Spring has sprung, and anglers are chasing their favorite fish all over the bassy nation. Berkley pro Josh Bertrand has spent a little extra time this spring at his home in Arizona hanging with family and chasing locally grown fish. Josh checked in with BassFIRST.com before hitting the road to get back on the Bassmaster Elite Series trail, and shared a handful of his top techniques to hook bass in the spawn-to post-spawn period.
Josh Bertrand. (Joel Shangle/BassFIRST)
"Wacky-rigging a soft stickbait," said Bertrand. "I'll fish the Berkley General for fry-guarders up shallow. It is an excellent option for the post-spawn fish.
"Rigging is simple. I use a 7-foot medium/heavy-action Abu Garcia Premier spinning rod and reel filled with 8-pound Berkley Nanofil as the main line, and 8-pound Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon as the leader. I connect the two lines with the 'Crazy Alberto' knot. It's been the best knot for me when tying two lines together. I'll use a 1/0 Berkley Fusion 19 wacky-rig hook."
"I love throwing a topwater walking bait," said Bertrand. "It is a really good lure for calling up the post-spawn females. Those fish are looking to feed on bluegills and other sunfish, and aren't guarding fry. The walking bait is really good for bigger fish.
"I use a 7-foot medium-action Abu Garcia Veritas rod and a Premier reel and I'll spool up with 50-pound Berkley Braid. The braid is the deal with the walking bait. You can cast a long way and still get a good hookset."
"The old Carolina-rig is another of my favorites for this time frame," said Bertrand. "It's ideal to fish with when targeting post-spawn bass who are positioned on the first hump or drop-off outside of the spawning area. It's the perfect technique for those lazy fish who won't chase the topwater.
"My setup involves a 7-foot 6-inch medium-heavy Abu Garcia Villain rod and a Premier reel. My main-line is 15-pound Berkley fluorocarbon tied to a barrel swivel and 2-to 4-foot 15-pound leader. I use a ¾-ounce tungsten weight and a tungsten bead. The tungsten weight would break a glass bead. My prefered bait is a 6-inch Berkley Power Lizard, and my color of choice is usually watermelon seed."