Fishing with Johnny Johnson – Instructional Video – Pre-Spawn – Spawn Fishing Techniques

Hey folks, I get asked
a lot about pre-spawn,spawn, and
post-spawn fishing. And it’s been very
rewarding for me over theyears and it’s my
favorite time to fish. And all I can say, is
knowing where the fishare, is where you’re going
to start catching a lotmore fish and what
they’re doing. And I live a lot off water
temperature thistime of year. It’s about the only
time of year when watertemperature means so much
to me because when thatwater temperature starts
to hit in that 55° range,I’m going to start hitting
those migration routes,the creek channels
and the ledges,where those fish are going
to start moving into thosespawning flats. You can see behind
me right here,there is a flat
right in there,and were actually at
Apache Lake so it’s a big Canyon. So anytime you can find
big flats like that back
there, it’s a good area
for fish to spawn in.
So before they move up
into those spawning areas,
as the water
temperature moves up,
they are going to start
hitting these ledges andthese creek
channels right here,to move back
into these flats. And this is where you’re
going to find some ofthose big females, some
of those big males. . Nowhere’s the deal: The
males, a lot of times,will get up in their first
and start making nests. So what happens is even
the big females will start
roaming up in here after
the males have made the
nests. You’ll see a lot of folks
actually go up into the spawning areas to fish
to fish for those little
males a lot of times early
in the season and that’s
when they look
real skittish,
they’re just
making their nests.
You get up in there and
you spook the fish off. Well, what ends
up happening,is a lot of these females
will still be in thesemigration routes. And so this is where we
start catching a lot of
these big females before
they start moving up and
actually start bedding. So when that water
temperature hits 55 to 58degrees, it’s
a perfect time,and if you pay attention
to the water temperature,it’s the perfect time
to hit these early,what I call
pre-spawn areas,these ledges and
the creek channels. Sometimes we don’t have
these deep ledges likethis going into
the back of a flat. Sometimes you’ll have an
area where it’s just flat. At that point, that’s when
the creek channel is very,very. . Is a very good
area for you to fish. And what I mean
by that is,if you have a flat
that looks like this,you’re going to have a
little cut maybe that goesinto the deeper part of
the cut that goes into theflats. . The little
creek channels. And you’ll be able to find
those with your graph,
and those are the areas
you may want to fish.
You know? Those 15. . You know, 15
to 5 feet of water areas
before they go right
into the flats. Any place where there’s a
little bit of deeper waterwhere they feel a little
bit more comfortablebefore they actually move
up into the flats is agood spot to start when
that water temperature iscold. Got him!Oh, nice fish. Nice fish. Oh he came off! That
was a nice fish. And just before we start
heading up into the flats,right on the
edge right here. That last bit of this
little ledge right here. Them moving into the flats
is where that fish waslocated. That’s always a good sign
because you know they’rejust getting ready
to move up in there. Good, healthy fish. That’s always a great sign
when you see that becausewhen you get to
the end of that,and they’re getting
ready to move up,you know it’s
getting close. You know?Water temperature is
warmed up to that 57degrees, the little
farther we’ve come back inhere, so that’s
always a good sign. It’s funny, because
it’s 56 over there,57 is coming up just a
little bit shallower. Out there we were fishing
in 25 to 30 feet of wateris where the
boat was sitting,but we were throwing up on
that ledge where they aremigrating. In here,were sitting in
20 foot of water and I’mthrowing up into about 10. So there really, really
starting to move back. Getting ready already. Oh!There’s another one!They are really starting
to move up in there. Come on buddy. Oh, come on. Little
male Bass right there. You can see that
there eaten to. They’re getting ready
to move up in there,and getting with it. That’s just a
little buck bass. Right here as we are
starting to go into theflats. So they are migrating
back there is well,getting ready to move
back up into the shallows. You know pre-spawn fishing
is a lot of fun and I wantto go over a few of the
lures that I like to usethis time of year, early
in the pre-spawn when werefishing those ledges
and creek channels. There’s a bunch of
different techniques outthere that work well,
like the Carolina rig,things like that. But these are pretty much
my go-to’s that I seem todo well on, and I’ve
been sticking to them foryears. But first and
foremost, of course,is the drop shot rig. The drop shot rig works
year around, but man,this time of year it
works that much better. You know?And we’ve been very
successful on this rig andwhen you’re fishing those
deeper walls where youhave ledges and you can
let this go down to theledge and fall
down to the bottom,it just works
out really good. And we’ve caught a
lot of fish on it. Now this is the time of
year that a lot of times,I’ll make my drop shot
rig a little bit shorter,you know? To catch these fish with. I won’t use a long leader,
I will use a shorter
leader, so that is
something to remember.
