Even though she doesn't do most of the work, the rigors of ensuring the survival of her species take a lot out of a gal.

That's why many just want to lie around and rest a while when it's over.

But where a human woman would rather snuggle up next to her man to recuperate the rest of the night, momma bass is gone before morning.

And, as if she has something to complain about, she snuggles up next to some stump on a flat and sulks for a few days.

Getting her to bite is what April post-spawn bass fishing stories are made of.

Bassmaster Elite Series pro Pete Ponds from Madison has had his fair share of unsuccessful attempts at getting post-spawn bass to bite, but he learned many tournament seasons ago two surefire ways to get post spawn bass to bite.

"April is post spawn in Mississippi, but I don't know if you can put it in such a general rule," Ponds said. "Just like people don't all eat at the same time, bass don't all spawn at the same time."

That's because there are so many variables like water temperature and clarity that affect when bass spawn.

But Ponds felt it would be safe to say that a majority of bass are through spawning and moving into the post-spawn by April.

That means bass become hard to catch.

"All the males have on their minds is guarding those fry, and all the females have on their minds is trying to get some rest," Ponds said.

Most anglers target flats just out from the spawning pockets, and those aren't bad places to be, according to Ponds. On these flats, big females snuggle up next to the closest cover they can find, whether it be the edges of a ditch running through the flat or a single stump.

Anything they can use for cover, they sulk down beside it and just sit there.

But while the females are out waiting on a sunnier disposition, the males are left with guard duty up shallow in the spawning pockets.

They closely follow the fry as they expand their horizons and run off anything that looks like it might bring their young lives to an end.

Protective males are easy to catch; sulking females are not.

However, even sulking females have to eat.

During her snuggling time - and perhaps your sulking time - it's highly unlikely that your wife will get up and go cook herself a seven-course meal. It's too much work.

But let somebody slip a bag of popcorn in the microwave, and her stomach will eventually override her senses when she hears all those kernels popping and bouncing off each other.

Female bass are the same way: Their stomachs are programmed to not pass up an easy meal.

And, according to Ponds, there's no easier meal in all the lake than spawning shad.

"The shad spawn usually occurs right after the bass spawn when the water temperature gets into the high 60s," Ponds explained. "And where they spawn makes them sitting ducks."

This is because shad spawn around any hard surface they can find in shallow water. Riprap banks, concrete seawalls, cypress trees - anything they can get up against and rub on to release their eggs.

Yep. Right where female bass are snuggled in.

"The keys to looking for spawning shad are daylight and dark," Ponds said. "You've got to get up really early to consistently catch post-spawn bass this time of year."

Spotting spawning shad isn't difficult. If you could spot some popcorn spilling out from the kettle, you can find spawning shad.

It's almost as if they are trying to leap-frog each other out of the water.

You can't miss it.

"What you'll see is what looks like shad almost trying to come out of the water," Ponds explained. "And I'm not talking about one or two. There will be 50 to 100 shad, all swimming around in circles running down the edge of some rocks, a wall or under cypress trees."

They certainly look as if they are in a frenzied state, and Ponds noted that they almost look like they were scared of something.

Perhaps they are scared of just how vulnerable they are making themselves and how exposed they really are.

"Spawning shad are a huge post-spawn pattern on the B.A.S.S. trail during spring," Ponds noted. "It's one of those things that, when you see it, you have to take advantage of it.

"The big females will be up there for the easy meal because they know they can get full without having to get really aggressive."

To take advantage of this fleeting opportunity, Ponds fishes shallow-diving crankbaits and willow-leaf spinnerbaits right under the balls of spawning shad.

"For me, a Talon spinnerbait is definitely key for this time of year around spawning shad because it mimics threadfin shad so well," Ponds said. "I'll also throw something like a Bandit Shallow Flat Maxx crankbait, which suspends right under the shad and, again, looks just like the shad."

If Ponds doesn't have much luck on the spinnerbait or crankbait, he turns to a Bruiser Baits 5 ½-inch stickbait for a more vertical presentation.

No matter which lure he fishes, Ponds always gets as close to the hard cover on which the shad are spawning so he can scrape it on the structure right through the spawning shad.

"I put my boat so I can fish parallel to the cover," he noted. "One of the best ways to fish spawning shad is to actually work your bait so that it actually scrapes down whatever you're fishing. If it's a seawall, you want the edge of your spinnerbait blade ticking the concrete every time it rotates."

In other words, the closer you can fish your bait to cover the more bites you're going to get.

This early morning bite won't last long, though. When Ponds notices the shad are no longer spawning because of the increased light level, he starts looking for the other part of his post-spawn bass-fishing equation.

"A good way to keep catching fish after the shad stop spawning is to go looking for males that are guarding the balls of fry," Ponds said. "You can tell where the fry (are) because you'll see what looks like little raindrops falling on the water around your lure."

Male bass guarding fry are easy to catch because they are programmed to run off anything that looks like it might want to eat the fry.

Ponds regularly fishes a Bandit Footloose crankbait around fry because it runs just inches under the water, and he can stop it right in the middle of the fry. That's usually a little more than the protective male can stand, so they attack it.

"You can also do really well around bass fry with floating worms and topwater lures like a Pop-R - something you can stop and keep in one spot," Ponds said. "Fishing the fry is just as much of a key pattern as fishing spawning shad because they're usually happening at the same time, but you can fish the fry all day long."

As the sun gets higher in the sky, Ponds has found that these little balls of fry frequently hang out around shade. He has found them anywhere from the shady side of boats moored at a marina to the shady side of a stump on a flat.

Although he expects at least one of these patterns to pan out during the post-spawn, Ponds stands ready with a drop-shot if these two fall apart.

"Man, they get hard to catch once the shad stop spawning if you can't find any fry," he said. "Those fish are generally still around, though, so I like to fish a small worm on a drop-shot.

"This way I can hold my bait right there at the base of a tree or on a seawall. It's a very subtle presentation for sulking bass."

The rigors of reproducing may make bass feel like they just want to lie around a while and take it easy, but it doesn't work that way.

For a female, the best way to recuperate is to grab an easy meal without having to move a whole lot.

For the males, there is still much work to be done protecting the little ones.

Either way, if you're on the water early enough this post-spawn, you can take advantage of both situations and catch bass when everybody else is still home snuggling with momma.