Post Spawn Fishing
Time To sTop looking & sTarT fishing!
to trees. In these types of situations I turn to two different tech- a soft tip is key, so that the fish get a chance to inhale the bait prior to you setting the hook. Encompassed within the bait’s skirt is a niques, flipping, and fishing a drop shot. Again, I am targeting areas trailer, which is a great feature and keeps you from having to add that I caught fish in earlier in the day when throwing reaction baits a trailer from the bait. Often times when adding a trailer that is a and previously catching those active fish. When finding areas to large piece of plastic, it will make the bait more buoyant, which will flip you want to target cover that is different from its surroundings. keep it running shallower. With a built in trailer on the skirt, the For example, if you are fishing a fishery that has virtually no tulles Pure Poison allows you to fish the bait at the deeper depths, which and you come to a patch of tulles along a shoreline that is covered you are targeting. If fishing deeper than 10ft, a deep diving crank with flooded trees, variations like this to the surroundings can often bait can be the best way to find active fish. When fishing hold quality fish. For gear I will use heavy fluorocarbon line Strike King’s Series 6 deep diving crank bait, I use a in clearer water, such as 20-25lb test, or in murky Dobyns fiberglass rod over your typical graph- water a braided line, such as 65lb paired with a Dobyns 765 flipping rod. When choos- ite rod. The glass rod tends to be more par- Garrett Mercer is a Licensed Fish- abolic with a softer tip, which keeps the ing a rod you want something with a hooks from pulling out of the fish when sensitive tip, but its very important ing Guide in California and is sponsored by Skeeter hooked outside of the mouth, and also for it to be paired with heavy enough provides great sensitivity when fishing backbone to get enough power for a Boats, Yamaha Outboards, Strike King Lures, Falcon FTO deep diving crank baits. Always try to good hook set, and pressure to pull the Storage Systems, Dobyns Rods, KeelShield match the colors of your bait to local for- fish out of heavy cover. It is important to use a reel with a high gear ratio that re- age, depending on what type of shad, blue- and SdFish.com gill, or brim you have in your local fishery. trieves a lot of line per revolution since you Upon covering water and finding an area that want to get the fish out of the thick cover quickly so has some actively feeding fish with reaction baits, once the bite I use the new Shimano Curado 200 E7 when flipping. In addi- slows down there are many other tactics we can employ to still tion to a high gear ratio and quick retrieve, it contains an oversized be successful in those areas. Soft stick baits are often deadly dur- drag system to ensure that you have no slip when setting the hook, something that is very important to flipping with braided line. ing post spawn periods and can be a slower presentation to target Depending on how thick the cover you are fishing is, you can vary concentrations of fish. When rigging a Strike King Ocho, I use a your weight and choice of baits. Tungsten weights, though they are Gamakatsu 3/0 EWG hook, and fish it weightless on 12-15lb fluoro- more expensive are always the better choice over the larger, bulky lead carbon line. The fluorocarbon line helps the bait sink quicker, offers weights for flipping due to their compact size. You get much more virtually no stretch, and is very sensitive. Often times when fishing weight for the size which aids the bait in getting through the cover soft stick baits, the bite is a light tick, or even no bite, so using a down to the fish. Typically, I will use tungsten weights anywhere from sensitive fluorocarbon line is a very important aspect of fishing the 1/2oz to 1 1/2oz for normal situations. For bait selection I prefer crea- Ocho. It is a great bait to fish around grass, flooded brush, trees, and rocks as you can rig it weed less. ture baits that are larger in profile, such as a Strike King Rodent and Often times in post spawn many fisheries have high Game Hawg due to the amount of water they can move. The larger water levels which offer opportunities to profile baits make more commotion in thick cover, which can fish flooded cover ranging from brush