It is fun, it does not harm them as long as you get them back in the water fast, remember how long can you hold your breath, that is what they are doing while you are unhooking them and taking a photograph.
As our local lakes warm our bass have love on their minds, well maybe not love but definitely spawning.* This time of the year produces some of the most exciting bass fishing of the year, fishing the beds! If you have never fished for bass on the beds it is really not hard to learn. There are a few things you need to get started, polarized sunglasses and a few baits, most baits will work to some degree, but the most effective baits are ones that look like creatures that eat bass eggs like salamanders and small fish, this is a visual game so use colors you can easily see under water, white and pink are my favorite.
What do you look for with your new polarized sunglasses?
Look in the shallow water for white round sandy areas, be careful not to disturb the bass so quiet and slow are the key words. In the middle of the white area there will be many time what looks like a small ball of sticks or roots this is where the Largemouth Bass lays her eggs.
As you are looking at the bed you may see two fish, one large and one smaller, the large one is the female.
You want to quietly flip your bait into the center area of the bed, many times the smaller bass will attack your offering as it is his job to protect the eggs, but after catching the male go again after the large bass she will also protect the eggs, if you place your bait back into the bed.
*intransitive verb, to produce offspring in large numbers
Catching bass on the beds can be the most exciting type of bass fishing! Some things that will help you turn the odds in your favor, baits that you can easily see. Many times you will not feel anything on your line, but if you could see you bait sitting in the bass’s bed before and you can’t, now SET THE HOOK!
The female will not be happy until your bait or anything else that has invaded her bed is gone. Seeing your bait is important, I have seen bass push the bait out of the bedding area with the side of their heads or pick the bait up with their mouth, if you can’t see your bait it is in her mouth……SET THE HOOK!!
When fishing the beds please practice CPR
Catch, Photograph and Release!
Remember when you get back to the boat ramp, collect your trash and also pickup any other trash you may see, Thanks!