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Pre-Spawn Locations #14303831 03/03/22 08:03 PM
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TexY3TI Offline OP
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In an effort to help myself and others…

Can anyone give an explanation of a pre-spawn pattern and what the high percentage areas for pre-spawners looks like.

These terms get thrown around a lot, and for beginners it can be difficult to get a clear understanding.

Thanks everyone

Moritz Chevrolet - 9101 Camp Bowie W Blvd, Fort Worth, TX - Monte Coon (817) 696-2003
Re: Pre-Spawn Locations [Re: TexY3TI] #14303836 03/03/22 08:10 PM
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cleboje Offline
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Used to travel to Toledo Bend for Spring Break during my college years...to target pre-spawing LMB...would throw redfin jerkbaits on flats in 8 ft of water on sunny days...did pretty good too...presence of submerged wood seemed to hold more fish....

Re: Pre-Spawn Locations [Re: TexY3TI] #14303838 03/03/22 08:13 PM
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Fishinfellow Online Content
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Been a long time ago but I caught them here really well pre-spawn once.

32.84238878918848, -95.6229412646441


Thats my money fish
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Kris Winhold
Re: Pre-Spawn Locations [Re: TexY3TI] #14303853 03/03/22 08:31 PM
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reeltexan Online Happy
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cleboje has the right idea.
Look for the first deeper water off of a flat. Depth will vary, depending on what deeper is. On a sunny day, expect those girls to be sunning themselves, staging for some dirty dancing soon.

jerkbaits, senkos, swimbaits


go fishing


"..The pleasantist angling is to see the fish
Cut with her golden oars the silver stream,
And greedily devour the treacherous bait.
Bill Shakespeare





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Re: Pre-Spawn Locations [Re: TexY3TI] #14303867 03/03/22 08:52 PM
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Txduckhunter Online Content
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Reach out to Donald Harper here via PM. He has volumes of things written and maps showing what different things look like. Good information and he is willing to share.

Re: Pre-Spawn Locations [Re: TexY3TI] #14303884 03/03/22 09:11 PM
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J.P. Greeson Offline
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Pre-spawn is where they are staging before they spawn. Drop-offs near shoreline flats are usually productive when bass are in a pre-spawn mode. Shallow to medium diving crankbaits, swimbaits, jerkbaits and Rat-L-Traps are good choices to target these fish.


The solution to any problem - work, love, money, whatever - is to go fishing, and the worse the problem, the longer the trip should be. --John Gierach

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Re: Pre-Spawn Locations [Re: TexY3TI] #14303896 03/03/22 09:25 PM
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One often overlooked prespawn piece of "structure" is bluff walls. Especially in creeks. When they sun is up high, the rock heats up and warms the water faster than it will in the creek channel or off the first drop-off. Secondly, it gives them an easy place to pin schools of shad against as they come rolling through. A-rigs, underspins, medium diving crankbaits and if you have the patience, a weightless wacky rigged straight worm. Something about the flutter coming down off the bluff face that seems to work.

Re: Pre-Spawn Locations [Re: TexY3TI] #14304012 03/03/22 11:35 PM
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Donald Harper Online Happy
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Cove Blockers are the key:
Any large piece of structure that extends out to the middle of a cove or at the mouth of the cove is a Cove Blocker. Every lake that you will research will have two or three that will provide this stopping area for Bass that are on route to feed or spawn. We are looking for the ones that are shallow on top which give the fish kill zones to chase bait. The Blocker must extend at least half way across the cove. The creek channel will horseshoe around many of them to deliver the fish. Some are point extensions and those are the easy ones to find, giving you the shoreline visual to spot them. The extremely irregular blockers that have no rime or reason for being there are the best. This maybe a Ridge that runs parallel with shore, so there is no shoreline visual. The Ridge is running at an angle to extend out to the creek channel blocking the route. Extreme Blockers will be long, narrow, fish hook on the end with GOUGES and PROTRUSIONS. Now we have Hot Spots within the structure that will hold fish for longer periods and work as ambush spots. If it has cover like flooded timber on the sides and sitting in the gouges, we now have a place for Big Bass to live, giving them only a short distance to travel for all their needs.

