The bass spawn is my favorite time of the year. The weather is usually nice, the flowers and trees are blooming, the wildlife is coming out of hibernation, and the bass are on the beds. This time of year I catch more giant females than all the other months combined. This is partially because I fish more this time of the year, but it is mainly because I am a big bass hunter and the spawn is the only time I can see my target.
During a normal spawn, the water is fairly clear and there is 2 to 5 pound bass all over the banks. I can usually find clear water somewhere on the lake even if the lake is muddy due to rain or high winds.
What I do is look for coves that have the right water temperature, clarity, and wind blocks. With my polarized shades on, I will look for big fish until I find one. If I go for a long time (sometimes hours) without seeing a big one, I will take a break and fish for the biggest (or easiest) one I have found so far. We will spend a few minutes on that fish and either catch the fish or move on to an easier or bigger fish.
My lures of choice for the big bass are plastic lizards, tubes, worms, and jigs. White and bubble gum are the easiest to see, so I use them if I think I may be able to see the fish take the bait. If it is too deep to see - or if the fish won't take the white or bubble gum colors, I will try more natural colors. I prefer watermelon/red plastics and black/blue jigs. If I fish for smaller fish on the beds, I will often throw a white or bubble gum worm.
Sometimes the fish will hit the bait on the first cast. Other times, you can throw hundreds of times and the fish won't hit. I can usually tell by the attitude of the fish if it will be easy or not. If it is what I consider a big fish, I will spend a great deal of time trying to catch it if necessary. I have the patience to learn the attitude of the fish and the confidence to get her to bite. They are usually bigger than they look in the water. I have gotten a lot better at judging in recent years, but they still look smaller than they really are.
I have been blessed with a great eyesight. Some have said that I have bionic vision, because I can see so many fish they can't see. I have a lot of clients that have their own boats and know how to catch fish on the beds, but hire me mainly for my eyesight. I consider it a bad day if I don't catch a 7 pounder when the fish are on the beds. I have boated 5 fish over 12 pounds during the spawn since 2002.
The spawn is also a great time for topwaters, spinnerbaits, and suspending jerkbaits. I throw these baits when I get on the water while it is still fairly dark (after the time change in April) and on rainy days.
For the advanced angler, check out my Ebook on sight fishing for bass.