In his last update tournament bass fisherman Andy Wicker of Pomaria predicted that by the March full moon a significant percentage of fish would be spawning, and sure enough that has come to pass. Andy says that right now most Lake Monticello bass are shallow, be that right on the main lake or in the coves that are the closest thing Monticello has to “backs.” Some fish are pre-spawn, some are actively bedding, and some are post-spawn, but most fish are around bedding areas and at some stage of the spawn. These fish can be caught on floating worms, Senkos and shakey heads. The 6-pound fish pictured below was caught on soft plastics near a bed, and it appeared to have already laid out.
The post-spawn period can sometimes be a challenging time to catch bass on Lake Monticello, and there is nothing the equivalent of the Lake Murray/ Savannah River chain blueback herring spawn to concentrate fish and get them feeding voraciously to restore calories lost during the spawn. While Andy has seen some isolated threadfin shad spawning action in past years, its significance is limited and he has only occasionally caught fish around it. The spawning shad he has seen have usually been around the few banks with hard cover, and he notes that unlike a lake such as Wylie known for a widespread shad spawn there is not a lot of riprap, rocks and docks on Monticello.
It is not unusual to experience difficulties finding bigger fish immediately after the spawn, and sometimes it can take a few weeks for the bigger 3- and 4-pound fish to start showing up again. For a time fish do seem to stick around the shallow pockets where they spawned, but when fish are ready to leave they follow the same migration routes they came in on. This time they go backwards to secondary points and then out to main lake points, and instead of throwing “rigs” around the areas he fished in the early pre-spawn period Andy will be fishing walking baits like Super Spooks and buzzbaits around secondary points. At times stumps, docks and blowdowns can concentrate the fish.