Bass Fishing photo

Bass are notoriously tough to pin down after they’ve vacated their spawning nests. Some stay very shallow, holding close to shore. Others move to woody and weedy cover not far from their beds. Still others stage along creek channels connecting shallow water to deep. Hit all the key spots illustrated below and you’re sure to hook up.

GO UNDER COVER Many postspawn bass recuperate while hiding close to the shoreline in the shadows of overhanging brush and limbs. Use a sidearm cast to shoot a silver or gold floating-diving minnow plug beneath the overhangs. Twitch the rod tip sharply during the retrieve to make the lure dart wildly like a fleeing baitfish. Shallow bass will jump all over it.

VISIT THE REST STOPS Throughout the postspawn, bass travel from shallow to deeper water via ditches and creek channels. Along these underwater highways, they make rest stops at intersections and sharp bends, on scattered wood, or in weedy cover along the way. Locate these spots on your graph, mark them with buoys, then probe them with diving crankbaits in citrus shad or firetiger.

HIT THE POINTS Primary and secondary points are the final postspawn staging areas bass will visit before heading to their deep summer haunts. Any wood or grass near the point makes it an even better draw. Catch them with a Carolina-rigged lizard in green pumpkin, or a shad-colored diving crankbait.

BED CHECK There may be some late spawners, even in 75-degree water. Scan for bedded bass in shallow coves. Many savvy anglers believe that bigger fish are the first and last to spawn, so you may find a lunker. Keep your distance to avoid spooking the fish, and pitch a crawfish-colored tube bait with a pegged sinker onto the nest. Shake it gently to entice a bite.

BUSHWHACK THEM After spawning, some bass like to hang around flooded bushes before moving deeper. In clear water, work this cover with a white or pink straight-tail worm rigged weightless and retrieved with slow twitches. In murky water, pitch a black Texas-rigged creature bait into the bushes and shake it repeatedly.