I like a quarter
ounce long weight,
of course when I throw
this type of rig,
and I’m using a number
one Rebarb hook. Not a 1/0, but a
number one Rebarb hook forthat particular rig. And it works
out really good. The drop shot is always
an awesome bait to go to. Now, some of those bigger
fish I’ve been catching alot during the pre-spawn,
I like to use a jerk bait. And I’ll throw a jerk
bait out there on them,and this is the kind of
bait that you want towork. . It’s a
suspending bait. I like the suspending
jerk baits.
You throw it out
there, you twitch,
twitch. . Pause. . Twitch,
twitch. . Pause. . And
that’s all I do out there. I work it kind of slow
this time of year. Give those big females a
chance to really get up thereand rip that bait. And they’ll rip it
right out of your hand. Bass just eat that thing
up during the pre-spawn. You know, when the water
temperature is still realcold, you know,
in that 55° range,and your hitting
those areas,a crank bait is another
great tool to catch thesefish with. 9 to 12 feet is
usually what I like. This is a good all around
bait for me because whenyou do get up into
the shallow water, it’ll bump off the
bottom. . But coming
through this water a crank
bait is a phenomenal bait.
Slow rolling this bait. It’s not fast retrieve,
slow roll this bait. 5. 2:1 gear ratio real,
10 to 12 test line. And fishing those kind of
areas like we’re fishing,this bait really gets down
there and works well forthem. The other thing is,
is the all around jig. When you have a cold front
coming through during thepre-spawn, one of the
things I love to go to,is the jig. And one of the reasons why
is that you want it reallyslow moving down
on the bottom. They’re not hitting quite
as well if they normallywould on a good day, and
so any time a cold frontcomes through during
the pre-spawn,that water temperature
is still at 55, 58°. You can still get into
those migration areas. The reason you have those
creek channels and thoseledges is. . They like
that deeper water,and you get
that jig there,I like a half ounce jig or
a 3/8 ounce jig for that. And that’s what I’ll
throw, right there. I like usually a brown,
purple natural colors. Okay?So, something to
always think about. All right. The soft jerk bait is
another great tool tocatch these
pre-spawn fish with. Go down and cover a lot
of water with this type ofbait. This is still another
bait. . The soft jerk bait,I’ll move it a little bit
faster during the spawn,when they’re actually up
in the water is hittingover 60°, but when it’s 55
to 58, 59° in that area,I slow my bait down. So I’ll throw it out
there and twitch,twitch or you know, make
it look like a dying shadfalling over. Give that fish an
easy meal you know?They’re moving up, they’re
starting to get a littlebit shallower and they’re
starting to get into thosemigration areas. . This
bait is a great tool tocatch fish with. All right. The other bait that you’ve
seen us catch a couple offish on that’s just a
phenomenal bait this timeof year, and it’s one of
my almost exclusive typebaits that I love to
throw is that wacky Senko. Man, you cannot beat
the wacky Senko. I use a 5 inch
Senko or a Stic-O. Bass Pro makes a Stic-O,
one of my favorite colorsis the Houdini and
anything with a littlecopper flake in it that
kind of resembles thecrawdads is awesome. So if you find a bait
that’s got a little copperflake into it,
you’re great. But love this particular
rig right here. We’ve got some big
fish on it today. The big, big fish hit this
thing and it’s just anawesome bait. When the wind is blowing
in that pre-spawn,and you’ve got a
little cloud cover,and you’ve got the wind
blowing and you’ve gotsome waves crashing and
you just don’t know whatto do, because
in the spring,usually we get
a lot of wind. One of my favorite baits
of all time, of course,is the spinner bait. I will use the double
willow leaf in clearwater. And the reason I like
the double willow leaf isbecause you get maximum
flash with willow leaf’s. So, you’ll get the maximum
flash with willow leaf’s. I use a chartreuse
trailer. To try to resemble,
somewhat, of a bluegill. You know, for me it works
really good and it’s beenvery successful for
me this time of year. So, you’re looking
for maximum flash. Now, if you’re in
dirtier, dingy water,you’re still going to
fish this kind of water. You’re going to face the
creek channels in theBluffs going into the
ledges going into theflats. So if you’re into
dingy, dirtier water,then you may want to go
to a Colorado blade whichgives you maximum
vibration. So these are the few baits
that I just love to throwthis time of year, and
they’ll probably be loadedup on my deck when I’m
out fishing, you know, earlier in the season. so,
definitely make sure you
