Keith Combs' Post-Spawn Bass Fishing Tips

In east Texas, Keith Combs’ backyard, the water temperatures in local lakes are hitting about 72-74 degree temperatures, marking the beginning springtime bass fishing. The post-spawn phase is one of the best times to fish, but it can also be one of the worst times if you miss it. All over the country, warmer water means post-spawn is coming or is already here…

In post-spawn, the bass eggs have hatched into fry and bass guard these juvenile fish. Fry tend to stick together in schools that look like balls underwater. Keith Combs talks how to target these guard fish with his favorite post-spawn bass fishing technique - topwater! 

 

Visual Cues Indicate Phases

Head to shallow water and look for visual cues to tell you the exact mode of the fish. The biggest hint of which phase they’re in is the fry. Fry are juvenile bass that are not yet fingerlings. If you’re seeing a lot of half inch long fry means that the spawn is probably over. Are there any fish left on beds? If not, that tells you that you’ll need to target those fry guarding fish.

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Post-Spawn Bass Fishing: Topwater

Keith’s topwater gear: the Zodias 610M and Chronarch MGL 7.1.1

On hot sunny days, the fry will push up to the top and the fish guarding the fry with sit underneath the fry to fend off any invaders. Topwater baits can stay in the strike zone for a long time and attract the attention of those bass guarding the fry.

Keith uses long casts back in the pockets that are protected where those fish are more likely to be. He likes the Zodias because it’s got a lot of tip action to work the bait very slowly and deliberately.

You can pattern what the fry are doing, like a bass. Sometimes the fry will be set up on little outcroppings on a reed line or be in the back of the pockets. The most important thing is to look for those visual cues along the banks, how the bass have their fry positioned. Make a long cast into the area where you think the fry are, keep the bait moving with slow, back and forth twitches to stay in the strike zone for a long time. 

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Post-spawn bass on a fry guarding pattern cannot resist something slow and deliberate in their face. Keep your eyes open in the spring time and you’ll be sure to learn something!