Most likely, bass will have completed their spawn by now and will be holding up in shallow pads feeding and guarding their fry. When a bass is guarding its babies, it can be a very aggressive fish. Typically, they hover just under their pod of young bass keeping an eye for predators from above and all directions.
One of the best lures to get them to react with aggressive strikes is a buzzing frog, like a Gambler Cane Toad or a Zoom Horny Toad. Rig your frog with a big stout hook and tie it to a stout rod spooled with a minimum of 50 pound braided line. Buzz the frog across the surface and vary your speed. Sometimes, a very fast retrieve is best, but other times a slower retrieve is needed. Either way, always keep it moving on the surface.
The strikes can be extremely violent, with the bass just completely inhaling the frog with a vengeance. When they do, it can make for an easy catch as long as you hesitate just a moment before striking back with a good hard hook-set. Other times, bass will merely follow it a short distance and not eat it off of the surface at all, but you’ll clearly see them waking behind it. The trick with these is to stop your retrieve when you see one following. Allowing the frog to stop and sink just below the surface will often be just the thing to get them to actually eat the frog instead of just looking at it.
Other lures that work well for targeting these same fish include swimbaits, like a Gambler Big Easy and a Skinny Dipper. A swim jig with a craw trailer can also be very effective and can get some really big fish to bite.
Good fishing and God bless.
CAPT. RANDY “C-NOTE” CNOTA
Panama City, FL