color of the newly-hatched insects on which the trout are feeding. Since bass feed on so many different creatures that live in or near the water, deciding what bait to use can be difficult. Understanding another recent happening, however, can eliminate the doubt.

Unnoticed by most fishermen, a simultaneous phenomenon of spring has occurred. The threadfin shad have spawned as well, and millions of one to two inch-long baby fish are slowly swimming around in the shallows. The recuperating bass have begun to gorge themselves on these tiny baitfish.

While most fishermen are still out chunking their oversized hardware in the wrong places, the thinking fisherman has found something more appealing for the finicky bass.........a lure less than three inches long that imitates the baby shad.

Many artificial baits on the market will fool even the wariest of bass during the post spawn period. One small spinner that I developed more than twenty years ago especially for post spawn bass, however, has proven to be the best producer of all. It is called the Swirleybird, and is available by calling 770-476-1440.Though myself and many others have sung its praises during the pre-spawn period as well, it is during the post spawn that this artificial offering is always dominant!

This tiny lure is basically an inline spinner, but incorporates a propellor-type blade that allows it to produce sufficient attracting flash at any speed. Though it is made with different shades of tailfeathers, colors don’t seem to make much difference. It is the size and speed of the lure that are of paramount importance. Very slow speeds seem to be the key to catching more and bigger bass.

Light spinning tackle combined with high-visibility four to eight pound test Stren line helps an angler see the strikes better, and allows the lighter lure to be presented properly. Best places during post spawn to cast Swirleybirds are rocky points, boat docks, and around visible structures that are in more than 5 feet of water.

Even with these revelations, actually catching post spawn bass is never an easy accomplishment. It’s still necessary to make hundreds of casts and cover many targets of opportunity in a day’s time to fill the livewell with a decent catch of keeper-sized bass. Nevertheless, Swirleybird users generally catch between 20 and 80 bass per day until the surface temperature has passed the eighty degree mark. This "small wonder" and method could change the "post spawn blues" into hot bassin’ action!

Find out more about Bill Vanderford on his website, or drop him an email at [email protected]

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