Spring bass fishing can be challenging and rewarding | Sin

I didn’t catch a 12-pounder like Mike McSwain while fishing a Dorchester County lake several years ago during spring spawning, but a recent outing with the seasoned fishing guide was both productive and eye-opening. . Spring can be an exceptional time for largemouth bass, but it can also be a challenge.

I had the opportunity to fish several times with Mike. His specialty is smallmouth bass fishing on the Broad River near Columbia, where the former Charleston resident now lives and guides. But it’s not river time yet, so we met at a 200-acre holding pond that’s teeming with largemouth bass. Mike and a fishing buddy have several brush piles scattered around the lake and have mapped out its contours.

“Fish like stable weather. In the spring we have tornadoes, thunderstorms, swirling winds. Barometric pressure is everywhere. The word (fishing legend) Bill Dance uses is volatility. Spring can be a time terrible for fishing. But the spawning involves people in the fishing,” he explained.

We started the afternoon fishing the brush piles and the deep ledges. But as the afternoon continued we approached the spawning grounds which were evident in the clear water and fished in the grassy areas of some creeks.

“It’s kind of a hodgepodge of how we target fish today,” Mike said. “Some of the bass are on the beds and have spawned. The big fish are off the ledges in deeper water. Eventually we go looking for bait schools on the surface and we know they are being chased. by the bass.”

Mike explained that bass focuses on reproduction when the elements, moon and stars are right. The other thing the bass focuses on is food.

“Spawning is an interesting time. In big lakes like Moultrie, Marion and Murray, there can be bait anywhere. All of a sudden nature (spawning) comes in and puts 99% of the fish in a small strip of water, which is shallow water along the edge and makes it easier to find fish This is the time of year when people think they are great anglers because they can catch more fish,” he said.

Lowcountry shad: Where and how to catch the tasty fish

During spawning, bass deploy beds in the sandy bottoms where the females lay their eggs and the males fertilize the eggs. The females come out and the males stay and protect the beds.

When casting in sleeping areas, protective males often picked up our lures and carried them away, and hookups were difficult.

“From what we’re seeing today, I feel like most of the females have locked themselves in beds, dropped their eggs, and are looking to gain weight,” Mike said. This meant looking for schools of gizzards or threadfin shad inhabiting the lake.

We didn’t set any records that day, but that’s fishing. We caught some fish and I learned more about largemouth bass from an expert.

Brody Bates Youth Redfish Tournament

Student anglers won $26,000 in Sportsman Boats scholarships at the third annual Brody Bates Youth Redfish Open fished at Buck Hall in McClellanville. The tournament was organized by the Student Angler League Tournament Trail (salttfishing.com).

St. James Middle School’s Owen Colvard won the middle school redfish division with two fish that weighed in at 3.28 pounds. He received $5,000 for his first place total and an additional $1,000 for his 1.91 pound big fish. Bryson Gerald and Mack Hardee of Whittemore Park in Conway took second place with a fish at 1.14 pounds and won $4,000.

Georgetown’s Cubby Weaver took first place and won $5,500 in the high school redfish division with two fish that weighed in at 6.49 pounds. Will Hardee McGuirt and Mason Hardee of Conway finished second with two fish at 6.11 pounds and won $4,500.

SALTT has tournaments scheduled for May 7 and 21 and anglers are still eligible to participate. Visit salttfishing.com or contact Coach Poston at [email protected]

American yacht club

America’s Boating Club Charleston will be holding boating safety courses on April 16, April 30 and May 14 at 1376 Orange Grove Road, Charleston. Classes start at 9 a.m. and end around 4 p.m. Successful participants are awarded the SC Department of Natural Resources Boater Education Card. Cost is $25 for adults and youth 12-18 are free. Call 843-312-2876 or email [email protected]

Charleston Inshore Fishermen

The 29th annual Charleston Inshore Sheepshead “Big Ed” Tournament will be fished April 30. The weigh-in will also take place at post 147 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on April 30. The tournament entry fee is $40. Contact Kevin Mischke at 843-324-1006; Nick Kvestad at 843-557-2811 or Gene Broderick at 843-224-6826.

SC Mahi Series

The 2022 SC Mahi Series (scmahiseries.com) is just around the corner. The Captains Meeting will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on April 30 at the Pioneer Boat Factory, located at 208 Upchurch Lane in Walterboro.

Fishing days are May 1-28, with boats allowed to choose two fishing days and weigh two mahi (dolphins) each day. The two heaviest dolphins in a boat count towards the $15,000 prize.

The SC Department of Natural Resources will showcase its Virtual Boating Experience Trailer for Boating Education at the Captains Meeting.

About Patricia Kilgore

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