TULSA, Okla. – As the temperature starts to warm and we begin the gradual shift from spring to summer, many lakes across the country begin to enter their post-spawn period. For some anglers, this change signals the beginning of the end of quality fishing in their minds. However, MLF pro Jason Christie showed just how fruitful post-spawn fishing can be during last week’s Bass Pro Tour Stage Five event on Smith Lake.
Christie was able to catch, weigh and release 87 bass during four days of competition, which earned him a fourth-place finish. I spoke with Christie to get some helpful tips on how to successfully fish during post-spawn.
“The most important thing is to have the right electronics on your boat and use them,” Christie pointed out. “A lot of people have the right electronics on their boat but don’t know how to use them. Me personally, and a lot of the professional anglers, we don’t even make a cast on a deep spot until you see them on your electronics. It saves us so much time.”
“Over the years, when you hear the term ‘post-spawn’ people automatically assume the fishing is tough and the fish are finicky,” Christie said. “I think post-spawn is some of the best fishing you can find. Now is the time that these fish group up and they get offshore. You can have some of the best fishing you’ve had during post-spawn periods.
“This past week at Stage Five I was able to catch about 75 fish off of one spot on the lake. It’s all about finding those key areas, and a good area to start looking is the mouth of some of these bigger pockets and creeks. Once these fish spawn, they will start to move out of those pockets and try to get to open water as they get ready for summer.”
“Having an array of baits is so important when fishing post-spawn,” Christie advised. “There’s hardly ever a day when you fish post-spawn that you have one bait that you’ll use all day. I like to have a deep-diving crankbait and I’ll use that to find the fish. Then, I’ll make the switch to a big worm, a football jig, or a swimbait to really catch them.
“It’s funny because you will sit there and catch five to 10 fish on a crankbait and you think, ‘Oh I caught them all, they’re all gone.’ Then, you pick up a worm or a different bait and you’ll catch five or 10 more. The fish can get conditioned to the bait so if you keep switching baits, you’ll keep catching fish.”
Christie and the rest of the pros on the MLF Bass Pro Tour return to action on May 17 from Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri for Berkley Stage Six Presented by True Timber.