Some of the most gullible bass you’ll ever find are males guarding fry after the spawn. The key to catching them is to locate small clouds of the recently hatched bass, which resemble swarms of underwater fleas.

New Jersey bass pro Pete Gluszek looks for fry close to shallow vegetation, boat docks, and any wood cover along shorelines near spawning areas.

“You can make these aggressive males bite by running a spinnerbait or a rattling crankbait through the fry,” Gluszek says. When that doesn’t work, he hooks a weightless soft-plastic Yum Dinger worm through the middle (wacky-style) and casts it into the grouped fry. Then he lets the lure slowly sink.

“If I can’t get a strike casting into the middle of the fry, I pick apart the cover close by,” Gluszek says. “Bottom line: Get your bait near the bass, and he’ll nab it.” –MARK HICKS