It Is On

By Scott Norton

Now that the spawn is over it is time to concentrate on the migration of the fish from the backs of spawning bays. This is where you will find large schools off of the secondary points. The warmer the water gets the more they move closer to the main points. Testing your spots is a must from week to week since bass are on the move this time of year.

Not all bass will follow the normal migration pattern. You will notice that a good bit will hang around creeks where the river is flowing into the lake. These areas are rich in oxygen and crayfish which bass love. Trout will also roam these areas in search of bugs and shad. Large bass will ambush these trout around docks and brush.

This is the time when bass split up into two different groups, one staying shallow and one going deep. When you hear of bass being caught in cover that means this group was located in the shallow areas. Bass caught on structure means that this group went deep. Whichever group you decide to target, you will find bass spread along the features of the shoreline from the backs of creeks to the main points. This is due to the different waves of bass moving in different times.

After the spawn there is a brief period where the large females will go deep and not feed to recover. This only last for a few weeks and then the feed-up begins. The smaller males will hang around the nest to guard the fry. If you find schools of fry, there is usually a guardian nearby making them easy to catch. Some anglers leave these bass alone so that bluegill will not make a meal of them while they are unattended.

You will need to cover water with chuck and wind kind of baits. Once you locate a school you can slow down and sit on them for a while once you get the school fired up. Be aware lots of boats will be in the water, not only from anglers, but the skiers and recreational boaters. Once you chase these bass to the main lake these boaters will wake you heavily. Most anglers will end the day when this happens, but the ones that do not find opportunities from lack of competition.

Lots of good things are happening this time of year so have fun and learn new things.

Scott Norton is a Western North Carolina native. Born in Asheville, N.C., he is a long-time hunter, angler and weekend warrior.