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May Zone 3 with Andy Montgomery

Zone 3 – May

Strike King and Lew’s pro Andy Montgomery shares his insight on fishing in Zone 3 during the month of May.

“I like to break this month down into two categories – shallow water forage and deep forage,” says Montgomery.

With water temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s, Montgomery is targeting bass that are feeding on shad or bluegill early in the morning. “For bass that are preying on Bluegill, you’ll want to be looking in any shallow water that maintains a good amount of shade throughout the day,” advises Montgomery. In the beginning of May, the bass are going after bluegill, but by the back half of May, it is bluegill “revenge time” in the words of Montgomery, as bluegill begin to feed on recently - hatched bass fry. “The roles are reversed as we transition into the bluegill spawn. So, you’ll still be utilizing baits that imitate bluegill, but are now targeting fingerling bass,” offers Montgomery.

When deep water foraging, the bass begin gorging on shad that have moved out deep, so the second half of May is when the bass start moving to deeper waters. Montgomery shares, “You can get a lot more aggressive with your bait presentations as the bass have yet to be conditioned to power fishing lures such as 6XD crankbaits and jigging spoons. Long points, ledges, or deep drop-offs are key target areas.”

BAIT 1: Strike King 6XD

If the water is clear, Montgomery prefers the Green Gizzard. In stained water, he switches to the Sexy Blue Back Herring. For muddy water, Montgomery will favor a Sexy Shad.

Montgomery fishes the 6XD on a Team Lew's Signature Series Greg Hackney Flippin’ 7’11” heavy rod, pairing it with a Lew's BB1 Pro 6.2:1 baitcast reel.

He fishes the 6XD rig on 12 lb Contra line.

BAIT 2: Strike King Sexy Spoon

Montgomery’s choice for clear water is the Sexy Shad, while he opts for Gold Black if the water is stained.

He switches to a Lew's Signature Series Mark Rose Swimbait 7’6” medium heavy rod and pairs it with a Lew's HyperMag 8.3:1 baitcast reel. 

When fishing this set up, Montgomery uses 15 lb fluorocarbon.

BAIT 3: Strike King Skip’n buzzbait

This Skip’n Buzzbait is Montgomery’s top choice when fish are in shaded areas in shallow water. He usually pairs it with a Rage Swimmer bait.

He opts for the Green Pumpkin in clear and stained water, and switches to Black if the water is muddy.

Montgomery throws the Skip’n Buzzbait on a Lew's Signature Series Andy Montgomery 7’3” medium heavy rod and a Lew's Pro SP reel. 

He spools the combo with 20 lb fluorocarbon.


BAIT 4: Strike King Skip’N Jig

Montgomery usually pairs the Skip’N Jig with a Rage Bug bait.

If the water is clear or stained, he will throw a Green Pumpkin, while muddy water calls for a Black N Blue. 

He uses the Skip’N Jig on a Lew's Signature Series Andy Montgomery 7’1” heavy rod, paired with a Lew's Pro SP reel. 

Montgomery spools his combo with 20 lb fluorocarbon line.


BAIT 5: Strike King Sexy Dawg

Montgomery primarily uses the Sexy Dawg in shaded areas in shallow water.

He opts for Bluegill in clear and stained water. If the water is muddy, he will throw the Black.

Montgomery fishes on a Lew's Signature Series KVD 7’ medium rod, paired with a Lew's BB1 Pro  7.5:1 reel.

He spools this with 30 lb braided line.