got a hand load of these
of baits when you get out
there. And now you know what
my favorite baits are tothrow. So, generalizing
everything,you could have three or
four baits hooked up andprobably do pretty well
during the pre-spawn. You know we’ve gone over
the lures I like to use,now let’s go over the line
size and the rods I liketo use for the different
techniques were going tobe throwing. For the drop shot,
real simple for me. 99. 9% of the time
I’m using a 6 poundfluorocarbon carbon line. I use a quarter ounce
long weight, okay?And I also use a number
one Robo worm. . It’sactually called
Rebarb hook. And that’s what I use
for this particular rig. I like a 7 foot medium
action fast tip rod. And I also like to use a
Stratic reel which worksout really good. A spinning
reel. It’s the 2500 series. And that’s basically
what I use right there. It’s a great, great outfit
and you’ll catch a lot offish on it, for sure. The only thing with a drop
shot that you’ve got toremember with
that light line,is to be sure that you use
your drag on your real. This isn’t something
that you clench your. . your. . your. . Your
drag down with. You want to make sure that
you actually use the dragon your reel. It’ll help you bring those
big fish to the. . To theboat. The next rig I. . I like
to throw is of course thatwacky Senko. First of all, you’re going
to need a wacky tool forthe little. . They make
little rubber O-rings thatyou’re going to have
to put over the Senko. So that’s basically what
it’ll look like when youget it all done. And remember, when you
put the O-ring on. . On theSenko or the Stic-O,
you’ve got a little flatpiece on that particular
stick bait right there. And we call it the
egg sack basically. And here’s the front of
the bait. . The tell of thebait kind of tapers. So you want to make sure
when you put the O-ringon, that you put the
O-ring on towards theback. . Which would be
towards the taper and. . The back of the egg
sack right there. Right is the ribs start. And if you do that, it’ll
help level out the bait alot better. Kind of center
it a little bit,where it falls real
nice and natural like. So remember that. The other thing is, is
I use a 1/0 Ohner wackystyle hook for this
particular rig. And all I do when I
have the O-ring on,is I bring the hook right
up underneath the O-ring,just like so. And I always face this
part, the hook point part,toward the front
end of the bait. And there you have it. I like to throw 12 pound
test fluorocarbon withthis particular bait
because I’m usuallycatching some real big
hogs, and I love it!But. . The one thing I want
to tell you is I use afluorocarbon leader. On the end of that leader,
okay my backing line,is the brand-new
Berkeley nanofil line. And I love it. I use white. Now they make it in green,
they make it in white,I use white. And the reason why is
because when I throw thisbait out there and
I’m letting it fall,because it is weightless. .
When I’m letting it fall,my line lays on
top of the water. I can see my line. It almost, you know, I
can see it instantly if
anything hits it. So what’s really cool is
you be a line watcher with
this particular
kind of line,
and you’re going to catch
a lot more fish with it.
What I like to
use for my knot,
for my fluorocarbon
and the. . the nanofil. . Combine those together. .
Is either and Albright knot, or a Uni
to Uni knot.
Something small. You can find those
online as well,
to learn how to tie
those particular knots.
But those are the two
knots that I would use. And I’ll tell you what,
this is an awesome line tothrow for this
kind of bait. Anything you’re throwing
weightless on a spinningoutfit. It’s made for that. I like a medium
action spinning rod. 7, 7 1/2 foot rod, and a
good spinning reel thatcan handle it. And I’ll tell you what,
you’ll do just fine. And like I said. . Ah. .
The main, key ingredient,to be in a good wacky
Senko fisherman in myopinion now, with all the
technology that’s out,is having that nanofil. I can’t stress enough
getting that nanofil lineand then tying the leader
on because you can reallysee what’s going on. In the old days,
for me to do that,it was really tough for
me to watch the line. And so floor carbon is
virtually invisible underthe water, so it’s
really hard to see. So that nanofil really
helps us a bunch. White nanofil line
for your wacky Senko. Okay for my spinner baits,
what I like to throw,is anywhere from 3/8 ounce
to a 1/2 ounce spinnerbait. And I like the gold
and the silver bladecombination. Okay?I also like to put that
little grub trailer on theend. And I’ll add a little
chartreuse to it for alittle color. That bluegill
tint that I like. This time of year
bluegill’s mean a lot to me, so I like to. . to
throw that bluegill type. .
