April through May presents a divided time for the bass fishing world, with geography and climate creating a mix of prespawn, spawn, and post-spawn stages. Fish in many southern states have done their thing and for those recently departing the maternity ward, now is a time for rest, recovery, and easy meals.
“Post-spawn fish are worn-down and their bodies are not in great shape,” says Texas guide Stephen Johnston. “A post-spawn fish is not a chasing fish. They would rather have an easy meal than chase a spinnerbait or a lipless crankbait. They don’t have as much energy as they do when they’re coming up for the prespawn.”
Johnston said post-spawners typically have big appetites, having foregone feeding for their reproductive cycle. Anglers stand their best chances of connecting with a hungry fish by presenting slow-moving and therefore easily-caught baits such as weightless flukes, Carolina-rigged lizards and Texas- or wacky-rigged worms.
Finding post-spawners is usually easier than some might think, Johnston said. True, the fish departing the spawning shallows scatter into deep water, but it’s usually a fairly predictable course.
“Most of the time, if you have any type of structure away from the bank – timber, all different types of grass – those fish will go out and suspend,” Johnston said. “They still stay shallow. Most of them don’t go deeper than about 10 feet for a couple of weeks. Most of the time, from where the beds (were), if you just turn and look behind you – it there’s any (structure), most of the time that’s where the fish are going to go to.”
Engbretson Underwater Photography.