Lake St Clair Bass, Start Thinking Post-Spawn 2018

| May 31, 2018

The Xtreme Bass Tackle Froggy tube continues to work on smallmouth bass

The transition to the post-spawn period is one the hardest for dedicated bass anglers to make. They just went through three of the best bass fishing months for numbers and size, and the same results just aren’t there. In addition, it was easy fishing.

As long as you were around a school of smallmouth, most presentations and colors worked. For bass anglers who fish on a regular basis, the bass were in predictable places and responded to presentations that have worked well in the past.

You could find plenty of smallmouth in the 3 foot to 8 foot depth range. They were on the flats, in roaming schools. Some were relating to shoreline structure. All were more likely to be where the bait was, in stained water. Now the water is clearing up.

In the book, Smallmouth Confidential I talk about how bass train us to rely on patterns, then take them away. In the chapter on Reactive Logic I walk through the process of shedding failing patterns in favor of those that reflect the current conditions. The conditions are changing rapidly, and it’s time to change with them.

The remains of this crayfish were floating in Muskamoot Bay

We were recently in the north bays on Lake St. Clair where the spawning activity is strong around this time, every year. The water temperature in the middle of the bay was 71 degrees, and the spawning activity was dropping off. You can pick up some good smallmouth by focusing on cooler waters coming in from cuts, linked to the St. Clair River channels. The fishing pressure has been fierce in the area, but biology is creating the big move in bass behavior.

An Xtreme Bass Tackle Swim-X caught this smallie

This is all part of a normal, seasonal cycle that this body of water goes through every season. Sometimes it progresses lightning fast with a quick warm-up in early May, other years it barely happens at all with temperatures that feel like spring, all summer long. This year, the spawn to post-spawn progression falls into the normal range. By opening day, the bass should be in a solid, post-spawn mode.

This change places pressure on us to move to presentations that appeal to the larger bass that will be positioning offshore. There will be some big girls roaming around the old spawning zones, but the majority will move deeper to take a break from the work done during the spawn.

Soft plastics are an excellent choice when probing the depth ranges from 10 to 15 feet deep. Drifting and dragging is a presentation that will yield higher average catch rates as well. Look for your choice of bait color to make a difference in your size and catch rates as well. This is an emerging trend that will become more obvious as we get into the summer bite period.

It’s also time to start spot checking transition points. Some will be on fire right now, but most of them will strengthen as we move from post-spawn to summer bite with migrating bass.

Find Xtreme Bass Tackle baits and publications at

Or at:

You can also find these books and 4″ Sweet Green tubes at 9 Mile and Jefferson Mobile Pit Stop, and Sportsmen’s Direct at Metropolitan Parkway and Jefferson.

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Category: Bass Lake/River Reports, Feature

About the Author ()

Wayne Carpenter is the owner of Xtreme Bass Tackle and Combat Fishing, and author of No Secrets on Lake St. Clair.

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