Postspawn bass are top targets at Lake Wateree

Big, postspawn bass will be keying on the shad spawn at Lake Wateree throughout May.
Big, postspawn bass will be keying on the shad spawn at Lake Wateree throughout May.

Prime time for big bass on midlands lake

May is the time of year to catch lots of largemouth bass, including some big ones, on South Carolina’s Lake Wateree, according to veteran angler Dearal Rodgers of Camden, S.C.

“Although some spawning activities will still be happening at Wateree in early May, I like to target postspawn fish,” Rodgers said. “One of the best ways to catch these postspawn bass is by targeting the shad spawn early in the morning.”

Shad will spawn heavily throughout May around floating docks, grass patches and rocks, he said.

“Look for shad flicking the surface around these areas. The bass aren’t far behind,” he said. “My favorite baits to target these bass are buzzbaits and spinnerbaits in shad patterns with a mixture of gold and silver blades.”

Another tip for finding this bite is to look for blue herons lining the bank, Rodgers said. They always know where the spawning shad are.

Head to docks once sun gets up

“Once the sun comes out and the shad spawn is over for the day, I like to target docks,” he said. “Here, bass are feeding on bream. And my favorite bait to mimic the bream is a Buckeye Mop jig in green pumpkin with a Zoom Big Salty chunk.”

Rodgers said bass will often suspend in the shaded areas, so get the jig to them by skipping it under the docks. Heavy line, at least 17-pound test, is a must for this technique.

“As the end of May approaches, get out (a) Norman’s DD22 crankbait and get ready to plow the deep points and ledges with it,” he said. His favorite color is chartreuse with a blue back.

“Lake Wateree offers great opportunities to catch numbers and quality size bass in May,” he said.