Beach towels, schools out and postspawn blues. Man I tell you summertime aint easy for the Mattsabasser. Public water gets really crowded at times and I have to pick my battles especially on the weekends. For whatever reason the fish gods spared me their usual smoting and blessed me with a few fish. But even better than that the sporadic storms and cloud cover kept some of the crowd and even the bugs away. This made the fish putty in my hands and they fell into two major zones; shallow and base incline. Sure you could find fish holding off structure at any depth. Hit that like a bad dog. No one says that anymore.
In the shallow water I found small nesting male fish that were ultra aggressive and easy to spot. In the deeper water I found larger fish clinging to the six to eight foot range. These can be the hardest fish for me in postspawn depending on my timing and just plain luck. The trick is casting to the front of you and spot the weed structure more than the fish. Tasty looking spots will hold fish or they won’t. Getting close enough to actually see the fish will often spook the fish away. Look for the structure and fish the fish you don’t see but know is there.
Occasionally I could pick up larger fish cruising for spawning baitfish on the lightweight plastics. Basic grub patterns work really well for me in this situation. Swimbait patterns matching the nesting fish patterns are my big fish plan B. Small lures get mobbed inside the school or try to mimic dying fish. Large lures act like a slightly larger bully going in for a swipe. Perfect meal for the alpha fish.
Sight fishing can be really exciting in the early stages of summer. When I see a patch of nesting bluegill or a flurry of passing shad I go into this whole lion\zebra mentality. Distance from shore varied but ten foot seemed to be ideal to fish both the incline and shallow water. What mattered most was the location of baitfish in relation to cover. More cover meant larger fish as long as there was a big glob of bluegill and sunfish nearby.
This is the time where I might extend my range of exploration or tackle that one spot on the list that keeps getting pushed down the list. You know, just check it out. Shoot me an e-mail if you hit it big. (sigh) That never happens.
My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic.