Day on the lake: Brandon Coulter

Fishing the postspawn can be one of the most frustrating times on the water. The fish are tired and lethargic from the rigors of making babies, and are often in no mood to eat or react to lures. This is precisely what Elite Series pro Brandon Coulter faced on his early May outing. And to make matters worse, a little cold front had moved through the area. Although Coulter has only been fishing the Elite series for a couple years, he is a veteran tournament angler and has faced these challenging conditions often. What follows is a master’s class on targeting post-spawners, his decisions were perfectly timed and the results profound. Commit his actions to memory and the next time you face these two negatives, a very positive result will follow.

6:29 a.m. It’s cloudy, damp and chilly when Coulter and I arrive at Lake L and prep the Ranger for launching.

7 HOURS LEFT

6:45 a.m. Coulter’s boat hits the water. He checks Lake L’s surface temp: 67 degrees. “It’s been rainy and unseasonably cool here the past few days, and I bet the water has chilled down from the 70s,” he says. “There are probably some bass on bed and others that have already spawned. Hopefully, there’s a shad spawn going on; this can trigger a good bass bite.” He breaks out an arsenal of 13 Fishing rods and reels and arranges them on the Ranger’s front deck.

6:52 a.m. Coulter drops his trolling motor and makes his first casts to a riprap bank near the launch ramp with a vintage Bomber Long A floater-diver minnow. It wobbles across the surface as he retrieves it, throwing a wake reminiscent of an injured shad. “This old plug used to be silver but most of the paint has been chewed off it.”

7:03 a.m. Coulter moves to Lake L’s earthen dam and casts a black and white River2Sea Whopper Plopper surface plug parallel to the structure. “The water is real choppy here from that north wind, which is why I’m switching to this big, noisy plug. It has a finned tail that spins on retrieve, creating some serious surface commotion.”