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Bass spawning period requires some preparation time for this species as they find a mate, build their nest area, and then lay the eggs at the bottom of the water body. When do fish spawn? To know the answer, I should know how the bass lifecycle works and what the favorable spawning factors are.
When Do Bass Fish Spawn?
Bass fish spawn in late April to early June when the water temperature is between 62⁰ Fahrenheit and 78⁰ Fahrenheit. In areas where the water temperatures are between the ranges of 62⁰ Fahrenheit and 78⁰ Fahrenheit in spring, bass will spawn in spring.
The spawning period for every fish depends upon its location as well. Once you know the area and the nature of bass, you will know where to fish for bass in spring and early summer. The pre-spawn begins with the male fish preparing the nest in a protected shoreline or muddy and sandy areas.
These bass circle the nest as they look for a mate. Spawning begins when the female bass lays eggs in the nest. After spawning, the females leave the eggs, and the male bass guard the eggs and fry. This last phase is called the post-spawn period.
Where Do Bass Spawn?
Water temperatures are essential for spawning bass, and therefore, it is natural for them to look for a spot where sunlight reaches and the water is warmer. However, in clear waters, there is a risk of predators attacking the eggs.
Bass moves to the depth of the lake where the water temperature is favorable since water clarity allows the sun rays to reach deeper, and the muddy nesting beds can be guarded more easily to ensure that the eggs or fry remain safe from predators and grow.
The sun’s warmth keeps the eggs incubated and male bass efficiently select the most favorable spot to prepare the bed immediately after the end of the winter season. The bass will clean up the spot designated as the spawning nest and cleans it with its tail. A circular area with a diameter of almost twice its length is prepared.
Bass Fishing During Spawn
Bass anglers love the adventure and thrill linked to this sport, and as spawn fishing can be tricky, they like to plan a trip during the spawning months. If you are located in the northern states, this time will be from early April till June.
If you are in the warmer, southern states, you can fish during the spawning season starting from March. In lakes, focus your fishing in or around the warm pockets so that you can capitalize on successful catches. The most active bass will be around these pockets.
However, the correct use of lures during the pre-spawn, spawn, and post-spawn phases will be helpful in attracting fish more quickly. Secondary points and lake beds are a good focus for anglers, although you will find many females swimming in shallow waters to look for food.
Tips for Fishing During Spawn
Bass spawning period is a unique time to fish, presenting anglers with plenty of opportunities to bag a good catch. During this period, bass have a limited range of movement because they are busy guarding their nests, so they are likely to eat anything if aggravated enough.
They also get more territorial during this period, making them much more active and easier to catch. Despite these advantages, catching them while they spawn will still require some amount of hard work. Below are some tips to consider when fishing bass during the spawn:
Bass will spawn at different locations and times, depending on the temperature and weather conditions. This is why it is essential to identify the locations where the fish are likely to nest before casting.
It is advisable to pay attention to warmer, shallower water areas that receive ample sunlight, as the fish would want to keep their eggs warm and properly incubated while spawning. In addition, bass prefer to nest in less windy areas because these calm areas enable them to keep the eggs together and protect them from predators easily.
Some specific areas to which you should pay attention include the backs of creeks, coves, gravel flats, and areas far from strong currents and sandy openings around shoreline vegetation.
Approach and Presentation
Patience, stealth and control are valuable strategies that will significantly increase your chances of getting a fish bite, especially during spawning season when bass are more sensitive. Also, ensure to position your boat a reasonable distance from the nest but close enough that you can observe their nest and behavior.
When approaching, move carefully to avoid spooking them. The goal is to entice and aggravate the fish protecting the nest by making multiple casts. If the water is clear and you have a good view of the nest, then it is advisable to employ the dropshot technique. This way, you get to leave your bait right in their midst.
However, if the water is not clear enough, fishing with topwater lures or slowly jigging the lure around spawning areas instead of heavy action are usually more effective.
One of the benefits of fishing bass, while they spawn, is that they are more likely to eat anything that comes their way since they lack the opportunity to hunt for food for themselves. This gives you a great deal of flexibility in your bait and lure selection.
However, you still need to pay particular attention to certain factors while choosing, such as water clarity. When fishing in clear waters, lighter natural-looking lures are better to avoid spooking the fish. However, if you are fishing in muddy water, you should use baits with solid colors like orange or white because they are easier to see.
Generally, experts advise anglers to use baits like jigs, drop shot rigs, texas rigs, and spinnerbaits when fishing for bass during spawn.
Quality fishing gear is essential to bass fishing, regardless of the fishing season, because it significantly impacts the success of the fishing expedition. Since bass spawn in warm weather, wear comfortable and light protective gear so you can relax patiently without spooking the fish.
Also, make sure you use sturdy fishing lines with a pound test strong enough to handle the increased aggressive behavior of the fish. You should also have a good pair of polarized sunglasses to block out horizontal light waves bouncing off the water surface and improve your vision into the water to see the nesting beds.
How to Hook a Nesting Bass
The male bass that guards the nest will not be willing to leave their spot for a small fish swimming away from it. Anglers must focus on trying different lures in the various places to attract hungry females coming up for a bite. You can also aim to catch the guarding males by using bright-colored lures with contrasting bodies.
The male bass knows its duty of guarding the eggs. Therefore, it will attack any small fish lurking around, thinking that it is trying to eat the eggs. You will get a hooked bass even if the lure seems to be an egg predator.
Sight fishing is a famous technique to fish for bass during the spawning season. Anglers can walk around the edge of the lake and locate shallow water nests. However, since bass fish may be able to see you, it is better to look for dug-up nests and then look out for the shadows of bass.
Some Related Questions
What Is the Best Time to Fish for Bass?
Bass fishing season is on all year round, however, if you want to fish some big bass, you should plan your trip around dawn or dusk when the lighting is low. Bass is an active species, and if it sees anglers or the line lowered into the water, they will not come near.
Which Lure Do You Use During Spawning Season?
You can use bed fishing baits such as:
– Flipping jig
– Worm tubes
– Carolina rigged craw
– Bladed jig
These lures can reach the bottom of the water and are available in various colors to look like real bait fish that will attract spawning bass.
Before setting out for a bass fishing trip, it is best to know about the fish so that you know where to find them and maximize your chances of success. When do bass fish spawn? The answer to this can unlock the most favorable timings for a thrilling and tricky bass fishing adventure.