Boat houses and post spawn
by Mike Gerry
Every day there are more fish recovering from the spawn and finding their way out from the spawning areas; however, there can be many stops along the way and one of them includes boat houses.
Do not overlook the obvious, as bass progress off the bedding areas to normal daily activity they stop along the edges and corners of boat houses. There are many reasons that bass hang out at boat houses and one of them is the shad spawn.
The activity of the bait fish known as she-shad spawn many times, this dictates where the bass locate; if the shad spawn occurs in the backwater then the bass will hang in those areas until the shad move to deeper patterns away from the spawning grounds. Your job is to find where the shad spawn is occurring and fish; accordingly, sometimes, it’s a combination of the backwaters and the main river humps and ledges forcing you to adjust patterns dependent on the time of day.
Many times, I have found that the early ledge bite is great during this period, then it moves to the backwaters as the sun rises in the sky. Conditions like too much current, during the rainy spring, force the shad to the backwaters, combine that with high pressure sunny days and opportunities to hide around boat houses make for great reasons to hang in the back waters.
Some of the good news about this boathouse pattern is bass are not normally suspending underneath the boat house as they are more likely to be on the corners and under steps that project off the edges. These areas are ambush spots for them to lurk, around corners and steps, to feed on shad passing by and make a meal of them. I know that many people are not good at skipping a bait under the boat house, and this is generally a time where that may not be necessary;
Allowing the novice fisherman to be able to fish edges without being a pro at skipping a bait. It is also an easy time to pick a bait, as just about anything you fish from spinner baits to creature baits will catch fish during this period.