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I believe it is also a good time for beginner anglers. We hope that this discussion has helped you better understand largemouth behavior during the spawn, and we’d like to hear your success stories, tips, and advice for other anglers. Bass spawning season goes from February to June depending upon what state that you live in. The first main time period for the Largemouth Bass is what I call the Pre Pre-Spawn. Commonly, areas having direct access from sunlight are chosen by males. However, those numbers are only average. ... It’s spawning season for bass. Unlike some northern states where bass fishing season is closed until after the spawn (or where fishing regulations mandate catch-and-release only during the spawn), fishing for bass is allowed in Georgia and most other southern states all year long, including during the spawn. As you have seen earlier in the article, bass make nests. But the males are relatively solitary, and they won’t nest in view of rivals. Why? When it's time to spawn, bass mean ­business. To improve the fishing quality, the then provincial Ministry of Natural Resources recommended a closed season, but compromised with catch-and-release during the nesting period. To me this might be right up there with a ban on culling. This is a critical point to remember: expect differential warming, with the spawn being staggered across a large lake. Basically, it comes from the end of winter’s lazy period. Pre-spawn is the best time to catch bass, as they are at their most active with feeding. I’d recommend using using the texas rig with a punching bait. They will eat almost anything that they can get to gain their energy back and start to feed up for the winter months. Some fish need other things, such as flowing water, to keep sediment off their eggs. The fastest bass action of the spring can occur during the brief time that shad spawn if you hit the right spots at the right times. The ODFW weekly Recreation Report includes fishing updates on dozens of bass fisheries throughout the state. Now wait for the bass to move in. As you have seen earlier in the article, bass spawn in the spring. The bass spawn - is it a good time to fish or not? The spring spawn initiates the most predictable movement of largemouth bass all year, and locating big bass during the mating season is as close to a sure thing as you can get. The bass is getting anxious, and wants to get it away from its eggs. Some species like it hot (over 85ºF) others like it a little colder (60ºF) and so on. You can usually find bass in all phases of the spawn in the month of March. Largemouth bass spawn at 64 to 68 degrees. Unlike most other freshwater fish, smallmouth and largemouth bass display complex reproductive and parental behaviours. Everyone wants to be able to say that they have caught the biggest bass that anyone has ever seen. Some bass will be completely finished with the ritual before other bass even start. In this, the first documentary in a series on Largemouth Bass behavior, see the spawn like you've never seen it before. Thousands--even tens of thousands--of fertilized eggs will be deposited like this. And once the bluegills do start bedding, understand that many female bass have laid their eggs and left the spawning grounds, but more should still be on the way. In a large impoundment, the major prey species include threadfin and gizzard shad, while in small impoundments sunfish will predominate in the diet. If you’ve never seen the action on these two, you’re in for a treat! Winter ends, spring is here, and the bass wake up just like the anglers! Waiting for the warmer climates that they require for spawning, they tend to huddle in large numbers in pre-spawn areas. At that point, the spawn is over, and largemouth will switch to summer feeding mode. As the water warms above 50 degrees, bass change their primary forage to a high-protein diet. Bass spawning season is very predictable, because bass do the same thing every year in three basic stages. Most aquatic animals, except for aquatic mammals and reptiles, reproduce through the process of spawning. Then the male bass circles the humble home slowly and waits for a mate. – Southernmost states: Texas; Louisiana; Southern Mississipi; South Alabama; South Georgia; Florida The females will retreat to deeper waters to rest, while the fry and males stay nearer to the surface. After the first and second spawn, bass will continue to spawn every two or so weeks after that, but this does depend on the weather. Instead, shallow, calm areas will heat up first, especially if they’re exposed to direct sunlight. But the rule of thumb is, larger bass will spawn sooner than smaller bass. Let’s take a moment to understand a little more about this ritual of a largemouth bass. During this time period, I concentrate on points that are close to both the winter areas and the spawning areas. Another top choice is a good jerkbait, like the Rapala Shad Rap. In warmer locations, largemouth bass could spawn multiple times each year. This has a lot to do with the season as well. Fish which like hot temperatures will probably prefer hottest seasons, such as summer. Therefore, crawfish-like lures work very well for this time of the year. Once the water warms up and bass lose their lethargic state of being, they have a predetermined need to spawn. Unlike bass, crappie and panfish, the pike and walleye are known as broadcast spawners and don’t have a specific spawning bed to drop their eggs in. Check out our guide for choosing live bait for bass. Check out our recommended jerkbait rods for bass. But many anglers struggle either because they don’t understand the spawn very well, or because they’re unsure how to capitalize on a fishing opportunity that doesn’t rely on a high feeding drive . 