UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Ohio River

Running a Spot Spawning Pattern

Running a Spot Spawning Pattern
Bryan Thrift caught over 15 pounds of spotted bass for 17th place after day one.

In lakes where there are spotted bass, smallmouths and largemouths, the spawn can get complicated. Largemouths tend to bed in shallower, warmer water, but smallmouths and spotted bass might bed anywhere from the shallows to so far out it’s hard to see their beds.

In lakes with spotted bass and lots of docks, you’ll often find the fish bedding around the dock poles (pilings), especially if that’s about the only shoreline cover there is. Before the poles are set, the holes will be drilled out with an auger, which will bring up hard clay or shells that will get spread around the poles. I believe it’s that type of bottom and the vertical structure of dock poles that draw the spots. So, when you’re easing around looking for bedding fish, key things to watch for are patches of shell under docks and around the poles. You’ll know you’re at least in the right area.

Another thing to make note of is the location of the docks. They don’t have to be in the back of coves and creeks; they can be on the main lake. Smallmouths and spots seem to like main-lake docks near deeper water better as long as they’re not in places that get swept by current a lot.   

A spot and a smallmouth kind of behave the same in a lot of ways. Usually they’re running the same course through spawn and postspawn. From what I’ve seen, spots will bed in water a little cooler than largemouths, and smallmouths about the same as largemouths. That’s when you tend to find more of the main-lake smallmouths and spots – later on in the spring in deeper water and under main-lake docks.

Most of the time you can run a pattern on bedding spots. If I fish a dock all the way out, but only get bit on the third dock pole from the bank in 3 to 5 feet of water, that’s a clue. If I go to the next dock and the same thing happens, it tells me that I need to spend my time fishing the same depth of water. So I don’t waste time fishing every dock from the deep end to the bank. I just put the trolling motor on high and fish the areas of the dock where the spots might be bedding, and then I keep moving.    

I’ll be throwing a 3-inch Damiki Air Craw on a 1/8- to 1/4-ounce shaky head, depending on how deep they’re bedding. As far as the colors go, I like watermelon candy, black with blue flake and white with silver flake.

Tags: spotted-bass  spawn  bryan-thrift  pro-tips-weekly 

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