Slow is the name of the game no matter what you cast at night, especially if you think the fish are on the bed. When selecting what bait to fish, there is a trade-off. The Texas rig is much more complete but also a much slower presentation. However, if you drag it across a bed or even near a bed at night, you will likely be bitten.
With spinnerbait and buzzbait, however, you can cover a lot more water, but you still want to fish them as slowly as possible. If you slow the spinnerbait down until you can barely feel the sound of the blade, you’ll ensure the bait is near the bottom where the beds will be and you’ll give yourself the best chance of pulling a strike. a large female who probably won’t want to stray away from where she lays, if she’s actually in bed.
The buzzbait should also be fished as slowly as possible, reeling it in just fast enough to stay on the surface. It’s a good idea to try several different buzzbaits as some can be fished a little slower than others. But you really want to crawl a buzzbait as slowly as possible to improve your chances of a fish hearing it, stalking it, and exploding on it.
You will start to see patterns develop as you fish more and more. Year after year you can return to the same areas and catch bass at night that are probably spawning. There’s no way to be totally sure one was on a bed when you catch it, but if they’re full of eggs like this last one I caught, that’s a pretty good one indication that the fish was either on the bed or about to leave on the bed.
I have also found that the biggest ones usually come in early spring. I believe this is also true for bass that breed during the day. The bigger bass are older, they’ve been around the block a time or two, and I think they instinctively know when to come up to spawn a little earlier than the smaller bass.
That’s what happened with this 8-pounder. I cast a spinnerbait for about two hours that night and caught this big fish and maybe a couple of little bucks. I didn’t have many bites, but the one I got was well worth the two hour investment. She was ready to burst and the second biggest fish I have ever caught in this particular lake, which I have caught consistently all my life.