Bass spring pattern on priestPosted by nickbaumhardt on April 22, 2014 at 4:45 am
I’ve been on this forum since last summer, but this is my first spring fishing on priest. my questions is this: what is the typical spring pattern for bass on priest? what section of the lake do they typically spawn in? what is their primary food source at this time? shad? crawfish? what should i be looking for when i head out to find bass? etc.
MemberApril 22, 2014 at 8:32 pm
This time of year try northwest banks they tend to get warmer quicker and the fish will move to the warmer areas first, look for the warmest water to find active fish.
shad raps or square bill crank baits(craw colors and natural shad colors depending on water clarity)
Chatter Bait around wood or docks
Texas rigged lizard(my favorite zoom lizard colors on Priest are: Blue Fleck, Red bug, Mocassin Blue)
plastic craws – Strike King Rage Tail green pumpkin
tubes(natural colors/red colors)
shallow(2-8ft) pockets near channel swings or deep water
secondary points back in the large creeks
pockets with pea gravel and boulders or wood
I’m no Kevin Van Dam or BCGS but this has worked for me in the spring.
MemberApril 22, 2014 at 8:55 pm
In the time it took me to ramble on this email and go to meetings, then start up again, Tony has responded.
Hopefully you find it helpful.
So, here’s some of my opinions. Full disclosure… I’m terrible around the spawn on Priest. Mostly because I don’t do any of the things that I’m about to list. I’m a hard head and would prefer to fish the way I want instead of do what is working.
1 – Based on hearsay and past experience, fish do spawn all over the lake. You should run to the backs of the creeks. Down lake, that puts you in the back of Suggs specifically beyond Vivrette Ramp headed back towards the little aqueduct in the back. There are tons of stumps back there. Hamilton Creek is another viable option downlake with a lot of little coves and a few larger flats. The pockets around Hermitage Island and Old Hickory cove should have fish spawning in them. Up Lake, the reports seem to indicate that Sister Cove, Stewarts Creek, Fall Creek, and Spring Creek are all viable.
2 – What do they eat? It seems to depend on when the shad are spawning. If the bass spawn and shad spawn overlap [which seems to be happening this year], they will be eating shad. I however, always run crawdad imitations at this time of year also [deep diving crankbaits, tubes, jigs]. Last weekend, I caught fish on squarebills in shad patterns as well as a wiggle wart in a craw pattern. Try switching back and forth until you find out what they are eating that day.
3 – What do they spawn around? Depends on where you are fishing. There are some flats in Hamilton Creek where I know the fish are spawning around scattered rock. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as just looking for beds. You just have to fancast around and let the fish show themselves [a lot of times I’ll see fish follow a bait to the boat, then fish the area I think it came from with a tube].
4 – What to look for? Shallow areas that have deeper water nearby, preferably with a ditch or channel leading into it. Also, find stumps and pitch to them or crash squarebills or spinnerbaits off of them. Just go out and look for protected areas with warmer water [changes from day to day]. When you get a bite, take note of what type of cover it was on. Was it on scattered rock? Was it on a stump? Was it near some tires or trash? Then look for more of the same type of cover.
Random Thoughts and Hypotheses ::
I believe that a lot of fish at Priest spawn deeper than we think. With the fluctuating lake levels in the Spring at Priest, I think the fish have adapted to spawn a little bit deeper than we think. I don’t have any real data or observation to support this, but I rarely find big fish just sitting on beds. I’m guessing they are pulled out to stumps/bottom changes/rocks/trash and bedding around that stuff. Purely speculation.
I also think there are fish that spawn on the lower end of the lake out in the middle on rock piles and such. I have no proof of it, but don’t see any reason why those fish would move so far to spawn.
Hopefully this helps. Or at the very least it sparks some ideas for you chase after. Let me know what you figure out!
MemberApril 22, 2014 at 9:33 pm
Thanks for the detailed reply. Your thoughts make a lot of sense. Can’t wait to try some of your ideas and techniques.
MemberApril 23, 2014 at 1:37 am
I agree with simple, the bass on priest spawn deeper than we think. I like fishing squarebills and t rigged creatures. I like kvd 1.5 and 2.5s for the squarebills. On the creatures I really like zoom baits. 6 inch lizards, baby brush hogs, and uv speed craw. I have also had some good days with go 2 baits beaver baits.
MemberApril 23, 2014 at 1:38 am
thank you both for the replies. this really helps. i’m going out in the morning so i’ll try to put together a plan based on what you both have said. thanks!
MemberApril 23, 2014 at 1:44 am
are you fishing downlake or uplake?
MemberApril 23, 2014 at 3:21 am
i usually put in at long hunter and go anywhere from bryant’s grove down to party cove just past the hobson pike bridge. tomorrow i’m thinking i’ll put in at fate sanders to get closer to sister cove
MemberApril 23, 2014 at 4:40 am
Seems like Sister Cove is the deal right now.
If you were going downlake, I would have suggested checking out Hamilton Creek. The past two years, we have caught a lot of keepers on the bigger rock flats out in front of Anderson Road and to the left if heading to the back to the creek. It hasn’t happened yet this year. So, I’m thinking it is happening this week… Unfortunately, I have to work. I’m not complaining. It’s just nice to be on the water when the fish are really hot. I spent 20mins yesterday watching fish on the Cumberland busting shad from my boss’s office. We keep a pair of my grandfather’s binoculars in there for watching birds of prey and occasionally checking out the river.
MemberApril 26, 2014 at 5:09 pm
What is the primary food source for bass on Priest this the of the year?
New to Priest and I am lost as to areas, patterns and baits…but part of the fun is figuring it out. I love this forum, worth twice the price!
AdministratorApril 26, 2014 at 8:47 pm
$120 a year sounds good to me!!!!
MemberApril 26, 2014 at 8:51 pm
As long as you answer the question, you can bill $120 at renewal…deal?
MemberApril 27, 2014 at 3:23 am
Primary food source on priest?
I think you’ll find a mix of shad (threadfin and gizzard) as well as crawfish.
I caught fish earlier today on craw patterned wiggle warts, shad color squarebills and umbrella rig.
Everything is up shallow. So, I would thin that the bass have their pick right now.
AdministratorApril 27, 2014 at 3:29 am
In spring the crawfish hatch is very popular for the bass. A lot of fish are caught on jigs. I don’t know how many lizards are I the lake, but they are a great soft plastic to use. The deal is that they eat their eggs, but I’ve never seem one. In the next 4 weeks the shad bite will turn on and your start seeing more schoolin bass.
MemberApril 27, 2014 at 4:09 am
There’s honestly never a time of yearvthatbi don’t have a draw patterned deeper diving crankbait and a jig tied on at Priest.
I always have confidence that the fish will eat a crawfish if they see it. It probably also has to do with the fact that I fish the lower lake. It just seems to have a lot of crawfish looking areas. Pea gravel, mud/clay with scatters rocks, etc.
MemberApril 27, 2014 at 4:02 pm
Great answers, Thank both of you…now Brian I am in for $120 at renewal as personal info is well worth $10/ month.
I fished late yesterday afternoon around Party Cove. Had about 10 good bites, but got two almost to the boat and they flipped off. It was as if they were swatting at the bait in a defensive mode, could this be? Great fun but also frustrating to note get anything in the boat. Just makes me want to access the data and go back out. Cinco on shaky head seemed to get the most bites???
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