The ever-growing popularity of bass fishing has raised the question, “How and when to engage in pre-spawn bass fishing?” Fishing for bass can be quite easy, depending on the spawning season.
But worry not; pre-spawn bass fishing is not difficult to master. The best time to catch bass is during the pre-spawn period.
Fishing is a fun activity due to its connection between man and nature. Read on to find out more bass fishing tips.
Master pre-spawn bass fishing after watching this YouTube video by Wesley Littlefield, the Anglers.com Community Coordinator.
What Are Pre-Spawn Bass?
There are several species of bass. Three of the most common are:
- Smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu)
- Spotted bass (Micropterus punctulatus)
- Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides)
There is also the butterfly peacock bass, speckled peacock bass, and the Papuan black bass.
Pre-spawn bass have not yet entered the spawning stage. Bass are typically considered in pre-spawn mode when they’ve begun to move shallow in early spring following the baitfish.
Pre-spawn bass are easy to catch because they are aggressive and on a heavy feeding spree near shallow waters.
The spawning period will begin based on the water temperature.
Catching pre-spawn bass poses no threat to the long-term survival of the species, as bass populations are at all-time highs and most anglers catch and release bass.
Understanding Pre-Spawn Bass
As I mentioned earlier, bass are moving shallow to start spawning. The spawn requires a lot of energy, so the females are feeding heavily, and the males are searching for and securing a nest.
Once the males have secured their nest they aggressively protect it from anything that might be a threat, including your lures.
The females are at their largest size of the year, which is another reason why so many anglers love fishing this time of year.
When Is Spawning Season for Bass?
When do bass spawn? Knowing this is key to ensuring your success as a bass angler.
Spawn season for bass begins when the weather starts to get warmer. This time of year will be at different periods across the country.
The spawning season will often be between February and June. The spawning season in Florida will be earlier than in the northern regions.
The best time to fish for bass is during the pre-spawn stage. The spawning season will involve bass moving to shallower waters to make nests, typically in 1 ½-3 feet of water, depending on the water clarity.
The fish will then use the nests as their habitat for laying, fertilizing, and hatching their eggs. The best time to fish for bass during spawning is in the morning.
When Is Pre-Spawn for Bass?
Pre-spawn is the time of year before the spawning season begins, which is likely in February or March. The period is usually at the end of winter or early spring when water temperatures have slightly increased.
Bass move to their spawning areas during the pre-spawn period.
The bass will move out of the deep water areas and make their way to shallower parts of the lake, river, or canal, away from clear water because the dirty water will be warmer.
The pre-spawn period ends when the bass begin to lay eggs in the nest. However, these periods can overlap depending on individual fish. So every single bass in the lake won’t be in spawn mode at the same time.
Where To Fish for Bass During Pre-Spawn
During the pre-spawn period, the bass move from the deeper waters. Thus, there is no telling where exactly you can find them.
It’s best to follow their food sources. You can use jigs, lipless crankbaits, and spinnerbaits around the spawning areas to catch big bass.
In murky water, you can use different colored lures, such as chartreuse crawfish colors, and soft plastic worms and swimbaits get excellent results.
Another place to fish for bass during pre-spawn is in warmer waters. This is why it is essential to be up-to-date with springtime weather conditions.
You can also fish for bass at primary points during the pre-spawn period.
Riprap, stumps, and laydowns tend to absorb more heat which causes the water around them to warm faster. I prefer to use chatterbaits and squarebill crankbaits in these areas during the pre-spawn.
You can find primary fishing points in vital staging areas, such as shallow areas of the water body, that easily connect with deeper, cold water parts of the main lake or river, such as a creek channel.
You can also fish for spring bass in backwater ponds.
Before fully understanding pre-spawn bass fishing, you will need to learn where this fish lives. You can find pre-spawn bass in almost all states countrywide. Ensure your temperature gauge on your fish finder is adequately set at all times to ensure a cold front hasn’t pushed the bass to deeper water.
Some of the states where pre-spawn bass fishing is best are:
- Alabama at river Coosa, Lake Guntersville, and Lay Lake
- Florida at Lake Tarpon, Lake Seminole, and the Everglades
- Georgia at West Point Lake
- California at Perris Lake
- Texas at Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn Reservoir
If you’re looking for peacock bass fisheries, the best place to go is South Florida.
Post-spawn bass fishing takes a little finesse approach because the fish are less active and more spread out.
Pre-Spawn Bass Patterns
Bass are very predictable creatures due to their spawning habits. The pre-spawn season begins by altering how bass behave.
The fish must feed more in preparation for their time at the spawning flats in the backs of coves and hard bottom types of cover.
Bass become more active as they look for food. Feeding is necessary because the bass have been inactive during winter and require a lot of energy to spawn.
This positively impacts fishing because it makes catching bass easier as they become more aggressive.
You can catch big fish during the pre-spawn period. The best place to throw your spring lures is on the shallow end of the body of water, where the water will likely be the warmest.
Fishing is one of the best recreational activities because it allows one to bond with nature.
Learning to fish for pre-spawn bass is relatively easy because the fish are near the bank in shallow water.
Bass fishing is something anyone can do because bass are reasonably predictable in their patterns. Once winter ends, get your fishing gear and go pre-spawn bass fishing, you’ll be sure to hook some good ones!