Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bumping and Grinding Bucketmouths

The early spring months treated us a little different this year compared to years past. March and early April were filled with high winds and cold fronts keeping the water temperature down. Finally, old Ma' Nature has finally listened to the fishermen's prayers because it's official...spring is here! Not only do us anglers feel the swing in the temperature, big ole' bucketmouths feel it too! These fish wasted no time in adjusting to the change. The early pre spawn feeding and staging pattern quickly swapped over to bed making with a little bumping and grinding. "Bow-chicka-bow-wow!"

I paid close attention to the location of the first areas with beds from last year and used that "data" to determine the first spots I was going to check out. My first trip in search of bedding bass was more like a scouting trip than anything.  I only had a couple of hours to fish after work so I couldn't afford to waste time. Wouldn't ya know it, these beds were in the same exact spots as last year. Fish are no different than any other living thing, they're creatures of habit. This "recon" trip was a good one. 3 fish were landed between 16" and 19". I didn't get pictures of the 19" due to technical difficulties, but here is a plump 18".

The next outing was a double header; first stop was at Joe Underwood's lake of choice followed up by my lake of choice. Joe could only fish the first part of the day so we headed to his lake first. Joe had a well thought out game plan that had me interested from the start; hit some lay downs and ledges early, then look for beds as the sun peaked.

The bite didn't pick up until a couple of hours after sunrise. Joe had the hot hand of the morning landing 3 to my 1. I was able to land a couple of fish up to 16". One thing that I noticed was Joe's lake was a little bit later in the spawning cycle. We found a few beds, but most of these beds were vacant. Joe landed the big fish of the morning with a chunky 18" (pictured below). Check out "Hooked Up" (link) for his report.  

Round 2 in this bassin doubleheader was at the lake I fished earlier in the week. I used the early part of the outting to cover half of the lake standing up and staring down into every square foot of shallow shoreline cover looking for beds. Some were found, but most were in the area that I had previously searched out earlier in the week. Not only did I find more beds than I saw before, most of them had some good sized fish on top of them. Each fish landed took a little bit of work. Some wanted to see the buffet of finesse baits and 30 minutes of enticing before they would actually pick it up to remove it from the bed. Maybe it's home field advantage, but this lake was more generous than the first. 3 more were landed between 17" and 19.25". The 19.25" was pretty heated when a weightless wacky rigged Senko decided to do the Harlem Shake in her king sized bed.

19.25"...Not a fan of the Harlem Shake

Even though this is a great time of year to get on some quality bass, I'm hearing the call of the salt water species. There are so many options that are right around the corner. Soon, the bass rods will be put down and the heavy artillery will be drawn out for the migration of the big red drum. If the work schedule and the weather can work together, it might not be a bad idea to give one more shot to interrupt the "mojo" of some bumping and grinding bucketmouths.  In the famous words of Lionel Richie, "All night long!"

~See ya on the water!


  1. Another quality day with pullage - gotta love it!

    1. Yeah Chuck, it will be hard to change over from the sweet to the salt.

  2. I do love the bucket mouth. Remember when you were eight and you and I were fishing the shoreline near the house. We were catching smaller large mouth bass right and left. When all of a sudden I caught a snappy little male bass. I reeled him in and when I went to release him he gave one more head shake and buried the hooks into my finger. Right to the bone. Tried as I may I could not get the hook out. All of a sudden you said, "oh no we are going to hit the shore". You jumped on the trolling motor and took control. You got us to a neighbors pier. I wrapped my arms around their dock post.You ran as fast as you could to get help. I passed out. My HERO! I STILL love the shake.

    1. Haha, yes I do remember that, how could I forget it! You were using a small jointed black/silver Rapala. We were on the east side of the lake. Certain things I will never forget. Those memories are some of the reasons why I will always love freshwater fishing