Fishing Report: Where to Catch Spawning Bass in the South

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 South:

April 1-7
Our Pick: Sam Rayburn, TX
Hot Pattern: Look for bedding bass in small, shallow pockets off main coves. Soft-plastics pitched to beds will draw strikes, but bedding bass get a lot of pressure in this lake.

April 8-14
Our Pick: Lake Murray, SC
Hot Pattern: Look for spawners in the back third of small, hard-bottom coves and in pockets off creek arms and the main lake. Pitch a jig-and-craw trailer.

April 15-21
Our Pick: Lay Lake, AL
Hot Pattern: Bedding bass are abundant and easily found in Lay Lake. Concentrate on the first or outer half of pockets off creek arms that are wind protected.

April 22-28
Our Pick: Lake Chickamauga, TN
Hot Pattern: Cast soft-plastic creature baits to beds in spawning pockets for spawners. If the lake level is high, try swimming a jig with a grub trailer through the cattails.

April 29-May 5
Our Pick: Lake Gaston, NC/VA
Hot Pattern: Catching bass in Gaston is all about fishing docks. Pitch a jig tight to the poles and skip a finesse worm, wacky worm, shaky head, or fluke under the docks.

May 6-12
Our Pick: Kentucky Lake, KY
Hot Pattern: The largemouth spawn is on and should continue through the next full moon on the lower end. Slowly fish the area with Texas-rigged soft-plastics.

May 13-19
Our Pick: Potomac River, VA
Hot Pattern: Pre-spawn bass can be caught on crankbaits in 4 to 6 feet of water. They are staging at the mouths of spawning coves or current breaks.

May 20-26
Our Pick: Beaver Lake, AR
Hot Pattern: Fish 1/8-ounce shaky head jigs dressed with green pumpkin finesse worms on pea gravel banks that have wood or laydowns in shallow water. Don't overlook the docks.

May 27-June 2
Our Pick: Grand Lake, OK (pictured above)
Hot Pattern: Post-spawn bass can be caught on creature baits.