Anyways. . 14 to 17
pound test line,
and I use fluorocarbon,
and you want somethingthat doesn’t have a
whole lot of stretch to it. I generally use 17 pound
test line on my spinnerbaits now and. .
fluorocarbon. Because you want to be
able to set that big ol’. . big ol’ thick hook
into the fish’s mouth. If you’re using light line
you’re going to get a lotof stretch in it. You just not gonna
get a good hook-set. Okay, a 7 1/2 foot medium
heavy rod is perfect forthis bait. That’s what I use. A 7 1/2 foot medium heavy. And a 5. 2:1 gear
ratio bait cast reel. And you’re ready to
go spinner baiting. All right, when it
comes to the jig, okay?That I like to throw. You can throw that jig
anywhere from 12 poundfluorocarbon line to 17
pound fluorocarbon line. Now that all depends. . The
line size that you use,really for me, depends on
the area that I’m fishing. If I’m fishing where
there’s a lot of wood or. . You know, cover like that,
then I want to throw theheavier line. If you’re in open water
like on some of thesecanyon lakes, you’re
pretty much in openwater. . You go
down to 12 pounds. But I like a 7 1/2
foot heavy rod, okay?With a 6. 2:1 gear ratio
bait cast reel for thisparticular rig. That way you can
get those fish. Because a lot of times
they’ll hit and they’llrun right for the boat. You gotta keep
up with them. So that’s. . That’s basically
what I like to use. Good all around line for
me is a 17 pound test lineas well, on the jig. But like I said, if
you’re in open water,you can downsize it to 12. But I wouldn’t suggest
going any lower than 12pound test
fluorocarbon line. Okay when it comes to
my soft jerk baits,I like to throw. .
The lighter the line,the better you
can get away with,but you’re throwing a big
ol’ meat hook on thesethings because you want
a big ol’ 4 or 5/0 hook,okay. . on these
particular baits. So what I do is, with
throwing that particularbait. . I like and
offset shank hook. A lot of guys will throw
it with a straight shank,but I like the
offset shank. I like it because it gives
me because it gives me abig ol’ bite through that
big ol’ piece of plasticwhen they hit it. So I’m able to
catch those fish. You can buy them weighted
as well if you want to getthe bait down a
little bit more. So this particular bait
would be rigged weightless. But with this particular
bait I like to throw aspin casting outfit. . a
spinning outfit and. . nota spin cast but a spinning
outfit and a open facereal. I like to use my 2500
series Stratic reelsagain, made by Shimano,
and then of course uh. . about 10 pound test line
is perfect for this. So if you go with 10
pound test. . and make sureagain. . It’s
fluorocarbon. . See,fluorocarbon sinks. That’s why we use a lot
of the fluorocarbon. Plus, it’s got a less
of more stretch thanmonofilament. So, in saying that, you
know this bait. . It’llhelp sink this
bait a little bit. It’ll just make. . act a
lot more natural in thewater with that
fluorocarbon line. And with a lot less
stretch in it, you’ll feelthose bites a lot better. So I’ll use a 7 foot
medium action rod with thisparticular. . Or you can go
to a 7 1/2 if you can findthose rods. Go to a 7 1/2 foot
rod would be good too. But anywhere from 7, 7 1/2
medium action rod would beperfect for this. Uh. . A spinning reel. 2500 series Stratic
Shimano would be great. So that’s what I use for
this particular lure. Now when I’m talking about
jerk baits. . Jerk bait’sthe same way, my hard
jerk baits. . Anytime I’mthrowing a hard jerk
bait, a lot of times I’mthrowing that on 10 pound
to 12 pound test line. And uh. . Depending on the
size of the jerk bait. . Ifyou’re throwing a little
small hard jerk baits thenyou’re gonna probably want
to use a spinning outfit. And with 10
pound test line. And I like to use that on
the medium action rod aswell. With a fast tip. 7 1/2 foot, 7 foot rod,
and then that Stratic 2500series is a perfect all
around reel for that. Now if I’m throwing the
bigger jerk baits. . The 5inch jerk baits, the 6
inch jerk baits. . ThenI’ll throw those on
a bait casting rod. It’s going to be a 7 1/2
foot medium action rodwith a 6. 2 to 1 gear ratio
real and I’m going to use12. . 10 to 12 pound test
fluorocarbon line on thoseas well. Okay with the crank bait I
like to use 10 to 12 poundtest line on this
particular bait. Remember if you use heavy
line with a crank bait,it will not reach its
maximum depth that it says. So the lighter the line
you can get away with,the better. But in saying that, this
isn’t the type of crankbait I’m going to throw
8 pound test line with. I’ll throw it
with 10 pound,12 pound test line is
a great line to use. Fluorocarbon again for
that particular bait. I’m going to use a 7 1/2
foot medium action rodwith a 5. 2 to 1 gear
ratio bait cast reel,and your set to go catch
a lot of fish with thisbait. Got’im. We got him. Nice fish right there. Folks. . That’s a good
bed fish right there. He did not like
that Rage Craw. . In his bed at all. Come on. You know you’ll catch a. .