1 Largemouth bass are the most popular sport fish in Texas, and their annual spawn is a high point of the year for bass anglers. However, check out our article about what bass eat here. Bass spawning season lasts for about two months. But some of them can spawn at the same time as others, even in the same waterway. Check out the different rubber worms you fish for bass with. He will probably get very close to your lure, sometimes almost right to his nose. There may be local fishing groups that are in your state that may be able to give you a little more specific advice, but what we have said above is a great starting point. One of our favorite tools to trigger such a reaction strike is a Zoom Brush Hog. These 7 tips will put the odds in your favor. All they need is suitable water quality and enough forage to eat. Bass spawn begins when waters start warming up. When bass spawn is dictated by water temperatures, light penetration, lunar phases and other varying conditions. They’ll wait there until a mate arrives, when they’ll circle the nest and turn their bellies toward one another, releasing eggs and sperm into the water. Can/do Bass Spawn More Than Once A Season? The last part of the cycle is the post-spawn stage. Undoubtedly some do, but it is very few. They become aggressive and defensive with protecting their nest. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Across the country in lakes, ponds and rivers bass will start pairing up, males with females, creating the shallow spawning beds that will be their home throughout the process. During spawning season you can either fish for the bass pre-spawn (when the females are nice and fat carrying the eggs), or after (when the males are guarding the bass fry). This question is a little more challenging to answer. The bass move from their wintering pattern into prespawn, and from there, a large variety of spawns occur which dictate the bass activity for the rest of year. March 21, 2017 | Scott McGlinchey. May 13, 2015; By Dr. Hal Schramm This project chronicles the progression of the 2015 bass spawning season from south to north. Early spring is one of the easiest times to catch largemouth bass. However, they are often circular, between twelve and twenty-five inches in diameter, and about six inches deep. The right way to fish this lure is, not your reel. Bass feed heavily prior to the spawning ritual because they know that during the 10 to 14 days of spawning they will not feed at all. Bass fishing on north Alabama lakes like Smith, Guntersville and Pickwick is heating up as bass move into the shallows to spawn. USAngler.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. I like to throw the 09 size, which is right at 3 ½ inches. "The females are in the same general area, cruising around." Their chances to feed decrease, so the feeding requirements become less, too. These systems typically do not induce typical spawning cycles among fishes. While many people consider the bass spawn only to be the offspring of the fish, the process of it is a little more involved. The bass is a fish with a vast range of populations across the United States. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. Indeed, most tournament pros advise that if you struggle during the spawn, it’s best to save your money and skip the circuit. The reason for that is because after the bass emerges from their winter retreats, they are more likely to be hiding somewhere away from the cold weather that is still barraging them. Actually with the right conditions, March is still the beginning of the spring season all throughout Alabama. Required fields are marked *. The wrong way is something you’ll see on your local lake all too often: treating a jerkbait like a crankbait. Once the water rises to more than 60 degrees, you can be pretty sure that the females will join the males, and the actual spawn will begin. When do bass spawn? The spawning of smallmouth bass usually occurs in April and May. different rubber worms you fish for bass with, bass goes down into deeper, cooler waters, Fishing off the Rocks (land-based) in the Bay of Islands: New Zealand. When do bass spawn? Then we’ll get to Kentucky and Barkley lakes. This question is a little more challenging to answer. Get out There and Start Fishing. The optimal temperature will be reached first in the southern parts of the country in early February and then work north throughout the spring months. This is significant because bass, crappie, and panfish will stay around their nests to guard them for several days after they spawn, while pike and walleye have an “All-About-Me” attitude and move away from their spawning site