Written by Andrew Schadegg
May is traditionally known as an in-between month. Bass are moving from their shallow spawning areas, to their deeper, cooler, summer homes. This can be a challenging time to locate bass as they are on the move and not always easy to pinpoint.
Don’t despair! There are a few ways to make sure you’re targeting the right areas at this volatile time of the year.
Think Pre-Spawn in Reverse
During the early spring period, there is always a lot of talk about how bass transition from the deep water wintering areas, to main points, secondary points and then to shallow coves and flats to spawn. Post-spawn bass do the same thing in reverse, returning to those same secondary points and main points after bedding to recuperate.
If you’re scouring around those spawning flats and all you see are empty beds, start looking for those first points on the way out to deeper water and you’ll find the schools of fish you’re looking for.
Move With the Fish During the Day
As bass are transitioning, they’ll move from deep to shallow at various points throughout the day. If there is one thing we know about bass is that they are lazy feeders. They like to position themselves to expel the least amount of energy while feeding, so they position facing a point in deeper water and then push bait up into the shallows, particularly in the morning and evening periods. Try topwater or shallow crankbaits, working your way out to deeper water.
After the sun comes up and that surface baitfish bite dies off, move out and target the deeper areas. Try a heavier jig, a deep crankbait or a big worm to fire up those fish that are sitting a little farther down. Work across the main and secondary points at various angles until you find out where the school is located.
Keep an Eye Out for Baitfish
During the month of May, you can find baitfish schooling up and busting the surface throughout the day. Many times, when these little shad or minnows pop out of the water, there is a bass underneath pushing them up. This is when throwing something like a topwater popper or a fluke is a perfect choice.
Cast the bait just beyond that school of baitfish and work it right through them. Many times, this different profile will stand out to the fish that are feeding and they’ll attack it.
May may not be the easiest time of the year, but it can be very rewarding. Put these 3 tips into action and you’ll find those spring to summer transitioning bass in no time!