a fish like this. . What you end up doing. .
just like that. . That’s when they move
up on their beds. You know what I’m saying?So they end up
really. . Getting mean. That’s a good size
male right there. We’ll get them
back real quick. Let them go back
to his nest. You know that’s the
thing. . One thing that’sreal important this time
of year. . Now biologistssay that 68° is the
optimum degree temperaturewhen these fish move
up to make beds. But here in Arizona I’ve
been on fishing beds on58° water. So the thing is, is uh. .
You just gotta get up andlook and. . and. . and check
it out when they get earlyin the spring. A lot of it could
depend on the moon. You know, you get
close to a full moon,the water temperature
might be 58°,there’s gonna be
some fish on beds. And uh. . So the thing is,
is uh. . The one lure Ireally love to throw on
these beds is calledthe white. . It’s a
white Rage Craw. Now there’s a lot of times
I may have taken my drop
shot. . Natural,
oxblood red flake worm,
throw it in there first. If they’re. . If they go
after it then it’s real easy. But there’s times when
you have to really get the
fish to be able to. . to
bite the bait. . Sometimes you gotta
coerce him into doing it. And uh, get them upset and
putting this on the bed is
the way to go. Bed fishing is something
that a lot of people,
you know a lot of
the professionals do,and we all have a
different way of doing it. I’ve been very successful
at bed fishing and the onething I do know about it
is that you need to makesure you back
way off the fish. If you’re on
top of the fish, you’re gonna have a tough
time catching it because
it. . It sees you. Remember that the eyes are
on top of the fish’s head
basically. They can see up. They look for Osprey
and everything coming in
diving after them
in the water. So if you’re
actually too close,you could really
spook the fish. That’s where,
you know for me,over all the years
of fishing I’ve done,those Power Poles really
come in handy in some ofthe shallow water,
you know, bed fishing. Is because I can drop
those Power Poles.
We can pull. . pull back,
see what the fish is
doing. I’ll kick back and I can
pretty much if that fishis going to bite or not
or whether it’s gonna be atime before I can
get him to bite. But you have to be back
where you can just barelysee the fish. And that’s why
we use white. A white bait’s something
you can see from a distance in that
shallow water,
and that’s what
you’re looking for.
Watch for it to maybe
disappear or watch for the
fish to move. I can barely make out the
fish when he’s up that
close on the bed. You know up. .
Up that shallow.
I pull that far back. And the farther back you
get the better off you
are. What I like to throw is
a. . I’ll throw a little. . I’m throwing
12 pound test. This is one of my favorite
pitching baits becauseanother thing is, if
you’re using a big baitcaster and your overhand
casting and you’re makingall kinds of motion, you
could spook the fish aswell, and it could take
you that much longer tocatch it. But. . What I like to use
is a spinning outfit. That way when I go to
throw out to the fish,I’m pretty much
flipping my bait out. I’m barely making any
arm movement whatsoever. And you want to stay where
the fish can’t see us so. . You know, you don’t want
to make a whole lot ofmovement. But I’m using 12 pound
test fluorocarbon line forthis particular bait. It’s called a Rage Craw. It’s a 3 inch Rage Craw,
it’s what I like to use. And uh. . I’ll throw a 2/0
big wide gap offset shankhook like that, okay?Just like so. . I put a
little glass bead on thefront of it. I use a tungsten
3/8 ounce,sometimes all use a 1/2
ounce but I normally don’tgo any bigger
than a 1/2 ounce,because it makes. . You
know it depends on howshallow of water you’re
fishing. . For all aroundfishing 3/8 ounce
is my favorite. Tungsten bullet weight. And then of course the
bobber stop that I put upon top so that the weight
doesn’t slide way up onthe bait. . Or way
up on the line. So. . All rig it just like
so. . In there you have it. I use a medium
action 7 1/2 foot,7 foot rod and it works
really good to catch thesefish. Now the thing is, if
you gotta remember sightfishing is a lot
of fun to do, butit is a vulnerable state,
and you want to make surethat you put these fish
back after you catch them. Right away. Put them back. And uh. . This ain’t the
time a year you want to goout and catch fish
and keep them. Um. . It’s a lot of fun. .
