Fishing the shad spawn
While majoring in fisheries biology at Missouri State University, Brian Snowden
studied the interaction between predators such as largemouth bass and their forage.
He knows that once the gizzard shad
move to the shallows to spawn, it can result in some good fishing for post-spawn bass
looking for an easy meal.
“The bass spawn first, when the water temperature is in the 60s,” said Snowden of Reeds Spring, Mo. “About the time the bass are recovering from the spawn, the shad move in to do their thing.
“The shad spawn generally starts when the water gets to 70 degrees. When they’re concentrated in the shallows, the bass are going to be in there feeding on them.”
If you want to take advantage of that situation, you’d better get out early, Snowden advised.
“The shad spawn usually takes place first thing in the morning, but it will last longer if there are cloudy conditions,” said Snowden, who has fished the B.A.S.S. circuit since 2000. “They like to spawn around hard surfaces—timber, rocks, boat docks.”
“I’ll know I’m in the right place when I’ll look down and see five or six shad actually following my bait,” he said. “They’ll bump my lure several times as I’m bringing it in.”
The shad spawn can last up to a month on large bodies of water where the water temperatures can vary in different arms.