It always seems that the very best ones are found on the West side of the lake. This side of the lake is usually wind blown by the SE wind and the pressure on these fish is much less. Some wind is great for such areas. On a 10 mph day many will be impossible to fish with the whole lake coming in on the area. The open water blockers may also have a steep side with a river channel slam coming down that side. This gives you the opportunity to position your boat on the top side with a real anchor and fish Up-Hill. Turn off all Electronics and make fan cast out to deep water. Use as light of a C-Rig as you can get by with and peg the weight for those long cast. Move the rig a couple of feet at a time letting it sit in the strike zone. Bass feed looking up hill and absolutely hate any critter sneaking up behind them. They turn and react to it quickly with a vicious strike. Most of the time these steep spots are small and one set up on the spot will be enough to find out if the Bass are using this section. On the rest of the structure I follow the two man system. The man up front is searching toward the shallows and the man in the back is dragging the 20 ft contour. The man in the back will be in a great position to catch the big fish of the day. Keep the boat creeping along as slow as possible which gives the man in the back every chance to stay on his game of dragging the C-Rig.. Your confidence baits are the ones to use at the front and the back. You will find that feeding fish are not picky; but to the big Bass, it must be as real as possible. Slow way down or spot lock at the Gouges and small Protrusions working those for longer periods. You will have to turn into some of the larger Gouges to get to the right depth to locate the fish that are usually sitting on the sides and at the top of the slope in the back. It really helps to have WayPoints on each of these irregular features and stay glued to the front depth finder, so you know one is coming up. I change rigs often depending on the irregular feature coming up. Most of the time while searching from the front use a 1/2 oz short C-Rig with a Big Brush Hog. Slow roll it along the bottom just ticking the rocks. For Gouges try the 1/8 oz short C-Rig with a Senko or Fluke. On the deep side during the Summer months a Black/Blue Jig is very hard to beat. For you cranking guys the deep divers will knock their light out during the Summer when they are feeding on top of the Blocker. I have scored may big fish while strolling my 1 oz Spinner Bait with down sized blades during low light conditions. Just drag it lake a Crig while your partner is dragging a C-Rig off the other side of the boat. Be very careful when you get to the end of the Blocker as it falls into the channel. Don’t cut the corner to quickly; deeper is better, as you can always come back to finish out the area if nothing is out there. We all have this stuck in the back of our mind when it comes to our baits. We wonder if we are using the right thing. Feeding fish help solve that problem big time. When fishing a 10” worm I will get out 3 or 4 packages all with a different kind of tail and all hand poured. When the water is warmest the big worm will do it’s best thing; but one of those tails will out catch the others 2 to 1. I like the long Paddle Tail worm best on the slopes during the hot Summer time.

There is no doubt that you should graph every one of these areas that you have found by doing your homework on your computer. Next spend time on the water. I just do not like doing this time consuming work on the water to do the best job possible. If you do the best job graphing there want be any fish left there to catch that day. The next time you come is the time to fish and making one distant pass to see if fish are there is not a bad thing. I have said this before; it is a mystery to me how big fish avoid getting their picture taken. When I see a couple of fish, it is time to start fishing.

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Each person you work with holds some promise to your future success.
Website: www.donkeybassin.com
www.eletewater.com - Staying Hydrated
www.lakeoviachic.com - Booking Mexico Trips
20 Hot Spot Mapping - GPS Contour Chips - Custom Spinner Baits - Jigs -Spooks
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Re: Pre-Spawn Locations [Re: TexY3TI] #14304219 03/04/22 03:51 AM
Joined: Feb 2006
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chickenfried76 Offline
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I see some write negative things about Donald on this forum. When I see posts like this, I am completely confused as to why. He gives great tips. There a very few people on here sharing this level of info. Thank you, D Harper, for continuing to contribute.

Re: Pre-Spawn Locations [Re: TexY3TI] #14304232 03/04/22 04:10 AM
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Chaddo Offline
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Great info Mr. Harper. Thx


Chaddo
Re: Pre-Spawn Locations [Re: Donald Harper] #14304311 03/04/22 12:25 PM
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prosise Online Content
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Originally Posted by Donald Harper
Cove Blockers are the key:
Any large piece of structure that extends out to the middle of a cove or at the mouth of the cove is a Cove Blocker. Every lake that you will research will have two or three that will provide this stopping area for Bass that are on route to feed or spawn. We are looking for the ones that are shallow on top which give the fish kill zones to chase bait. The Blocker must extend at least half way across the cove. The creek channel will horseshoe around many of them to deliver the fish. Some are point extensions and those are the easy ones to find, giving you the shoreline visual to spot them. The extremely irregular blockers that have no rime or reason for being there are the best. This maybe a Ridge that runs parallel with shore, so there is no shoreline visual. The Ridge is running at an angle to extend out to the creek channel blocking the route. Extreme Blockers will be long, narrow, fish hook on the end with GOUGES and PROTRUSIONS. Now we have Hot Spots within the structure that will hold fish for longer periods and work as ambush spots. If it has cover like flooded timber on the sides and sitting in the gouges, we now have a place for Big Bass to live, giving them only a short distance to travel for all their needs.