This is a lot of. . a funway to catch fish but it’s
not a way you want to goout and just. . uh. . You
don’t want to catch any. You want to catch and
release this time of year,without a doubt. Let them have babies so
we can go out and have funanother day. But it’s a fun way to
catch fish, for sure. And like I said, there’s a
few other baits I like tothrow, but that’s one of
my mainstays right there. Right?So I can see
it really well. Okay the first thing
I do when I see a bed,is a lot of times if you
go over a bed and your. . Your trolling motor
is going shallow,and you see a fish. .
Instead of stopping rightthere, turning your
trolling motor around, making all kinds
of commotion,
you want to be sure that
you just drive right on by
the bed. Just drive
right on by it.
The fish might see you,
come around and look. .
Uh. . And that’s the
first thing I do.
Just go right on by. And I’ll go by probably
about 20 yards,
make my turn back around
and then that’s when I
know I’ve spotted
where I’m at.
And uh. . I go back. A lot of times I’ll drop
my Power Poles in the water where I’m backed off
far enough where I can see
the fish. . Barely see
the fish. . And I want to
assess the fish and
see if I can catch it.
See what its emotions are
and. . Basically every bassis different when
you get up there. Some will hit your
bait right away. They haven’t been
tampered with. Some bass have already
been tampered with,
with other fishermen, and
those fish can be a little
bit harder to catch. You gotta remember they’re
not hitting out of a feed
strike this time of year. They’re hitting more
out of a. . More of a protective type mode where
they want anything that
comes in their nest out. Crawdads, lizards, you
know your little swim
baits. Whatever your
throwing in that,
in that nest is pretty
much. . They want out.
And that is
something else,
is anything in your tackle
box will pretty much catch
these kind of fish. But the main thing is, is
knowing what the bass is
doing and how long will
it take you to catch thefish. That’s the next thing. I won’t spend time
on officious real,real hard to catch,
especially in tournament. I’ll let somebody else in
a tournament actually taketime to catch those fish
while I’m out catching theeasier ones for me unless
they’re big enough towhere I’m thinking “Man,
this is worth sitting onfor a while”. Because their emotions
are totally different. The fish might have to
move a certain angle onthe bed as you’re
bringing the bait through,to uh. . to decide
he wants to hit it. And another thing is. .
And a lot of folks like tothrow right on top of the
bed. . Let me tell you,some of the biggest
mistakes you can make. . A lot of times if you splash
the bait right on top of
the bed. . If you are
messing with a half spooky
fish. . He spooks off. .
Takes a while to start catching the fish. Always throw past the bed
and dragged the bait in.
And you’ll also notice
that the bass will
actually turn, and when it
sees it coming up towards
the. . The nest. . He’ll go
right outside the nest to
look and see what it is
and sometimes whack it
before it even comes
close to the nest.
That makes it for
an easy catch. So those little things
like that are huge. But you gotta remember
that your bass bed mightbe this big around,
but the spot that he’sprotecting is only
about that big around. You know sometimes maybe
even the size of a silverdollar. So you make multiple cast
up in that area if thebass just turns and looks
at it coming through theedge of the nest. You know, especially ones
that have been caughtbefore, they may just look
at it as it’s coming by. A lot of times, if you
throw up there and youbring it by and they
just look at it,then throw it up there a
few inches more and try todrag it across. And finally you’re going
to find a sweet spot therethat the bass does not
want it there and you’regonna get a
reaction out of him. Whether he bites it or
not. . Anytime you can getthe bass to nose up, to
me, it’s a catchable fish. So that’s another thing
is. . Is. . Is. . Is that’swhen I’ll take the time to
play with them and try toget him. . Uh. . Coerced
into biting my bait. Okay one other thing about
bed fish and is when Ipull up to a bed and they
have a male and a femaleand it looks like they’re
turning in all of that stuff and the males. . you
know. . and the female are
turning. I’ll a lot of times
just leave the bed.
I won’t even mess
with those fish.
They’re so hard to catch. They’ve got other
things on their mind.
