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Bedding Fish - Should You Fish Them?



This is a subject that takes a lot of hits from folks saying that we should not disturb the females while they are laying the eggs.

Well, I for one have Bed Fished and made sure that I returned the fish as fast as I could in the same spot where I caught her, and she went right back to the bed.

After the females lay the eggs, the males take over guarding the eggs and then the fry when they hatch. Again if you catch one of the Males, get it back in the water as fast as you can. He too will return to the bed.

I have caught bedding fish then made my way around the cove and returned and caught the same fish again.

What is Bedding Fish?

Bed Fishing is the same as when you hear the term spawning. It comes in early spring when the water temperature gets in the 60's; mostly in coves off the main lakes.

When I am out to look for a bed, I will pull into a cove. This is when the water is pretty clear and I can see down a good 6 feet.

A great pair of sunglasses comes in handy to make it easier to see down into the depths of the water to see the bed. You want the ones that have the polarized lens in them. They come in grey, blue, amber, and I think other colors but this is what I use. The only way I can tell you which one to use is by the clarity of the water. I have all three just in case.

It will amaze you when you put them on and look down in the water. The picture I have attached to this article is what you should be looking for when peering down into the water.

If you can not make it out, it should be dark around the edges, light color in the middle and you will see what appears to be a dark line going across the middle of the bed.

That is your fish guarding the nest. If the fish does not spook off the bed, he is what we call locked on the bed and will not spook. If he does, back off a little and he will return within a few minutes.

I am going to offer a Crawfish/Tube/Lizard/Worm. Out of those four, I promise he is going to eat one of them. Most of the bass on the beds do not want anything around the bed that might be danger to either the eggs or the fry.

They will get real mad if something gets in their zone. They will either eat it or carry it away from the bed on their nose to drop it off and return to the bed. That is one of the funniest thing that you will ever see, but it does happen.

The bass may carry it off three or four times and he is getting very mad now. One of the times when you throw it in the bed he is just going to try and swallow it.

I have seen guys trying a Jig-Pig, but I must warn you it makes a lot of noise going into the water over a soft plastic, and you might have to back off to make a flip, or pitch to the spot.

Flip or Pitch

Story time: I was being taught how to Pitch and I was flipping which I thought was the same action. My guide had two of us in the boat and when he saw what I was doing I got called out and showed the proper way to pitch. I was then ordered to the back of the boat to practice. Let me tell you right now I know the difference and will pass it on to you.

When you Flip, you are letting out the same amount of line every time and going to the same spot every time. When you Pitch, you are letting out more line and stopping it yourself when you reach the spot you want your lure in. Flipping could be what I call close range; Pitching is long range.

Needless to say, when I got back in that evening, I spent a lot of time doing my homework in the backyard with a coffee can until I could get 10 to 15 yard off and pitch to it.

Bed Fishing can be one of the best times to get that Hog and you have to handle the female real careful to avoid injuring her so she can return to the bed and finish the spawning cycle.

Bedding Fish - Should You Fish Them? The question can be answered yes if you return as the fish to water as recommended above. Remember to always practice Catch and Release when bass fishing.

Good Luck

Keep The Hooks Wet!

Steve McGoldrick



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