Spring Break is in full swing here in Central Texas, and that usually means bass are spawning in the area lakes. Bed fishing is a fun way to catch bass, especially on ultra-clear lakes like Lake Travis, Canyon Lake and Lake Belton. When bass are locked in on to the bed they are very catchable. Sometimes you just need to keep pitching the bait until the bass gets angry!! So what exactly is a “bed” and what does it mean that a bass is “catchable?” Male bass start making beds around December and January in Central Texas. A bed is a cleared-out area that is mostly protected from the wind that a male bass can guard once a female lays her eggs. “Buck Bass” are juvenile males that start making beds very early in the season. Their beds are typically small and don’t draw in any female bass. The bigger males make bigger beds and will usually be enough for a female to lay her eggs. Once the female lays her eggs the bass become “catchable.” I’m not saying that you cannot catch bass before this period. However, once the male is guarding the eggs you can sit right on top of the bed and catch that bass!! If you pitch your bait on a bed and the male doesn’t get spooked, it’s most likely guarding eggs.
Now for the fun part! You need to figure our where on the bed the female has laid her eggs. Usually, once you find that spot the male will either nose up to the bait or hit it. Repeated casts to the exact same spot will anger the male enough that it hits the bait!
Where do you go to find beds? This can be a complex answer and really depends on the lake. Constant level lakes like Lake Austin and Lake LBJ will have very defined spawning coves or areas. These are very shallow areas of the lake and protected from the winds. On lakes where the water can fluctuate 40 feet the bass will spawn on a shallow ledge right next to a drop off. Most creeks and main lake pockets in Lake Travis and Lake Belton will hold beds that may be right next to water that is 30 to 50 feet deep. On Lake Travis, I’ve had the boat in 20 feet of water while pitching to a bed that was in 2 feet of water.
You can use a variety of baits. I like to throw a white Zoom ultra-vibe speed craw on a ¼ shake head. The pinchers have great action, and I can see the bait when the water is stained. The bait isn’t as important as finding the magic spot on the bed that will entice the bass to hit it!
Keep these tips in mind if you are our fishing for bedding bass. You’ll find your trips will be successful!