They’re. . They’re in the
middle of what they’redoing, and basically they
won’t even attack anythingat that point. You’re best off just
going to another bed. Remember, there’s a lot of
other beds you can go to. But uh. . When they’re in
the midst of doing theirspawning, I don’t
even mess with them. I just leave them alone. And so uh. . You just
move on to the next bed. Now the difference for
me. . And people ask me allthe time. . “Well how are
you catching the femalethen?”Well, that’s not how
I catch the female. I catch the female when
the female is actuallybacked off the nest and
you see the male on thenest protecting,
protecting the nest,and the female is just
kind of sitting out therewaiting to move up. And a lot of times that’s
when. . That’s when you cancatch the big female fish. But when they’re actually
on the bed together andthey’re. . And they’re
intertwining and doing allof that stuff I don’t
even mess with them. I leave him and I
go to the next bed. Got him!I got him. Good smallmouth. Right there folks. Oh. . Wacky
rigged to warm right thereon that dark spot,
and there he was. Oh my goodness. Come on baby. Smallmouth are just
in general tough fish. Look at that. Beautiful smallmouth
Bass right there. Nose hooked. Perfectly. Smallmouth Bass tend. .
Get’im back in the water. . Smallmouth Bass tend to
actually spawn a littlebit deeper. And uh. . So
with that said,a lot of times I like
to throw drop shot in. They just can’t
stand that drop shot. But the other thing is,
you know you’ll have yourlargemouth up real shallow
and you’ll find thesedeeper beds out deeper. What you’re basically
looking for is the bigblack circles. As far down as
you can see,you’ll see big dark
spots down there. Doesn’t mean you’ll
always see the fish.
But a lot of times if
you have a lake that has
smallmouth in it,
smallmouth tend to like
to. . To spawn a little bit
deeper than the largemouth
do. And I’ll tell you what,
you can have a lot of funwith that. We didn’t even
see the fish. I just threw up to the
dark spot, and boom,there it was. So uh. . You know. . You can
catch a lot of. . A lot ofsmallmouth doing that in
uh. . in lakes that havesmallmouth. Uh. . Drop shoting in
is one of my favoritetechniques for. . for
the smallmouth bed. You know?Like when I go
to Lake Havasu,or even here at Apache
Lake or Roosevelt if I seethe smallie beds. A lot of times the drop
shot is the number oneticket for me. I don’t even have to pull
out anything that reallyhas to. . We have to try
to get them to bite with. Normally the hit
the bait right away. So uh. . One other key
thing that’s reallyimportant about bed
fishing and sight fishing,uh. . There’s two key
things that are very hugethat you gotta remember. Number one: a good pair of
polarized sunglasses is amust. Uh. . You know. . I like
the. . The darker ambercolored type lenses. Some guys like to
smoke in the daylight. Because we have cloud
cover and things like thatand I don’t like changing
my glasses all the timeI’ll wear my amber. . My
darker amber sunglasses99. 9% of the time and
I can see just fine. You know I’ve learned
a lot about how to readwater and how to
see through it. I’ve done very well I’ve
done really well with thisparticular kind of. . uh. .
pair of sunglasses. The thing that’s real
important though that Idon’t think a lot of
folks understand is,always make sure you get
glass in your glasses. Don’t use. . I don’t
use the plastic lensesanymore. It’s glass. And. . You just get better
optics with the glass forsure. The other thing that’s
really important about bedfishing is your
boat positioning. So many people don’t
even give themselves anopportunity to
catch the fish,even though
they can see it,and it’s roaming around
and looks skittish. Uh. . I like if I can. . No
matter what. . To make surethat I leave some kind of
a. . uh. . Deep water accessroute to the fish where it
doesn’t feel blocked off. And that’s huge. The other thing is, is
make sure that when thesun’s up that your boats
not positioned to whereyour shadow’s going over
the bed all the time whenyou’re fishing the fish. Sometimes that’s
really hard to do. But you gotta try to find
a way to put your boat inposition where you’re
not actually putting anyshad. . Casting any shadow
over the fish whatsoever. In saying that, I like to
be sure that when the fishis trying to see me, that
it’s looking toward thesun not toward. . You
know. . It’s got it’s bestview when it’s looking
away from the sun. So I try to position
myself to where the fishactually has to look
somewhat towards the sunto uh. . To even to try
see me any good. Because the sun will help
blind. . Just like you,when looking into the sun,
it’s going to blind thefish as well. They won’t see
you as well. But you want to make sure
there’s that. . that. . thathappy medium where you
don’t want to be right inthe sunlight where you’re
casting a big shadow overthe fish. So. . That is huge. And I’ll tell you, that’s
where the Power Polesreally come in handy if
you’ve got a boat andyou’re out. . you’re
out bed fishing. Those Power Poles are
worth their weight in goldfor this time
of year fishing. I don’t. . I can’t believe
I fished this long withoutthem. And it’s so nice to have
them because I can put myboat in position, I can
wait for the fish I canwait for the fish to
relax. . Whatever I have todo. . And uh. .
