Spawning is an important milestone in the life of the largemouth bass. To that end, the bass will travel for miles and cross unknown terrains until it finds the right spot to spawn. But what is that right spot? And when does the bass spawn? Also, how do you take advantage of that activity to catch the largemouth bass?
These questions and more are the subject of this post. Read on to find out when and where largemouth bass spawn and what strategies to employ to catch the bass at this time.
Although the largemouth bass prefers cold-temperature water where oxygen is plentiful, spawning is a different matter. It will only start migrating to the spawning spots when the water temperature rises above 45 degrees. It’s their cue to move up from the depths and swim toward the shallows.
By the time the water temperature has gone above 55 degrees F, the bass is ready to spawn. As long as the water stays below 65 degrees F, the spawning process continues uninterrupted. However unforeseen weather conditions might tip the water temperature above 65 degrees F or below 55 degrees. The bass would take a break from their exhausting task and withdraw to seek food. They will resume once the temperature is ideal.
Spawning is a golden opportunity for every angler to catch the largemouth bass. This is the time when a large number of the bass congregate to one spot and get busy. The endeavor is often both tiring and time-consuming. And it’s not rare for the bass to get busy eating before they go back to spawning.
Broadly speaking, the largemouth bass will start spawning in the spring. The exact time varies depending on the weather conditions and the water temperature in the lake or river. If the water warms up quickly, the fish will move swiftly to their spawning spots and get down to it without delay. But in cooler regions in the north, the bass will only start spawning in the late spring or even early summer.
So while there’s no definite answer to the question of when exactly do largemouth bass start spawning, you can use the water temperature as your guideline. Once the temperature hits 55 degrees and stays below 65 degrees F in the shallow, that’s the time for the bass to spawn.
Where Do Largemouth Bass Spawn
If determining the time of spawning for the largemouth bass is not straightforward enough, locating its spawning spots is even trickier. Not only because this bass is tricky, crafty, and cautious, but also because it will stop the spawning process at the drop of a hat and hide if it senses any danger. That said, there are some spots that are sure to attract the spawning bass. Here’s the lowdown of these spots.
Whether you’re fishing in a lake or a river, always look for spawning bass in the shallow waters. A gravel bed, sandy creek, or cove are all ideal spots for the bass to come together. And you won’t even have to be on a boat to spot them. You can see the fish spawning from the bank if the water next to the shore is not deep and has the right conditions to spawn.
However, you’ll need to approach the fish slowly and try not to disturb the waters. As we said, the fish will bolt at the first sign of danger. Another consideration is the regulations in your area regarding catching spawning bass. Most states would allow you to catch bass during spawning only if you release the fish afterward.
If you can’t find the fish spawning in their expected spots, don’t give up too quickly. Chances are the bass got spooked and moved to other areas where they’re less likely to be disturbed. Transitional areas are good places to find the busy fish. These are areas between shallow and deep waters. Since not all the bass in the lake can move to one flat shallow spot, some bass will make do with transitional areas which are less crowded.
Another alternative spot is where weeds grow densely next to the shallow spots. The vegetation offers good coverage to the shy fish where it can dart into the open shallows then back into hiding.
Related read: Interesting largemouth bass facts
Now that you know when and where to go looking for spawning largemouth bass, the question is how to catch them. Provided that you’re not breaking any fishing laws in that state, there are some strategies and techniques you can apply to catch a large bass in the act of spawning.
- Use the right lure for the right spot. If you’re fishing on a spawning bed, then you can use a flipping jig, a bladed jig, or a swimbait.
- Combine the flipping jig with a craw trailer.
- The swimbait should be the same color as bluegill.
- If you’re fishing in alternative spots, use shad-style crankbaits or squarebill crankbaits.
- Try to move slowly and fish slowly so as not to spook the spawning bass.
- If you want to move into the water, do so gently and with minimal movements. Avoid making any splashes or disturbing the surface of the water too much.
Here are a few expert tips to help you catch largemouth bass while spawning.
- Go fishing early in the spawning season since the large fish start spawning before the smaller ones.
- Mark a few likely spots on the map before you start the journey. If you don’t find them in one shallow spot, they might well be in another one.
- The spawning bass is too busy to feed so try to irritate them enough to get them to strike.
- Always keep your eye on the fish, not on the bait. That’s the key to irritating the bass and invoking a reaction that leads to a bite.