The term bed fishing generally leads the mind to picture sight fishing or flipping shallow cover in order to land a bait on the nest of an aggressive bed guarding bass. While flipping to likely spawning holes in shallow water can be very effective for largemouth bass a lot of fish don't spawn in such easy to target areas.
Spotted Bass and Smallmouth:
When flipping to shallow spawning cover generally you are going to catch largemouth but what about lakes that are loaded with Spotted Bass and Smallmouth? That is where the Carolina Rig really comes into play for my spring fishing approach. Spotted Bass and Smallmouth Bass are really very similar in reference to where they like to spawn, and once you understand where they spawn it is easy to see why the Carolina Rig is an excellent choice.
Shallow Points, Flats, and Submerged Road Beds:
These are the key spawning areas for spotted and smallmouth bass, and in my opinion a Carolina Rigged soft plastic bait is a perfect choice for quickly and effectively picking apart these vast open areas. What I like to do is make long casts through these areas with a heavy Carolina Rig in order to drag my rig through the nest of a aggressive awaiting bass.
A Carolina Rig consists of a large brass weight 3/4oz to 1oz, a 8mm glass bead, a small barrel swivel, a 2 foot stretch of 15lb to 20lb leader, and a 4/0 Extra Wide Gap hook with your favorite soft plastic bait on it. My personal favorite is a Zman Lizzard.
Why the Carolina Rig is so Effective:
Here is the way I picture it going under water! The large brass weight drags through the bed while clanging into the glass bead agitating the bass. Once the bass is alerted to the danger a soft plastic lizard, creature bait, or worm comes dragging through and it is game over from there. Another reason the Carolina Rig is so effective is because of the weight of the rig. with a 3/4oz weight you can make long cast and cover a large spawning area in a hurry picking it apart and locating the most effective areas!
So if you know of a lake where spotted bass or smallmouth spawn out away from the bank on underwater structure give the Carolina RIg a try. It is a rig that has put thousands of fish in my boat throughout the spawning months of the year, March, April, May, and possibly June if you live in the frozen North!
I'll see you on the water!!!