Female largemouth bass at Shearon Harris Lake have mostly spawned out and left male bass guarding the fry that's hatched out, and while many fishermen dread this time, guide Joel Richardson of Kernersville isn't one of them. He's catching them.

Richardson knows how to agitate a bed-guarding bass into biting, and he's having plenty of success doing that at Harris.

 

"I'll start out on the trolling motor looking for beds," said Richardson (336-803-2195). "They'll spawn in water between one and four feet deep; most will be in two feet, but the bigger fish will spawn deeper. The protected coves off of the creek arms is where they'll be."

 

Richardson's approach largely revolves around flipping soft plastics into areas where male bass are harboring their fry while the females recover in slightly deeper water. Richardson will blind cast, but would rather see the fish he is targeting. A good pair of polarized sunglasses is a must.

 

"You will have to make him angry enough to bite the hook," said Richardson.  "Most of the time he will just nudge and nip at the bait. He's not trying to eat it; he's just trying to make it leave. Every bass is different. Some can be caught by slipping the bait into the bed and twitching it; but with others it will help to brush them with the lure to make them mad enough to strike."

 

Richardson typically uses a Zoom Brush Hog or lizard Texas-rigged on a 4/0 EWG hook, but he'll use a shakey head worm rigged weedless. A pink floating worm is another favorite; often used as a search-bait, he twitches it over a bed hoping for a bass to take a swipe at it.  Frogs and Pop-R's are good topwater lures.

 

Richardson feels like it's easier to catch fish that are still on the beds after the sun has been up for several hours.

 

"I think the mid-day bite is best," said Richardson. "When the sun is high in the sky, the fish are easier to see, and the bream are more aggressive. When a bass is running bream out of his bed, he's more likely to bite your lure."