In the Spring bass fishing can be pretty predictable but its wise to have a few strategies up your sleeve to land bass during the spawn. There is nothing that will change the bass spawning behavior by catching them when they are in the spawning stages. Here are some tips and strategies for catching bass during the spawn and how their behavior is affected by it.
Periods of cold weather an delay the spawning in different areas and unusual hot weather will kick off them laying there eggs early as well. If there is a sharp change in water level due to heavy rains or a drought bass will tend to go deeper than usual.
There are 3 different spawning stages that the bass go through:
The first is the prespawn stage which is bass moving to their spawning grounds in large numbers and at this time they are very responsive to lures and live baits.
The 2nd stage is the spawning stage where the fish have actually created nests and have been in the process of laying eggs and fertilizing them. When they are in the actual spawning stage bass do not actively look for food but they will strike when threatened.
The final stage is the postpawn stage where the females swim away from their nest and go into a brief quiet unresponsive state. You will notice at this time the male bass will stay at the nesting site to watch over the newly hatched fish. They will come back from spawning and resume feeding very quickly.
While the depth of the water will determine where the bass will spawn the actual water temperature will determine when the largemouth bass spawn. This temperature of around 65% is when most of the spawning for bass takes place. Smallmouth bass like the water to be a little cooler around 60%.
If you are fishing a lake and are consistently catching 1 to 2 pound bass and 4 to 5 pound bass but never any 3 pounders then chances are that age class was eliminated for some particular reason.
In Florida largemouth bass may be on their nests as early as February or March. In Kentucky however its a little different circumstances and the mating behavior can hold off until May. The more northern states will be even later than that like June or so.
With the knowledge in hand of the particular temperature that these bass like to spawn in every professional angler should have a water temperature gauge and keep track of his/hers favorite lakes. Of course its smart to note that on any body of water that your fishing the northern coves, creek arms and shorelines will warm much faster on the south side of the lake. The reason is they get more warming springtime sun than other parts of the lake.
Its important to be very versatile when fishing for bass that are spawning. If you are in a tough postpawn in the northwester areas its smarter to try the southern side where you will find more bass still in the spawning zone.
If an angler is in the mist of a tough postspawn fishing the deeper part of the lake then you should automatically hit the shallow headwaters where the bass have finished the spawning and getting back to the normal Summer patters.
The largemouth bass in the spawning process as it begins the males will go to the shallow waters to find good nesting sites. How deep will these bass make their beds? Well this depends on the clarity of the water and how much sunlight penetration. There must be enough sunlight for the eggs to have an incubation process that the females will drop. Generally this is one to five feet deep.
Smallmouth bass spawning is a little different as they will be in deeper waters as the eggs don’t require as much sunlight. We have seen these depths to be as much as 22 feet deep!
In general largemouth bass like the bottom to be firm such as clay or hard packed sand. For every largemouth bed that you come across in the main lake shoreline you will find 10 in the back of quiet coves. When you are trying to locate these beds look for logs laying in the water, large rocks or standing timber is what they prefer making the beds easier to defend.
If you are fishing shallows during the prespawn and your only catching the small bass more than likely these are all males. Really target shoreline points and breaklines to catch the larger females.
The spawning of season of largemouth bass is pretty amazing and you can benefit by understanding how they act during this phase. Hopefully these articles give you some insight on how they act and what to look for. See you on the lake!