Can you believe it is already may just yesterday it seems to have been Christmas and the weather though it's not Christmas is still cold at times. We went from freezing rain in January to high winds and cold in March and April I thought would slow the winds down but never did and now it's May. Well even though we have had the cold and wind in April you can we still had some great days on the water like the photos below.
The spawn due to cooler weather is being streched out a bit longer this year. Below I'm going to tell you about the spring spawn and how it go's in stages, well lets get on with the last stage which is in May. Now heres how the spawn works.
In the spring time we have three portions of the spawn and they are, pre-spawn, spawn and post spawn.
Pre-spawn is when the fish are getting ready to begin the spawn which will normally take place in the later part of February. The big females will have put on their big egg rolls during the winter and then making their way up into the shallows to spawn.
Next will be the spawn which normally takes place after the full moon in March or when the waters surface temp reaches the upper 50's to the mid 60's. This is when the bass will move up shallow and go on their beds made by the male bass. The male bass will go out find their female bass and herd her back into the nest to lay her eggs. She will then will stay with the eggs until they hatch out and then she will fight off any other fish or creatures that swim into the nest trying to eat or cause injury to the fry. The bass will eat or try and run off anything that swims into her grounds.
Now the last portion of the spawn is called post spawn. Post spawn is after the fish have spawned out and left their fry. The bass will move out into the deeper waters and bunch up into school's and will be found out away from shore on the nearest drop off .
Now let's talk fishing,when these fish leave their fry they will move out on to the deeper ledges near their spawning grounds. They will move back and fourth to feed along the ridges. At first they will be hard to find but when you do they will be in a feeding mode. When looking for these spots that will hold the big post spawn bass try doing what I do.
Here is what I will do first. I will pull out my lake map and chart off all the spots I can find that have a creek channel with a hump or roadway near it. After I locate these spots I will take my Lowrance GPS unit and program in the GPS longitude and latitude numbers . By doing this I can coordinate these numbers with my GPS unit on my boat and put me right on top of these spots. After I find the places I located on the map I will then drive my boat in a figure 8 over the spot trying to locate my fish on my Lowrance fish finder. When I locate these fish I will position my boat so that I can cast to most all of the area. Now remember I said that I would drive in a figure eight well one reason is to find the fish but the other reason is to put out a marker so that I would know where to cast once I locate them and where I need to place my boat. A lot of these post spawn bass will be in open water so this is the reason to mark the spot with the marker.
Baits of choice will be a Carolina rigged watermelon Pocket Raiser made by Mister Twister next I will cast a big crank bait such as a Bomber BD7 across most of the area. Two other great lures will be a jig n pig and a count down lure. The jig will be my Big Eye Jig that I build and sell through the Texas spinner Bait Company on the back of the Big Eye Jig will be the Mister Twister Pocket Craw and you will find this jig and craw will fish like no other jig and craw you can find. The Big Eye Jig is built so it will fish great in grass, brush and rock and this is very important in fishing for post spawn fish. Now next, is a bait most of you have not heard about and it is my count down lure. The count down lure is a swim jig I build and to some that have seen it knows it as the Indian Swim Jig that has been teamed up with a Mister Twister Double Tail grub and also the Split Double Tail soft plastic lure making the Indian Swim Jig a great deep water lure that is weedless and swims just like a big shad or bait fish when fished in deep water.
You can look at the depth of the fish on your Lowrance fish finder and then count the lure down to the depth of your fish and then swim it through them. After it reaches the proper depth I will give it a sharp jerk and then let it fall back to the bottom and then I will start it in swimming it very slow for about 3 feet and then I will drop it back down a little and I will repeat this all the way back to the boat. Sometimes the Swim Jig works very good when you keep it a certain speed letting it swim and shake the litte legs as it swims.
When fishing this way don't get in a hurry for the fish will turn on and off at different times of the day. Fish very slow for best results.
If you wish to purchase some of the lures I make you can call me at (903)561-7299 and place your orders or go to my website and I have a lure page on it and you can order lures through my site. I am steadly making new lures that may not be on the web but if you see one that someone has that is not on my page just call me and I can build it to suit you and most orders go out within two weeks.
Crappie this month can be found up shallow in brush piles. The best lures for them will be 1/16th oz. Jig and my favorite jig is the Mr. Twister Mister Minnow in a white, or gobby green color.
Jig fishing to me is the most fun over live bait but as we all know live bait will work and some folks like minnow fishing as much as I like jig fishing so which ever you choose will be good..
Sand Bass and Hybrids can be found on the main lake points on Lake Palestine both early and late. Best lures will be my 1/2oz. Minnow Spoon in both chrome and chartreuse colors and on 1/4oz. Rat – L – Traps and BD6 crank baits. White bass were great in April and I think they be great the whole month of May.
Catfish are good on baited holes using punch bait and on jug or trout lines using live perch. Due to the cool weather last so long you can still catch catfish up shallow around the docks.
For those of you that have kids you might get out with some crickets and let them catch the sun perch that we have here in our lakes. There is nothing more fun than watching the sparkle in a kids eyes when he or she latches on to one of those hard fighting perch.
Lake conditions are very good, Lake Palestine is now full, still muddy or coffee colored up north and clear to lightly stained down south. When running the lake make sure to take caution and take your time when running up north and watch for stumps. All our lakes can be very dangerous when running in the timbered areas so be careful.
If you are planning a trip to Lake Palestine and need a guide, then give me a call at (903)561-7299 or (903)530-2201 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are looking at guides and you want experience well I have now served as a license guide on Lake Palestine for over 42 years, and have fished the lake since it first opened.
I offer half day trips and full day trips, I also invite corporate trips and I do instructional trips for those wanting to learn difeferent things about fishing and about the lake.
Remember to keep only the fish you can use and release the rest so that our kids can catch and enjoy the great sport we call fishing.