In my opinion, June is the best month for bass fishing in Ohio. Although you likely won’t catch as many giants in June as in the earlier and later months of the year, when it comes to sheer numbers of quality fish, the next 30-45 days are tough to beat!
The primary reason why the fishing in June is so hot is because both largemouth and smallmouth are post-spawn and have settled into more predictable patterns. Their focus changes from pro-creating to feeding, which means they will aggressively attack your bait. The weather has also stabilized, resulting in fewer pattern changes and again, more predictable bass. Post-spawn largemouth and smallmouth both tend to school in large groups to feed, and when you hook a good fish, chances are there are more in the vicinity.
This seasonal-pattern was clearly demonstrated last Thursday while fishing the TNT tournament with Marshall on Alum Creek. The pattern was classic post-spawn, and we were able to key in on a mixed school of largemouth and smallmouth that were susceptible to both topwater and bottom baits. We ended up winning the tournament with a mixed-bag that weighed 13.05lbs. We also had big bass, a 4.13lb largemouth.
In terms of “where” to search for post-spawners, the answer differs based on whether you are pursuing largemouth or smallmouth. Largemouth tend to position themselves on mainlake and secondary points and ledges. They will also school on large flats in search of bait, and on shallow rockpiles. Smallmouth will use some of these same types of structure, but generally will do so in deeper water. Smallmouth will also tend to roam open-water in big schools, relating not to structure, but instead to suspended bait fish. Largemouth and smallmouth that are relating to structure are often easy to locate and catch, whereas those suspended smallmouth are difficult to find, and very difficult to catch.
The other great part of post-spawn fishing is that you can catch them with a lot of techniques. Dragging jigs, Texas rigs, Carolina rigs, grinding a crankbait, or working a topwater bait. As I mentioned earlier, where there is one fish, there are usually more this time of year, so try to repeat the exact cast that worked for you if you catch one. Odds are you will hookup again.
Switching gears to the tournament front, this weekend I spent time pre-fishing for my second BFL tournament of the year on Indian Lake. The tournament is on June 18th, and after my sub-par season-opener on Mosquito, I am in need of a top 10 finish. Stay tuned for a full report on the event.