By Jerry Neeley
Well, we’ve fished March and April, two of the best months on the calendar to be on the water fishing. Now that the days are getting hotter and the water is getting warmer, where do the fish go? Still shallow or deep? Actually, both!
Bass fishing can be a challenge in May. Usually May is crankbait month for a lot of bass fishermen. Not so fast my friend. It is true that a lot of bass are caught on crankbaits. They can also be had a lot of other ways too, just think a little bit about what’s going on in May. Bass are constantly moving in and out of coves, spawning. Mother bass has laid her eggs and moved on to deeper water. Now comes the buck bass to guard the hatch. They will be roaming the banks for a few weeks protecting the hatch or until the fry gets big enough to make it on their own. Remember, they will still be a few bass on the beds the first week in May and after that the spawn is over. Secondary points, docks, stumps, and rocky banks are the most productive areas to fish. Toward the end of May the shad move to the rocks to spawn. This is where you can topwater around these areas early and late in the day and get a lot of strikes. A Sinko sometimes work wonders in the coves during the day in May, especially around heavy cover. At the end of May a Shakey Head or some creature bait around docks in main lake is a good pattern to use when all else fails. Don’t forget to crankbait it works too!
Crappie fishing is the same as bass fishing, they are still some in the coves on shallow docks with brush and in the creeks. You can still longline troll early and late. Tight lining down the middle of creeks works well too! My favorite way to fish for crappie in May is to shoot docks with cover. I use my side image to help me find crappie under docks. Once I find them, it is just a matter of time that I will have my limit of these tasty fish. I use a 1/32 hair jig on four pound test line and a short rod to shoot my jig under docks. You must get under the dock to be productive. Fishing along side of a dock will get a few stragglers, but the bulk of the fish will be under the dock in the shade. The reason that I use a 1/32 jig over a 1/16 jig? Can you guess? It has a slow fall and you can control your jig a little bit better. That little tick on the end of your line that you may not feel on a 1/16 will be felt on the 1/32 jig. Hey! I’m giving away all my secrets.
Catfishing is excellent in May. They are starting to spawn. Fish the creeks using cutbaits on speeds of .5 or .6 MPH. This should get you some cats to take home. Remember they will be near bait. I like to find white perch and troll around them.
Take a kid fishing. Remember, someone introduced you to fishing when you were young. Wear your life jacket!
Jerry Neeley www.carolinasfishing.com 704-678-1043