Sight-fishing for spawning bass can be tough on the angler in the back of a bass boat, especially in a tournament situation where both are competing but only the angler on the front deck has a real shot at the fish.
Bass pro Shane Lehew, however, has some tips for guys stuck on back casting deck when largemouths go to the bank to bed.
“I have been in those situations.... There are always fish moving in and out of those pockets or places where those fish are spawning,” he said. “(In the back of the boat) I like to take a wacky rig and fish it in the middle of the pockets or creeks, because I knew if the fish were coming into spawn, they had to swim through there. Be patient and try not to get frustrated, even though it is a situation to get easily frustrated in.”
While anglers on the front of the boat might be focused on a finicky, spawning bass, fishermen in the back can have success by throwing different baits. Lehew suggests wake baits and swimbaits for those untapped bass in the ditches. On a shallow banks, bedding bass will sometimes come up at a wake bait and show an angler where they are bedding. Swimbaits, hard or soft, are often good at covering water, especially in the middle of the coves as bass use those ditches as highways to spawn.
Lehew said some of his best days have come when he’s fished around and under the that lead from the bank out to docks. Bass will bed just out of sight under those walkways and a weightless wacky rig can be just the thing an angler in the back of the boat needs to succeed.