sooner. In Florida, bass spawn between January and March, with the southernmost lakes beginning the earliest. They will feed on almost anything you offer. Warm rain warms up a lake faster than air temperature. Swimbaits are very effective this time of year, because a bass is going to be looking for just about anything to bite, making a realistic swimbait a too-good-to-pass-up-snack for the hungry predator. This stage is the time that the females will leave the young with the fry for protection. This typically happens between March to May. You are likely to find them in almost any river or lake that you come across. Male crappie will be numerous, while female crappie may spawn more than once, with younger crappie feeding more on small crustaceans. The best bass fishing occurs during three seasons: Pre-spawn typically begins in April when water temperatures are near 60 degrees. Once you figure out how bass move through the spawning season, you will know how to locate bass in the spring. Spawn Season is Short and Sweet! Therefore, you need to get out on the water a few days to a week before the spawning season to allow for a slight change. It's during the spawning season, when smallies move shallower, that we Bassmasters have a shot at the biggest bronzebacks of the year. However, as the weather warms up, the bass goes down into deeper, cooler waters. Adult largemouth bass primarily consume other fish. They have a tendency to move from one place to another throughout the year but there is one season during which they become quite predictable and that is the spawning period. And generally, bigger bass spawn in deeper water. Spawning is primarily triggered by increasing water temperature and occurs mostly in May and June, but can extend from mid-April to July, depending on latitude—the further north, the later the spawn. The smallmouth bass is common in medium to large streams and in large, clearwater lakes throughout Wisconsin. On my home waters of Ontario’s Lake of the Woods, for example, more than two thirds of the bass harvest prior to 1996 occurred in spring, and many of those fish were large, guarding males. Share; … Vary the twitches–one, four, two, three–and don’t pull in a consistently straight line. how to capitalize on a fishing opportunity that doesn’t rely on a high feeding drive. In colder states this could differ a bit, but when the water is right, the bass will move in. With that increase in nutrients comes an increase in plankton; thus, come Shad, and the bass are never far behind them. After ice-out in late winter or early spring, bass begin moving from deeper areas where they spent the winter toward rapidly warming shallow waters. You have entered an incorrect email address! Pursuing Outdoors LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Male bass, the smaller of the species will start to prepare the spawning beds when the temperature is right. Before we go into the specifics of when bass spawn and where we will take a look at the life cycle of them, and what their feeding habits are. Yes, I’ve heard angler reports of bass spawning in cooler and warmer water. They will start to move up from deep water when the water temperature starts climbing above the 45 degree mark. The winter is the slowest time of the year for the bass. BASS SPAWN MAP - What Are Bass Doing In Your Lake Right Now. In this article, we will take a basic look at each of those stages and try to get a better understanding of when bass spawn and where. They provide excellent angling opportunities, grow to relatively large sizes, and spawn readily when environmental conditions are favorable. Most of the time, you’ll find these beds in very shallow water--just one to five feet deep. They will go to shallow and protected areas for spawning. These bait are absolutely fantastic. Life isn't fair. Largemouth bass spawn in the spring and it is the absolute best time of year to fish for them. It’s often the best time of year to see who has what it takes and who doesn’t. The same happens with fish that prefer cooler temps. When they do, the male will remain to guard them from predators like panfish, and it can take as long as two weeks for the fry to be ready to leave the nest. The bass spawn deeper as the water continually heats up. A good topographical map can be an important tool for predicting spawning beds, and if you don’t have good maps of where you fish, you really should! As all fish are cold-blooded, their metabolism will slow down at an equal rate to the temperature of the water. Bass spawning season lasts for about two months. During spawning season, crappie will spawn in up to six feet of water, usually behind protected coves, overhanding banks, shallow island areas, near flooded timber and brush, or submerged vegetation. There are very few requirements for bass to survive. Obviously, you’ll find male largemouth making their beds in the shallows, often in just feet of water. During spawning season, many fisheries usually close in order to increase the production of bass. In the springtime, after the long winter season where bass live deep and feed sparingly, they make their yearly migration into shallow bays and calm pockets to spawn. The differences in times that bass will spawn only