Like deer hunters waiting for the best days of the rut, bass anglers around the country look forward to bass spawning season and a chance to catch the biggest largemouths of the year.
Here are our picks for the West:
Our Pick: California Delta
Hot Pattern: The spawn is starting and should last through the next full moon. Fish the Widows, Coney Island, and St. Francis areas for spawners. The best bet is to fish a black/blue jig.
Our Pick: Lake Havasu, AZ/CA (pictured above)
Hot Pattern: Catch pre-spawners on the outside edge of tules (bulrushes).
Our Pick: Castaic Lake, CA
Hot Pattern: Cast jerkbaits to primary and secondary points and inside the coves.
Our Pick: Roosevelt Lake, AZ
Hot Pattern: Fish shallow banks with stickworms, topwater poppers, and walking baits. Spawners will be located at the bases of brush and trees.
April 29-May 5
Our Pick: Clear Lake, CA
Hot Pattern: Fish the mouths of the creeks with spinnerbaits, swimbaits, or jerkbaits for pre-spawners. Long casts with weightless stickworms will draw bites.
Our Pick: Tenmile Lake, OR
Hot Pattern: Pitch or cast jigs with craw trailers to willow trees, docks, and laydowns in the backs of coves. Black and Coleman creeks are consistent producers.
Our Pick: Lake Mead, NV
Hot Pattern: Pitch soft-plastic creatures to spawning bass in the backs of long, flat coves. Catch pre-spawners with spinnerbaits and drop-shots on main lake points.
Our Pick: Potholes Reservoir, WA
Hot Pattern: Fish squarebills and jigs to the underwater dunes at the north end.
May 27-June 2
Our Pick: Columbia River impoundments, OR/WA
Hot Pattern: Pitch jigs and Sweet Beaver–type soft-plastics to visible beds and holes in the grass. Work the edges of the weeds.
Our Pick: Banks Lake, WA
Hot Pattern: Bass will spawn on sand banks with rocks and boulders in backwater bays, on roadbeds, and at the edge of tules; slow-swim a jig with a grub trailer.