Fishing Report: Where to Catch Spawning Bass in the Midwest

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 Midwest/North Central:

April 8-14
Our Pick: Lake of the Ozarks, MO
Hot Pattern: Fish jerkbaits around docks and a Storm Wiggle Wart on windblown banks with a mixture of chunk rock and gravel for pre-spawners.

April 15-21
Our Pick: Bull Shoals, MO (pictured above)
Hot Pattern: Fish jerkbaits on rocky main lake points.

April 22-28
Our Pick: Table Rock Lake, MO
Hot Pattern: Windy banks are always preferable. If there's no wind, hold in deep water and cast a finesse worm on a split-shot rig or shaky head toward points and gravel banks.

April 29-May 5
Our Pick: Monroe Lake, IN
Hot Pattern: For pre-spawners, fish crankbaits and jigs with a Zoom Superchunk trailer in 3 to 8 feet of water in the upper end where the river comes in. Search for structure.

May 6-12
Our Pick: Sandusky Bay, Lake Erie, OH
Hot Pattern: Look to protected areas, like small marinas and mouths of streams, where the water warms quickly.

May 13-19
Our Pick: Crab Orchard Lake, IL
Hot Pattern: The spawning and pre-spawn bass will be in and at the edge of the water willow. Pitch a jig and slowly drag it back, always maintaining bottom contact.

May 20-26
Our Pick: El Dorado Lake, KS
Hot Pattern: Blind-cast a Texas-rigged green pumpkin Zoom Brush Hog on spawning flats about two-thirds of the way back into coves where water is clearest.

May 27-June 2
Our Pick: Mosquito Reservoir, OH
Hot Pattern: Search shallow bays (3 to 4 feet deep) with deeper-water creek channels nearby that are protected from northwest winds.

June 3-9
Our Pick: Lake Leelanau, MI
Hot Pattern: The largemouth spawn on areas of hard bottom in the back of small bays and around boat docks. Inflowing creeks should concentrate early spawners.

June 10-17
Our Pick: Clearwater Lake, MN
Hot Pattern: Easily spot beds, visible as dark spots on the bottom, around docks and in areas with scattered reeds.