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Bed fishing for bass can be difficult.
However, once you learn the best techniques and where to look for them, it may not be as difficult as you think…
We have put some information together so you can learn a little more about it.
Where Do I Find Bedding Bass?
Bedding bass are bass that are on their nests protecting their spawn. Bass tend to spawn in the shallows where they will usually dig out circular holes in which the females will lay their eggs. Usually this happens after the water temperature hits around 55 to 65 degrees.
The male bass will then protect the eggs in the nest while the females generally leave to feed, although they often remain nearby. So it is likely that the bass you are targeting on the beds in these shallow spawning grounds during this time will be male, as the females may have moved to deeper water at this stage.
Male bass tend not to feed during this time but they can become aggressive when it comes to defending their spawn and will often bite anything that looks like it might pose a threat to their nest.
However, female bass can still be found in these areas while they prepare their nests and lay their eggs and they will also strike anything that may pose a threat to the eggs.
What Are The Best Baits And Lures To Use?
Mimic Threatening Species
The best lures to use are often the ones that can imitate the baitfish that tend to be a threat to bass nests. Bluegill, crawfish, salamanders and bream are just some of the species that can pose a threat to bass spawn.
Bass will often attack these species naturally if they get too close to the nest, so choosing lures that can mimic these species can be good for enticing a defensive strike.
Types Of Lures
Plastic worms and tube lures, such as the Yamamoto Senko Bait can be great for targeting bedding bass, as they can give you more of a finesse approach that may encourage bass to bite in order to get rid of the threat. Texas rigging or wacky rigging could be effective depending on your conditions, for example if there’s weed cover.
Jigs, such as this ¼ ounce Terminator Pro one, can also be great to use in these situations, and you could also attach a creature jig trailer, such as a plastic crawfish, to create a larger more threatening profile.
When Is The Best Time?
Spring Time, Baby!
The time of the bass spawn will vary depending on where in the country you are, but generally bass spawn in the spring, as soon as the water temperatures start to warm up.
If you’re in the southern regions of the USA this could happen as early as January, whereas in the northern regions it may not happen till late May or early June.
Because bass will generally not eat during this time since they have to guard their nests from predators all day and all night, the time of day may not matter as much when it comes to catching them.
However, before you attempt to catch bedding bass, make sure that it’s legal in the body of water where you plan to fish, as some places may put restrictions on fishing during the spawn.
Watch For Moon Phases
Just like the moon affects the tides, the moon can also affect the behavior of fish. Bass may be less likely to feed during a full moon and new moon because they tend to channel their energy into the spawn.
Blind Bed Fishing for Bass Tips
It is also thought, but it might just be folklore, that some bass will spawn on the first full moon after the water temperatures hit 60 degrees.
Tips & Techniques For Bed Bass Fishing
1. Sight Fishing Can Be Useful
When the bass are in the shallows, in some places it may be possible to actually see them on the beds. Taking a walk along the banks can help you scope out some of the shallows and could let you see where bass are, so you can cast your bait into these spots.
A small boat or kayak could come in handy for this too, letting you get closer to more isolated flats.
2. Use A Thin Hook
In order to minimize damage to the bass, it can be a good idea to use a thin wire hook. This helps to limit the level of injury to the bass so that it can have a better chance of surviving and returning to protect its young once it’s released.
It can also be helpful to remove the barbs from the hooks before you use them, as this can make it easier to remove the hook from the bass’s mouth and can therefore reduce the amount of time the bass is out of the water.
3. Try A White Jig
A white jig bobbing along the bottom could be one way to get a bass to strike. Try bouncing it into the bottom around the bed, giving it a little pause as it rests. Swimming it through the bedding area can also result in a strike if the bass sees it as a risk to the fry.
Super Clear Underwater Sight Fishing!
4. Try A Drop Shot Rig
A drop shot rig, such as with a soft plastic worm or creature bait, could help you catch bedding bass as it can let you keep your lure in the bed zone for longer and entice an annoyed bass to strike.
A drop shot rig can let you move the lure up and down and get it closer to the bass and the bed while the weight keeps it in place.
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5. Cast A Creature Bait
Crawfish and lizard lures can be a good choice to throw into bass beds since these creatures do pose a natural threat to bass fry, meaning bass may be more likely to react aggressively.
These types of lures can be cast just over the bedding bass, so that you can bring it in slowly along the bottom towards the bed. This can work with the lure Texas rigged so that you don’t get caught up on any vegetation on the bottom, but they can also be rigged as trailers on a jig or even drop shot rigged.
Fishing for bass when they’re on their beds may not be the easiest time to catch them but if you know their general behavior during this time then you could improve your chances.
Remember to make sure bed fishing is allowed in your local area before you cast your line and try to keep your catch out of the water for as little time as possible. Let us know your thoughts on bed fishing and share this guide with your fellow anglers.