Spring Fishing Season
After a long winter and in the early spring, bass will start moving out of deeper water where they spent the winter into warmer, shallower water. However, during the spring, the weather is often unpredictable and changes constantly. When the weather gets cold again, the bass will move back into the deeper water. So you can usually expect, depending on the weather, the bass to be moving back and forth between the shallows and deep water depending on the water temperature. Keep in mind, northwestern shorelines will have the warmest water.
In addition to the warmer water temperature, the spring is also time for the bass to spawn and will determine their locations. Bass can be found in different areas depending on if they are in before spawn, spawn, or after spawn. During the spring pre-spawn, with water temperatures in the low 50° F. range, largemouth bass will be staging up on drop-offs and shoreline breaks near spawning areas.
The spring spawn is many angler’s favorite time of year to fish for largemouth bass. During this spring spawn, when water temperatures are in the upper 50’s to 70° F range, bass will usually be in water less than 4 ft. deep. Look for areas in coves and tributary arms that are protected from the wind and where the sun can warm their eggs.
During the post-spawn in the spring, when water temperatures are in the low 70° F. range, the bigger female bass will retreat back to the nearby drop-offs not too far from the spawning area to recover. The smaller males will stay around the nest to guard the newly hatched fry.
Summer Fishing Season
Fishing for bass in the summer can sometimes be very tough, as the days are longer and water temperatures can be over 75° F. As the water heats up, the bass will feed in the shallows in the morning and evening, but during the day will go to deeper structure with good cover or stay shallow under shaded cover. The best times to fish in the summer are the early morning, and late afternoon, as the fish are much more active. Cloudy days and fishing at night can also be very productive. Weeds are fully grown during the summer, and many bass will love to hide in them. These weed edges can be very productive fishing as well.
Cooling temperatures are the highlight of fall. Once the water temperatures start to cool down later in the year, bass will move into shallower water in order to feed and start preparing for the winter. The bass will gorge on baitfish in the fall. Oh yea, it’s game on! Find the baitfish and you will find the bass! Look for points, humps, backs of coves and tributary arms for bass chasing baitfish. This is a great time to catch them, and there are fewer anglers on the water, during this time of year as well. Try targeting the shallower waters and points where the water drops into deeper zones to catch these feeding bass that are trying to stock up and prepare themselves for the winter.
During the winter, it is usually much harder to catch bass. When temperatures are below 50°, largemouth will slow down and stop exerting as much energy. Look for steep bluffs where bass can move up and down in the water column, or look for channel ledges and deeper points. Find where the bass are hiding and you can stand a chance at catching them this time of year.
If the temperature is anything below 45° F, I find bass on my favorite video channel and learn as much as I can until early spring!
Largemouth bass fishing is a great pastime that can easily be enjoyed year-round. While most anglers will have their favorite time of year to fish, by doing a little homework and learning where the bass are during certain times of the year, you can easily catch more fish no matter the weather or the season.
Tight Lines - BassmanJohn
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