It always seems that the very best ones are found on the West side of the lake. This side of the lake is usually wind blown by the SE wind and the pressure on these fish is much less. Some wind is great for such areas. On a 10 mph day many will be impossible to fish with the whole lake coming in on the area. The open water blockers may also have a steep side with a river channel slam coming down that side. This gives you the opportunity to position your boat on the top side with a real anchor and fish Up-Hill. Turn off all Electronics and make fan cast out to deep water. Use as light of a C-Rig as you can get by with and peg the weight for those long cast. Move the rig a couple of feet at a time letting it sit in the strike zone. Bass feed looking up hill and absolutely hate any critter sneaking up behind them. They turn and react to it quickly with a vicious strike. Most of the time these steep spots are small and one set up on the spot will be enough to find out if the Bass are using this section. On the rest of the structure I follow the two man system. The man up front is searching toward the shallows and the man in the back is dragging the 20 ft contour. The man in the back will be in a great position to catch the big fish of the day. Keep the boat creeping along as slow as possible which gives the man in the back every chance to stay on his game of dragging the C-Rig.. Your confidence baits are the ones to use at the front and the back. You will find that feeding fish are not picky; but to the big Bass, it must be as real as possible. Slow way down or spot lock at the Gouges and small Protrusions working those for longer periods. You will have to turn into some of the larger Gouges to get to the right depth to locate the fish that are usually sitting on the sides and at the top of the slope in the back. It really helps to have WayPoints on each of these irregular features and stay glued to the front depth finder, so you know one is coming up. I change rigs often depending on the irregular feature coming up. Most of the time while searching from the front use a 1/2 oz short C-Rig with a Big Brush Hog. Slow roll it along the bottom just ticking the rocks. For Gouges try the 1/8 oz short C-Rig with a Senko or Fluke. On the deep side during the Summer months a Black/Blue Jig is very hard to beat. For you cranking guys the deep divers will knock their light out during the Summer when they are feeding on top of the Blocker. I have scored may big fish while strolling my 1 oz Spinner Bait with down sized blades during low light conditions. Just drag it lake a Crig while your partner is dragging a C-Rig off the other side of the boat. Be very careful when you get to the end of the Blocker as it falls into the channel. Don’t cut the corner to quickly; deeper is better, as you can always come back to finish out the area if nothing is out there. We all have this stuck in the back of our mind when it comes to our baits. We wonder if we are using the right thing. Feeding fish help solve that problem big time. When fishing a 10” worm I will get out 3 or 4 packages all with a different kind of tail and all hand poured. When the water is warmest the big worm will do it’s best thing; but one of those tails will out catch the others 2 to 1. I like the long Paddle Tail worm best on the slopes during the hot Summer time.

There is no doubt that you should graph every one of these areas that you have found by doing your homework on your computer. Next spend time on the water. I just do not like doing this time consuming work on the water to do the best job possible. If you do the best job graphing there want be any fish left there to catch that day. The next time you come is the time to fish and making one distant pass to see if fish are there is not a bad thing. I have said this before; it is a mystery to me how big fish avoid getting their picture taken. When I see a couple of fish, it is time to start fishing.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]



Mr. Harper,

Your info is real refreshing to see. Good input, and if someone new to fishing can digest this they will save themselves years of pain. If you can sit up on the front of a boat and worm fish all day long, you have what it takes to see great rewards following this information. I love disecting points finding all the good rocks. With new tech sonar it makes it even easier to pinpoint. With spotlock this is the way to go. I got a chuckle last fall when my fishing mentor pulled out some old school "french fries" on my home lake and handed out a big old slap down on the fish. They crushed his setup, which i know they have not seen before. Don't be afraid to change up your worm color. I am a rock flipper. I flip rocks at the boat ramp to find crawfish, then try and get as close to the color as I can.

That is a tip that I learned from an old man that grew up in the north passionately fishing for many species. Still do it today.. you would be suprised at the colors, some months purple and orange really stand out.

Thanks again Mr. Harper for the read..


Prosise

Re: Pre-Spawn Locations [Re: prosise] #14304324 03/04/22 01:03 PM
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Don,
Thanks for your reply. Great read.

Re: Pre-Spawn Locations [Re: TexY3TI] #14306263 03/06/22 05:55 PM
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I agree Mr Harper is a true fan of fishing! Too many people today think the lake is theirs and sharing fishing info might get you shot:(

Re: Pre-Spawn Locations [Re: TexY3TI] #14306397 03/06/22 08:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
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Donald Harper Online Happy
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Thanks guys. Here is another area to try for spawning fish.

