When Keith Carson was 17 years previous rising up in Florida, he and shut good friend John Cox started to learn to sight fish. It was 2004 when the duo began to increase on their abilities and in 2005 they gained the AOY within the Central Florida Bass Anglers membership. The hearth was lit, and Carson has since fine-tuned his craft and is profitable in finding and catching massive spawning bass.

The Method

Carson has tried many various approaches over time however appears to seek out himself having an excessive amount of success with one specifically. After learning baitfish and bream over his profession, he realized how bass react to baitfish on their beds earlier than and after the eggs have been laid.

“Bream are across the bass beds always in the course of the spawn, patiently ready to sneak in and seize a fast meal whereas the bass just isn’t trying. I observed how the bass react when this occurs and have tailored an method that takes benefit of the presence of bream.”

Carson likes to fish a Berkley PowerBait Gilly across the spawn as he can carefully mimic baitfish of various species. Previous to the laying of the eggs, the Debary, Florida, angler Texas-rigs his swimbait weightless because it retains the bait increased within the strike zone for fish which might be making ready to spawn.

Keith Carlson southern spawning techniques

“I’ll pitch that Gilly to the far aspect of the mattress, let it sink and slowly swim it throughout the mattress, killing it close to the center,” he stated. “I will then hop it up and down and it normally will get finicky bass which have but to put eggs to chew. After they lay eggs, I will add a weight to my presentation to maintain the bait on the underside the place the eggs are.”

In his expertise, sure bass will sit outdoors the mattress on objective and let the bream swim in. As soon as sufficient are there, the fish will swim in and begin knocking them off. By having a bait that appears just like the bream, and ready till others are on the mattress, when the bass begins to chase the panfish away, the Gilly stays and is usually simple for an offended fish to select off.

“I used to start out with jigs (they resemble a bluegill) or the Berkley Basic, however they would not eat it on this case as a result of it would not look sufficient just like the baitfish,” he continued. “By utilizing the Gilly, it is actually opening doorways to new prospects to catching fish now we have not seen earlier than.”

He notes this tactic just isn’t at all times fast, in some instances one solid can take longer than 5 minutes. After casting past the mattress, it requires endurance to current the bait concurrently as different bream begin to make their method in. When you get it dialed, the fish will swim in, the bream scatter and the fish eat the bait.


Carson depends on two essential set ups for his spawn fishing method. The identical rod-and-reel combo works for each, however altering between totally different strains enable him to current the baits to spawning fish in several cowl and water readability.

Spawning techniques with Keith Carlson

“Florida bass will spawn in thick cowl in and across the Kissimmee grass and holes in hydrilla,” he stated. “Once I set the hook, they at all times attempt to get you wrapped up and the proportion of touchdown these fish drastically goes down. In that scenario, for thick cowl, I exploit a 40-pound Berkley X5 braided line on a Zenon high-speed reel. I exploit a 7-foot, 6-inch Fantasista medium-heavy motion rod on a regular basis.”

When fishing in additional open water eventualities, alongside the perimeters of the Kissimmee grass and out from it, Carson will throw the Gilly on 20-pound Berkley Huge Sport monofilament. A powerful line for fish that usually weigh over 7 kilos, monofilament is robust and won’t break with massive fish. If the water is cleaner, which regularly is when a pure spring is shut by, he’ll attain for Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon in a 20-pound take a look at.

Why medium-heavy?

“For me, the medium-heavy is best than heavier mannequin rods as a result of the Fantasista nonetheless has the ability and bend to get massive fish to the boat, however I really feel like I lose and break off much less fish by utilizing the lighter energy rod.”

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