Bass pro Dearal Rodgers of Camden, S.C., said April is an amazing month to fish on Lake Wateree.
“It is one of the few times of the year that you can can actually see some of the fish that you target,” Rodgers said. “April finds most of the bass spawning, thinking about spawning, or just finishing spawning. If you like fishing shallow, this is your month.”
Rodgers starts looking for bass in the backs of creeks and pockets in April, moving slowly on his trolling motor and searching the water with his polarized sunglasses.
“I look for bass, but also movement. The movement could be a bass, but it could also be a blade of grass, a bream swimming away, a ripple or a dust cloud. Chances are, if something moves, there is likely a bed nearby,” he said.
You might see bass on the bed immediately, or you may have to move on and come back by once things settle down to find the fish, Rodgers said.
“For bedding bass, I really like to throw a Buckeye Flat Top jig with a small craw trailer. Bass at Wateree don’t like a crawfish invading their homestead. A Buckeye Spot Remover with a green pumpkin trick worm is also hard to beat,” he said.
While he looks to sight-fish for spawners this month, Rodgers said prespawn and post-spawn bass can also be caught shallow.
“For prespawners, a green pumpkin Mop Jig is my go-to bait,” he said. “I like to throw it around shallow docks, laydowns, boat ramps and grass. The big females will be hanging around spawning areas, and the Mop Jig will catch them. Be sure to use at least 17- to 20-pound-test line to insure fewer breakoffs.”
Rodgers likes to target post-spawn bass with a double-willow blade spinnerbait and a buzzbait.
“I like gold blades and chartreuse and white skirts on both. Lake Wateree post-spawn bass really like shad in the morning and bream in the afternoon. Once the morning shad bite is over, I go back to the Mop Jig around docks for the afternoon bream bite,” he said.
Wateree bass get a lot of fishing pressure, Rodgers said, and they react to it, which sometimes calls for a change in tactics.
“If I can’t get the Mop Jig, spinnerbait, and buzzbait going, I don’t hesitate to downsize to the Spot Remover Jig and fish it with 8-pound line on a spinning rod to fill out a limit. It will also surprise you quite often by catching fish in the 5-pound range,” he said.