Bass have spawned in many of our lakes and rivers by now and most of the bass are resting and feeding on any easy food they can find. Small fry that have recently hatched out are tempting targets for bass as they cruise the shallow coves, flats and ditches looking for an easy meal.
As soon as the water clears up, and it has done that in many areas, bass will strike small hardbody minnow shaped jerkbaits and soft stick baits.
If the bottom is smooth with no grass growing up, then hard-bodied jerkbaits like a Rattlin’ Rogue, Rapala minnow or XPS Bass Hawk minnow are just the ticket to finding and enticing strikes from the hungry bass.
On a recent morning after a cold front we fished a couple small shallow bodies of water with great success. Though the bass were not feeding aggressively on top, they were hungry and struck our lures with ferocity.
On my first cast with a Rattlin’ Rogue, I cast over a shallow flat and just as it approached a grass line a bass smashed the lure and almost tore the rod from my hands. The water clarity was much better than it had been all spring and the bass were striking with a vengeance.
I demonstrated how to work the chrome/black back jerkbait to a friend by casting the lure out about 6 feet and started my retrieve in a quick jerk jerk fashion. As the lure is jerked in rapid succession it darts this way and that and the resultant flash enticed bass to strike. On this short cast I worked it back in the jerking fashion and a lunker bass smashed it while my young angler watched.
A 6-pound bass smashed the lure and had it hooked sideways on both sides of its mouth, securely hooked on each side but unable to swallow it as a result. I fought the bass for a few minutes and then wore it down and landed it. I quickly took a photo to commemorate the occasion and quickly released it to feel the thrill again and again.
As the sun rose higher, we would see an occasional flicker from a shad or school of small fry, and we’d cast just beyond the commotion and work the lure back through the area. On almost every cast we enticed explosive, slashing action from the bass.
My fishing partner got the hang of it pretty quickly as well and caught more than his fair share on a Rebel minnow shaped jerkbait.
Soft plastic stickbaits too
On yet another trip to a grass-filled lake we employed a similar tactic, but this time used 5-inch Bass Pro Stik-O’s and Yum Dingers. We rigged the soft jerkbaits weedless in Texas Style and they still allowed for easy hook penetration.
We cast into the holes in the grass and along weed lines. Sometimes the bass struck the lures as they came across the surface of the vegetation, and sometimes they struck when we let the lure glide down towards the bottom in an opening or along the edge of the weeds.
Many times the bass struck the lure on its initial descent as it glided towards the bottom of the lake. When they struck the lure, they meant business, and many were actually swallowed as a result of their aggressive strikes and hunger.
If you are looking for some hot bass action anywhere in the state in May and early June, then you need to try your hand at fishing both the hard body jerkbaits or the soft body Senco style worms. They are irresistible to bass under the right conditions and provide hot post-spawn action. As long as the bass are in the area and see these lures they usually can’t resist them.