Patterson bass angler Gerald Foulcard holds a good marsh bass caught below Gibson. (Submitted Photo/Courtesy of John K. Flores)
There's plenty of bass to catch post-spawn
It may be a little harder, but there are still plenty of bass to catch post spawn. Most tournament anglers can attest to the fact that late February and the month of March is the best time to fish largemouth bass around these parts.
But, as we get into the month of April, things start to slow down as the spawn turns into the post-spawn period.
I can definitely affirm the first observation. Having fished the Lake Penchant area on March 24, with friends Matt McCorkel and Gerald Foulcard, we caught lots of big girls spawning in 2 to 4 feet of water south of Bob’s Bayou Black Marina.
One of the things bass fishermen will have to spend more time doing is looking for fish, says Foulcard.
As we get deeper into April and on into the month of May, Foulcard said, “It’s a little tougher at this time of year, because all the fish are going to be in that transition stage. It makes them harder to track down. May is the time of year you have to scout a lot to stay on top of the fish and learn what their patterns are, because it can change day by day during this period.”
Besides scouting, there is also a significant change in tactics bass fishermen should consider, says Foulcard. One of the Patterson angler’s observations is, post spawn, there are a lot of recently hatched or juvenile fish around that are attractive to bass because that is what they see. This is known in all fishing circles as “matching the hatch.”
“For post-spawn bass, I like to use finesse baits like weightless senkos, and smaller ¼-ounce spinner baits like Kajun Boss G-Man Special in black and yellow color with small blades," Foulcard said. "I’ll also use small crankbaits like Bandit in baby bass or Tennessee shad colors. I’ll also go a little deeper with a Zoom Speed Craw or small creature baits."
Foulcard suggests fishing secondary points and drop offs and also the outside edge of grass lines in deeper water because post-spawn bass tend to go a little deeper. The key is being versatile at this time of year where location and lure presentation to entice bass becomes more important.
The Atchafalaya Basin, during much of April on into May, is usually at or above flood stage most years – this year goes without saying. Therefore, most bass anglers go south and fish the marsh below the Intracoastal.
Areas in the marsh worth checking out below Bob’s Bayou Black Marina in Gibson are Bayou Capasaw, Turtle Bayou, the Bluebird Canal and 7-Mile. All of these locations see more than their share of fishing but always produce. There are also lots of no-name canals in this particular region that bass angler shouldn’t pass up.
To the east, below the town of Centerville along Highway 317, launch at the Cabot Boat Launch beneath the bridge that passes over the Intracoastal. Nearby fishing off the Intracoastal Waterway is Blue Bayou south into the oil field canals and north into the Quintana oil field canals.
These canals can be like a maze with endless opportunities in a coastal swamp setting of tupelo and cypress trees. There is usually plenty of structure available in the form of logs and oil field platforms.
The areas in the marsh below the Intracoastal are also tidal. There are both sloughs (trenause to locals) and pipelines that drain – some rapidly depending on the tide.
Oftentimes, fish in the marsh will stack up in front of locations like these. The bite can be amazing, when conditions are right.
Additionally, in the brackish water marsh, sometimes you never know what you’re going to catch. It’s not uncommon to catch bass and redfish in some locations.
Where ever there is cover off the bank, be sure to make 4 or 5 casts to it before moving. Fish can be finicky during the immediate post-spawn, but with a little luck, they can be coaxed into a reaction bite.
The biggest thing to remember post-spawn is there are plenty of bass to catch. You just have to locate them, pattern them and coax them a little more to bite in late April and May.
EDITOR's NOTE: Flores is The Daily Review's Outdoor Writer. If you wish to make a comment or have an anecdote, recipe or story you wish to share, you can contact Flores at 985-395-5586 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his Facebook page Gowiththeflo Outdoors.