And actually,I’ve been able to catch
my fish a lot quicker byhaving those. Because you’re not using
the trolling motor,you’re not hitting your
trolling motor all thetime. . Trolling
motor is huge. The other thing I want
to say is when you’re inshallow water in your
around some skit. . skittish type fish, uh. .
early in the spawn. . It’s,for me. . if I can see the
bottom. . I won’t even havemy graphs on. After I find out what the
water temperature is inthe area and things like
that I’ll shut my graphsoff. Because the graphs have a
tendency to put a ping inthe water as well. I just want to try and
be as quiet as possible. You don’t want to be
thumping stuff down inyour boat, or having your
partner open up his tacklebox lid and
slamming stuff down. It’s very important
that you be quiet. Be real subtle when you
get in there and you’ll bebetter off trying to
get those fish to bite,that’s for sure. I want to go
through a few of the luresI like to use when
I’m bed fishing. And of course, this is
one of them right here. It’s just a white lizard. You know a 5 to 7 inch
lizard works real good. A 6 inch lizard works
really good on those beds. And I’ll tell you what,
for those deeper beds thatyou’re trying to fish,
sometimes that little RageCraw is a little bit too
small for you to see,you go to a little bit
bigger bait like this andsee a little bit
deeper on those beds. And it works really good. They can’t stand to have
a lizard on their bed,and that works
really good. The other thing of
course. . uh. . I try to getaway as natural as I can
sometimes. . I like touse. . This is a Gene
Larew salt craw,but I like the orange. .
bright orange pincers because I can really
see those in light,
sandy areas, even some
darker type beds where you
have dark beds. You can actually see the
pincers really good anduh. . I’ve done really well
with that particular baitas well. The Senko, a lot of
times just weightless,I’ll Texas rig that Senko. I won’t. . I’ll use a big
old 4/0 you know. . widegap hook on this
particular bait and I’llthrow it Texas style. And uh. . Throw
it up in there. The biggest fear that
a lot of professionalfishermen have is actually
catching the fish on theside or something like
that because a lot oftimes will swipe at. So I always try to Texas
style my baits and makesure the fish
runs off with it. One thing to learn
about bed fishing,is uh. . You might have a
fish attacking your bait and you get all
excited but that fish,
as long as it’s
attacking your bait,
he’ll probably
eat the bait.
So you’ve got time, uh,
unlike any other time,
to be able to make sure
that the fish has actually
got the lure in its mouth. So when throwing
out there,
you know especially
in the tournament’s,it’s so scary because
you’re on these big fishand there swiping at it
and you want to set thehook. . You know. . Be sure
that that fish gets thatbait in their mouth. And uh. . Because you know,
you’ll have to throw itback if you catch
it on the side. So sometimes you catch
them on the side of thejaw or something and they
swiped at it and theydidn’t quite get
the whole thing. So I always try and make
sure that they’re actuallyswimming off with it
real quick off the bed. Now they will sometimes
just hit it and blow itout. But I’m telling you,
if they’re doing that,you’re eventually going to
anger him enough to wherethey’re gonna. . they’re
gonna hit it and they’regonna. . They’re going to
take it out themselves. The other thing is, is
uh. . The jig, of course. When I’m on some beds,
sometimes those bigfemales uh. . A little
bit bigger presentationsometimes is what it
takes and uh. . Something alittle bit more bulkier
for them to be a littlemore agitated and a little
spooked about somethingbeing there. . So they’ll
definitely hit somethinglike that. And there’s guys that
throw swim baits and stufflike that on the beds
too and that works prettygood. These are pretty much the
baits I use all year longand I’ve won a lot of
money doing it so it’s,you know. . You
can definitely uh,catch a lot of fish
doing it that way too. But those are the few
baits that I like to throwwhen I’m bed fishing
and I can pretty muchexclusively go to these
baits along with that ragetale craw and uh, and do
all the site fishing Iwant to do and
have fun doing it. So it’s a lot
of fun but uh,guaranteed there’s
something in your boxthat’ll work.

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