– Dog Leg Spawning Creeks

These are Creeks that run East and West. Some where in that creek it breaks sharply North or South. The Dog Leg as it is called makes it very difficult for a North or South wing to move the warm water that has accumulated out of the creek. The farther back in the creek that this Dog Leg takes place the better. The creek has narrowed down substantially. As we all know the North banks warm first in the Spring; but if a creek is just running North and the cold wind blows out of the North the warm water is move out. When there is a break in the direction of the creek the warm water is retained. When there is a North wind fish the South shore and when there is a South wind fish the North shore. The warm water is just moved from one side or the other of the narrow cove.

Couple this contour with spawning areas that have cover and you will be in one of the best fishing areas on the lake. Research shows that there is a favored water temperature for all species of fish and there is a lot of variance. Bass prefer water between 60 to 77 degrees which these cooler temperatures seem to provide a better supply of oxygen. So we are expecting for quality fish to start showing up behind these Dog Legs, looking for spawn grounds, as the Temp. gets close to the 60 degree mark. This doesn’t mean it is going to continue to rise; as a good cold front can stop it all until that North shore warms back up. As a Bass Angler we must study to understand where to find bass as the seasons change. With this comes the rise and fall in water temperatures. I have already stated in the other articles that Big Bass do not move very far to spawn and feed. They go shallow and back to deep all within a fairly small area. The word Migration is used a lot by fisherman; but Bass to not migrate from one end of the lake to the other. Your success comes in a single cove by being able to follow them from shallow to deep within that cove.

During the Spawn behind the Dog Leg, bass eggs need sunlight and warmer water to produce. In warmer water they are going to feed more often and this helps use to be more successful in the catching department as it get close to the spawn. Once the water temperature gets close to 80 they are ready to retreat to deeper water until the seasons change and the cycle starts over in the Fall. We definitely want to be tuned into what the Bass wants and that is based around the food sources. Shallow water here is where it is happening in heavy cover where the critters are most active in the Spring and Fall. Your shoreline must provide grasses, rocks, docks, wood and or lay-downs. If so the Minnows, Crayfish, frogs, snakes and other critters will provide that food source and there will be an abundance of action in the shallows. It is my believe that Bass can tolerate some pretty hot water; but must have shade to stay in the shallows into the Summer months.

I love these first stages of the spawn as the water begins to warm faster in these Dog leg coves. Buck Bass move in first and the big females are just out of sight and feeding up. Use your search baits working the outer limits of the spawning flats by fan casting toward the shallows and parallel with the cover that is available. This is a good way to catch one of the huge Bass that is working on making a deeper bed just out of sight. There is going to be fewer big females on shore in the early stages. I have never been very good at sight fishing; but have always caught my share off shore a few yards. Wind is also a good friend when fishing shallow water. The Bass holding to the outer limits of the cover feel safer; as a lot of the vegetation is moving with a little wind. This also breaks up the surface making the boat harder to be detected. Depending on how heavy the cover is make medium to long cast to search as much of the cover as possible with your moving baits. The fish will tell you if it is time to get up close and personal in 3 to 5 foot of water.

Some of the best hot spots to look for are small protrusions coming off the shoreline. These continue to form good contours out to deeper water and quality fish can be anywhere along that path to the shallows. Just around the corner is another good spot. A small gouge or drain in the shoreline will provide just enough calm warm water for a big one to be setting up a bed out of the heaver wind. Add a good piece of hardwood around that corner that stands alone and a quality fish will usually be there. A creek bending around a spawning flat will be one of the best producers. Creek swings slamming into the shoreline delivers Bass to the shoreline cover and cuts that distance of travel way down. All she has to do is move up.

Continue to study, read online article and watch some of the excellent videos that are out there. Above all seek out the best fisherman you can to spend these days on the water to help you become a better fisherman. It is a real shortcut to go with the most experienced fisherman on the water.

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Each person you work with holds some promise to your future success.
Website: www.donkeybassin.com
www.eletewater.com - Staying Hydrated
www.lakeoviachic.com - Booking Mexico Trips
20 Hot Spot Mapping - GPS Contour Chips - Custom Spinner Baits - Jigs -Spooks
Pure Extracts - Minnow-Night Crawler-Crayfish-Craylic


Re: Pre-Spawn Locations [Re: TexY3TI] #14306404 03/06/22 08:59 PM
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TexY3TI Offline OP
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I greatly appreciate the information.

One thing I have learned in my short time bass fishing…

…The guys that are really good, share information, because they aren’t threatened by anyone. They know they can catch fish and there’s plenty of lake.

Guys that are super secretive and paranoid about people learning how to fish, are typically very insecure because they’re not as good.

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