By Alan McGuckin
When water temps hit the 60s, former Bassmaster Carhartt College Series Champion, turned successful young Elite Series pro Jordan Lee looks for spawn-oriented largemouth inside shoreline indentation pockets formed by tiny tributaries on nearly every major reservoir in America.
Pockets can be located along main lake shorelines, typically where large natural drainage ditches are located, or as is more commonly the case, inside the major creeks of a reservoir, where a minor stream originally ran into the main creek prior to the reservoir’s dam construction.
“Pockets are kind of a shortcut to finding bass around the time of the spawn because bass are eventually going to be in them," says Lee. "It’s just a matter of when, and what phase of the spawn they’re in on the day you’re fishing."
Lee goes with a two-pronged attack when targeting spawning pockets – a wacky-rigged finesse worm or a Texas-rigged creature bait.
Most of the pockets Lee searches harbor water from 1 to 10 feet deep.
“The cool thing is you can fish a ton of them fast, versus searching miles of shoreline on the main lake,” says the 24-year-old Auburn University graduate. “I may fish 20 different pockets a day, and maybe only five of those will have catchable fish in them, but still those are decent odds, and it’s an easy way to find bass in the springtime, and it only takes a few minutes to fish each pocket.”
Lee takes a two-lure approach to pockets based on watercolor.
“If the water inside a pocket is clear enough to look for spawning beds, I’ll cast a wacky rigged finesse worm on a little size #1 Decoy brand hook with a weedguard,” he said. “That’s a great light line presentation on a size 30 Quantum spinning reel if bass are roaming, or fully locked down on spawning beds I can see.
“If the water is too dirty to look for beds, I pick up a baitcasting reel and pitch a Texas rigged 4-inch Strike King Game Hawg on 20-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon around wood. Pockets are easy to locate, it doesn’t take long to fish any single one of them, and if you fish enough of them in a day’s time during the spring, you’re probably gonna catch fish."