Fred Roumbanis’ Boom Boom Approach to Postspawn

Bucks Falcon Mercury

by Fred Roumbanis (as told to Dan O’Sullivan)

Fred Roumbanis Lake Okeechobee HooksetPostspawn can be frustrating, especially for someone like me who likes to cover a lot of water.  This time of year means that female bass have gone out deep, and the male bass are guarding fry in and around the bedding areas.  One of the ways to combat this time period is to slow down and fish them with soft plastics, but that’s just not my style.

I like to fish fast, I prefer to be able to cover water, especially when I know there is the potential for big bites on reaction baits, and that is exactly how I go after things in the postspawn period.  My one two punch revolves around making a big presence on the surface, and following it up with a more subtle approach below the surface.

This is like when I’m targeting bedding fish, I’m not looking for a feeding bite; I’m looking for the protective instinct in guarding bass.  Bass that are guarding their fry will dart out and protect their young from other things that want to eat them, the bluegill being the most common.

What I try to do is mimic the response of the smaller predator that is posing the threat on the fry.   I like to start with the Ima Lures Roumba wake bait, and use my signature Pepper JigsFred Roumbanis Elite Series Stage Swim Jig with a three-inch Optimum Bait Company Double Diamond Swimbait as a trailer.

Because I am trying to mimic bluegill, I choose the bluegill color Roumba to start with, and for the jig, I use a 3/8-ounce Garden Pumpkin Magician with a Green Pumpkin Double Diamond.  One trick I do with the Double Diamond is to use an orange bait marker and color the bottom of the bait and the tip of the tail to make it mimic a bluegill more closely.

I rig my Roumba on a seven foot medium heavy iRod, with an Ardent Edge Elite 6.5:1 retrieve reel and 20-pound-test PLine CXX.  The swim jig is thrown using the same reel, but I upgrade to 50-pound-test PLine Braided Spectra and use an iRod 7’5” heavy action Fred’s Magic Stick rod.

I want to make bass think there is a predator coming to get their fry, and it starts with the presentation.  I always throw past the cover, then, with the Roumba, I hold the rod tip up at the eleven o’clock position, I reel slowly enough to keep a bow in my line; that is until I get close to the cover.

Fred Roumbanis Lake Okeechobee BassWhen the bait approaches the grass or the stickup, I speed the bait up slightly, then pause it over the cover attempting to mimic the response of a feeing baitfish or bluegill.  After the pause, I burn it for a few turns of the reel handle before returning to the original retrieve speed.

The swim jig is similar, but it is underwater, and I’m trying to move the bait a little quicker.  Again, I cast past my target and at a medium speed; move the swim jig towards the cover a little faster. What I want to do is “crash” the jig into the cover creating a commotion to make the bass think the intruder is trying to get away.  After crashing into the cover, I let the bait pause again, then speed it out of the cover trying to elicit a reaction strike.

The combination of the two lures has proven to be a great one, two punch for me in the postspawn.  The Roumba allows me to locate fish quickly, and if they don’t strike it, the swim jig is an excellent follow up presentation.  The overall look of the jig with the Double Diamond trailer creates the perfect look and action in the water to make bass respond.

These are my one, two punch in late spring, they’ll prove to be a knockout combination for you too.