By nature, largemouth bass are not a schooling fish. However, there are special circumstances where you’ll find schooling bass. And when you do, you have the chance to catch your limit in minutes! Ok, ok, so when do the circumstances come about? And how do I find them?
Those are the exact questions to ask, and the reason for this post. Schooling bass (sometimes called schoolies), are usually found during the late summer to early fall months on large lakes or reservoirs. These bass are typically young, and thus smaller, perhaps only a pound or two each.
The situation normally occurs when very large schools of shad follow plankton around the lake, feeding on it. The schooling bass will pin them to the surface of the water, and then viciously attack. So spotting them can often be easy. Just look for areas where the shad are jumping out of the water, being hit by bass. We usually refer to this as “boiling water”. You can sometimes spot this from afar by using binoculars or looking for birds diving and hitting the top of the water in a particular area.
What To Do When You Spot The Schooling Bass
This feeding frenzy will likely not last very long, however. So we you see it, immediately drop your current fishing spot, and get to that area as fast as possible. Cut the boat more short of the area, and allow your momentum and/or your trolling motor to get you close to the fish. This will ensure that you do not spook the fish. Begin casting as soon as you are within range. I prefer to cast behind the boiling water, and retrieve back into it, as to not scare the fish. But experiment, you may find that the bass respond best when you drop your line right on the top of them!
Smart anglers will have an additional rod and reel rigged up with a short diving, natural looking shad crankbait, or other shad like lure. Having this on hand will prepare you for the schooling fish, and you’ll be able to maximize your catch, since the boiling water will not last that long. I hope you got something out of this article, and if you did, would you leave me a comment in the box below?