comes with the prevailing temperature rises that depend on where you are in the world. During incubation, these eggs need oxygen to remain healthy. The food that they eat during this phase will also change to a high protein diet to allow the eggs to develop. They’ll hit this lure on the stop more often than not. That will give you a better view without having to take all of your fishing tackle out. The further south you go, the warmer the water will be so the bass will be further along in the spawning cycle. This page covers prespawn, spawn, postspawn, summer, fall, and winter activity. Read much more about catfish biting habits here. Putting It All Together. Spring is a magical season when it comes to bass fishing, and for good reason — there’s no better time to catch the bass of a lifetime than in the next couple of months on most reservoirs and river systems. However, the bass does not require that as they protect their eggs and young themselves. This page covers prespawn, spawn, postspawn, summer, fall, and winter activity. When winter ends and the water warms back up, bass feel the urge to spawn. On larger lakes, the water won’t warm consistently. The scale of the picture may not show the exact size of the nest. But for anglers with the right know-how, the spawn is a great season to target big fish in easy to reach areas. However, those “first-timers” will usually be around six to seven inches long at their first spawn. The bass season kicks off in the spring. The water temperature will be in the 45-52 degree range and the afternoon air temperatures will begin to warm t… Therefore, they will begin to feed frantically, trying to get enough nutrients to last them the 10-14 days that they will not eat. Members; 11,746 5 13,370 posts; Location Wandering Aimlessly My PB: Between 6-7 lbs Favorite Lake or River Anywhere I can drop a line. During mid-summer, the forage for the bass will expand into an open feeding frenzy. Bass prefer gravel, sand, mud, and rock bottoms for their nests, and the addition of some form of cover makes for a prime location. This is because the water is then at the ideal temperature of around 59 to 64F (15 to 18C). Both largemouth and smallmouth bass are very opportunistic and can do well in a variety of lakes, ponds, reservoirs, rivers and sloughs. By slonezp, April 25, 2012 in General Bass Fishing Forum. This mating ritual may be performed as many as four times in a single season, but two is the most common number. The bass season kicks off in the spring. Early season, pre-spawn bass action can be phenomenal — by far the best of the year. Bass spawn in relatively shallow water -- often only a few feet -- and typically build nests or beds near structures like rocks, logs, reeds, brush or weed beds. Among the attackers are salamanders and small turtles. However, they do not spawn anywhere across the U.S from July through January. When the water just hits this mark, the males will begin moving from deeper water into the shallows, where they’ll start to prepare their beds in expectation of interested females arriving a bit later. The spawn can test your skills as an angler. This helps egg development in females. The dept of those nests or beds can range between three to five feet deep. You can too. Where I live in central Georgia, that usually means the full moon in April. The ideal water temperature for the bass spawn is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 and 23.9 degrees Celsius). But many anglers struggle either because they don’t understand the spawn very well, or because they’re unsure how to capitalize on a fishing opportunity that doesn’t rely on a high feeding drive. Alternatively, if you pass the water regularly, you could always take a thermometer and check it when you pass. Therefore, they rely on the temperature changes, and they are much more proficient at that than the average person. In late winter and spring, mature striped bass move from the ocean into tidal freshwater to spawn. Waters reach these temps at different times of the year in different locations. Let’s take a moment to understand a little more about this ritual of a largemouth bass. If you run into a day where it’s apparent it could be spawn time on the waters, you are fishing just do some scouting and have a nice day out on the water. When the females drop their eggs and the males fertilize them, the eggs then settle to the stream bottom and stick to rocks, debris, brush, etc. That is what will trigger the bass to lay eggs. Bass, like many other animals, will go through a process of steps that we can call the spawning stage. Then there will be those fishless days when anglers leave the lake just scratching their heads in disgust. It is the easiest time to catch bass. Whether you rig this bad boy weedless to work heavy cover, or just rig it with a wide-gap hook and harass males protecting their nests, its irresistible action, flavor, and smell are really effective. However, early spring weather is unpredictable, and as the water temperature in the shallows fluctuates from day to day, bass will move back and forth between shallow and deep water. However, Here is a short guide for you: February – March. 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