Every decent bass angler knows that largemouths spawn in shallow pockets and bays in the spring. And every bass that sets up shop in those pockets and bays will likely experience a moderate to high level of harassment in the coming weeks. At minimum, the bombardment puts the bass in these spots on guard. In the worst case, too much harassment can completely eliminate their presence in these locations years later. But nature always finds a way to press on, and when it comes to spawning bass, that often means bedding in unconventional places. If you want to avoid joining the popular cove assault team, keep these spawning sleeper spots in you back pocket. They’ve led me to victory on even some of the most pressured lakes.
Flat Spots/Secondary Shelves on Bluff Walls – Yes, I said bluff walls! When you look at a bluff wall you think “deep water,” and sometimes it takes scouting hundreds of yards of wall to find an unsuspecting subsurface flat spot. It’s worth the time though, because spawning bass like an easy escape route to the depths, and a small shelf to bed on is all big momma really needs.
Islands – Many anglers think of islands as “offshore” spots. But they fail to remember that islands have a shoreline too, as well as coves and pockets. Islands in the middle of the main lake are actually terrific spots to find late spawners or prespawn bass, even when the fish in the main shoreline coves are postspawn. That’s because mid-lake water often stays cooler than shoreline water, putting the cycle a bit behind the rest the lake.
Tough Spots in Marinas – Marina docks harbor a resident population of bass all year, largely because they provide a sheltered highway from deep to shallow water. Those homebodies generally spawn, well, at home, especially if the docks stay in all year. Not to say anglers don’t look for spawners in marinas, but they don’t look as close as they should around those spots that require a bit more planning to hit with a lure. A big female instinctually knows from trial and error that she is less likely to get bothered or caught if she makes camp behind three chains, two ropes, a water pump, an electrical cord and a low hanging walkway that no boat can get to. As an angler, it’s your challenge to find a way to get a cast in there, and then get the big bass out.