My Favorite Patterns
Three tournament veterans reveal their go-to early-summer bass setups.
As bass make the transition from spawning grounds to hot-weather haunts in early summer, nailing down a productive pattern can be tough-unless someone has already worked it out for you. Here, accomplished bass pros Pete Gluszek, Troy Jens, and Gerald Swindle share their top postspawn strategies, including their favorite spots, go-to lures, preferred presentations, and tips on how to make their pet patterns work for you. If you catch half as many postspawn bass as they do, you’ll be plenty busy.
[BRACKET “Flipping the Grass”]
**Location: **Gluszek, a pro from New Jersey, seeks out milfoil and other submerged grasses in creeks and on the main lake. The best grassbeds are visible within 3 feet of the surface in water 7 to 10 feet deep.
**Lures: **1/2- to 1-ounce Booyah Jig with a soft-plastic trailer.
**Tackle: **A 71/2-foot, medium-heavy-action Quarrow flipping rod and 17- to 25-pound-test monofilament.
Presentation: Flip and pitch into grass clumps and holes, and to any points, pockets, and irregularities along the edges. Work quickly for aggressive bass.
**Pro Tip: **”There’s usually something in the grass that attracts bass,” Gluszek says. “It could be a hump, a depression, a stump, or a change in the bottom composition. Find this, and you’ll be into fish.”
[NEXT “TROY JENS”] Troy Jens
[BRACKET “Cranking Ledges”]
Location: Jens, an Alabama pro, hits creek and river channels, especially where outside bends drop sharply from 12 to 20 feet into deeper water. Any cover, such as stumps, laydowns, or brush, greatly enhances such places.
**Lures: **Excalibur’s Fat Free Shad and deep-diving crankbaits in bream colors.
**Tackle: **A 7-foot Pflueger medium-heavy, graphite baitcasting rod and high-speed reel spooled with 12-pound-test Silver Thread AN40.
**Presentation: **Hold the boat in the creek or river channel and cast both across the ledge and parallel to it. Run the crankbait so it digs into the bottom and bounces off cover.
Pro Tip: “I catch most bass by cranking wide open,” Jens says. “I’m looking for active, feeding fish.”
Gerald Swindle [BRACKET “Plugging Points”] Location: Swindle, another Alabama pro, likes long, clean, gradually sloping points situated from about halfway back in creek arms out to the mouths. Bass will feed here for two to four weeks after spawning, giving you plenty of time to find and catch them.
**Lure: **Lucky Craft’s G-Splash popper.
Tackle: A 7-foot medium-action graphite baitcasting rod from American Rodsmiths, paired with a fast reel spooled with 15-pound-test monofilament.
Presentation: Position the boat to the side of the point and cast diagonally across it to depths of 10 feet. Water clarity must be at least 18 inches.
Pro Tip: “Chug the popper at a fast clip,” Swindle says. “If a bass strikes and misses, speed it up even more. The fish may hit two or three times before you hook it.”