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Brandon Cobb: Fish Popping Lures for May Bass

provided by John Phillips

Mossy Oak Fishing Pro Brandon Cobb of Greenwood, South Carolina, fished for five years on the FLW circuit and 2019 on the Bassmaster Elite Series. The 30-year-old began fishing solo when he was 12 years old, and his dad always has been his mentor. At Clemson University, Cobb was a member of the fishing team. In 2019, Cobb won two Bassmaster Elite Series tournaments at Lake Hartwell and Lake Fork and took home $100,000 for each win. You can keep up with Brandon Cobb on his Facebook page.

Brandon Cobb bass

I fish the Yo-Zuri Popper in a bluegill color because that’s exactly what some bass like to feed on in May. Depending on what part of the country you live in, the bluegill will spawn on the first full moon in May. That’s why I search for bluegill beds. You generally can smell big bluegills, however, in the lakes I fish, we don’t find many really big bluegill beds – generally just five to 15 beds in a pocket. At some lakes further south, you may find hundreds or thousands of bluegills bedding all in the same place. 

Most of the time when you throw that Popper in, you’ll only catch one bass, and when you catch that bass, that’s probably the only bass you’re going to catch on those bluegill beds at that time. When a bass is hooked, it will start swimming around and disturbing the bluegills off their beds or jumping in and spooking them. However, if you have several different bluegill beds located, you can leave the area where you’ve caught one bass to go and catch another one. If you have eight to ten bluegill beds spotted, you can make a milk run, going from bed to bed. So, on a day of bass fishing, you may catch numbers of bass off each of these beds.

Yo-Zuri PopperAt the beginning of May and sometimes even closer to the end of the month, most of the bass will be in shallow water feeding on forage fish like shad, bluegills, blueback herring or other types of forage fish feeding in shallow water, Most of those forage fish like to spawn around the full moon in May. However, if the full moon occurs in early May, then by the end of the month, that shallow-water pattern won’t be nearly as good because the bass will have pulled offshore and will be holding in deeper water. If the full moon occurs late in May, generally, these patterns I’ve mentioned – the wacky-rigged worm, a buzzbait, a walking lure, a jerkbait, a soft plastic and a popping bait - will hold up during the entire month and sometimes into June, if the weather’s not too hot. 

But if I had to choose one pattern to fish for bass with this month, I’d have to choose the wacky worm. That’s because there’s not a fish in the world that won’t eat a wacky worm if that lure falls in front of it. You’ll probably catch the most bass of the day during the first hour of daylight every day this month. I’ve been fishing the shad spawn before and caught bass on every cast for 45 minutes.

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