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THE SPAWN’S ON! WARMING LAKES AND LARGEMOUTH CRUISING SHORELINES, PROTECTING BEDS SPIKE FISHING By Bill Schaefer

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t is about that time of year when you can go out and have the time of your life fishing for largemouth in Southern California. Lake temperatures are into the 60-plus-degree range, which gets male bass on the move and headed to the banks. Every lake will vary slightly, plus there will be early spawning fish and late spawners, as well as the bulk of the bass in the regular spawn. There are so many active fish that now is the time to take the family out, especially the kids, and just go bass fishing. You should be able to show everyone a great time and get the youngsters excited about fishing.

The author’s son Bricen Schaefer shows off a nice El Capitan Reservoir largemouth that fell for a drop-shot-rigged Yamamoto cut-tail worm. Bass will be increasingly active as the spring spawn gets going. (BILL SCHAEFER)

LOTS OF ACTIVE FISH As I mentioned, there are a ton of male bass roaming the shorelines. They’re either looking for a place to spawn or already on a nest, or guarding their fry. The big females aren’t far behind either. You can wander down the bank and throw just about any plastic set-up and score. I have been out quite a bit the last several weeks with my 13-year-old son and we’ve caught a lot of bass on drop-shot worms, splitshot plastics and Texas-rigged worms. I use a Daiwa Tatula spinning set-up with 6-pound Maxima line for dropshot fishing. It’s a favorite of mine this time of year.

THE BEDDING BASS QUESTION Since there will be a lot of bass on beds as the months go by, I won’t debate whether or not to fish them. If you do get a giant, you may want to take a quick picture and then let the big girl go. She will return to her bed eventually and spawn out, restocking

your favorite lake the natural way. A lot of the time in the spring that’s exactly what you are catching: bedded fish. Work your plastic slower – no matter the rig – and you will pass by and pause near a bed and draw the strike. The bass are more protective of their beds and thus will attack anything that comes close.

WATCH THE WATER April, May, and June are the months

to really pay attention to water temperatures and levels on your favorite Southern California lake. The bass are ready to do their spawn dance and it means great fishing for all. Cold fronts can push water temps down for a spell and then another wave of fish may spawn as the lake warms up again. It seems to drag the spawn out, which only means good fishing for you. It’s time to go bass fishing! CS

calsportsmanmag.com | APRIL 2018 California Sportsman

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Cs 4 18 web