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April 2022

Top Baits and Locations for the Shad Spawn with Andy Montgomery

Major League Pro Fisherman Andy Montgomery takes us through his top baits and locations for shad spawn fishing.



Over his career, Andy Montgomery has had a lot of success fishing the shad spawn. He enjoys the high energy and shad-style baits that this type of environment creates during this time. Typically, they flood the bank at night around shallow cover. They will stay up shallow during the night but will move out of these areas as the sun comes up. This is what makes the first hour of fishing so crucial as the bass are still gorging on shad during this low light time.

There are several different ways to attack the shad spawn, but one thing is key: baitfish style baits. One lure that is a staple during this time for Andy Montgomery is the Strike King Sexy Dawg Hard Knock. This topwater bait can be fished around sea walls, rocks, and other open water type environments. “I really like the hard knock, it’s something different that the fish haven’t seen and seems to trigger a lot of bites” explains Andy.

One of the more popular shad-spawn baits is a white Strike King Tour Grade Spinnerbait. This is a bait that you can be very accurate with around cover such as docks, trees, and stumps. “Nothing can imitate shad more than the flashing silver blades and a skirted bait. Keep an eye on your bait as you are reeling it in. The shad see the blades as fellow shad and will cuddle with the blades. This can be a great way to find shad if you keep a close eye” says Andy.

Another bait that is a must-have this time of year is the Strike King Thunder Cricket. This is another bait that anglers can use for very accurate casting. Andy points out that it’s a bait that can be skipped under overhanging brush or be used to cover a lot of water. It generates big bites, making it a great shad spawn bait to add to your arsenal.

Next is the white Strike King Tour Grade Skipping Jig which is something Andy uses most of the time. It’s a more subtle presentation than the spinnerbait or thunder cricket. Andy likes to fish the jig fast and will keep it high in the water column to generate a lot of bites.

A bait that Andy is very excited about and has just been able to use is the new Strike King Skip’ N Buzz. This buzzbait is different because it can be skipped under docks and overhanging brush where traditional buzzbaits can’t get to. “This will look just like a shad running across the top of the water trying to get away. We know bass don’t like stuff getting away” explains Andy.

When you find a shad spawn area, make sure you have several different baits ready to go. “Remember, the bass have all that they want to eat so you have to find the right bait to trigger the fish to bite” says Andy. Sometimes rotating through all these baits will help determine a way to trigger them into biting. White is typically the dominant color since it represents the shad so well. Shad spawn fishing is super fun and fast so make sure you have all the baits tied on and ready to go.

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