By Ron Johnson
May is here and the fish are on the move. Although there are many species of fish to target in our Arizona lakes, most anglers are in hot pursuit of the Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass. For most of our desert lakes, the bass spawning period is about 80% over, but that means most of the bass are in the post-spawn period which is great news for anglers.
Bass have a pretty heavy appetite during the post-spawn period as most of them have gone weeks without feeding. Now that the spawning cycle has concluded, both the males and females look to gorge themselves on shad and other baitfish, which is their favorite post spawn diet.
This is also when the playbook opens up when it comes to lures and techniques. Since bass tend to often school up this time of year, I prefer to throw lures that cover a lot of water and mimic shad. Topwater lures such as a Walking Bait (spook style), Poppers, or Prop Baits are hard to beat as they are quick to draw attention and look like a dying shad or injured baitfish which is an easy target.
Jerk Baits, Crank Baits, Swimbaits, and Spinnerbaits also produce well, but try to use natural shad colors unless fishing in dirty water. If you get wind, move to the windy bank where baitfish will often get pushed, and try the Spinnerbait or Jerkbait style lures.
Keep a watchful eye on the water, and if you see shad skipping the surface, or splashes from bass pushing them to the surface, you may want to get over there quickly to take advantage of some fast action.
Good luck and good fishing!