One of the best secrets to catching bass, or salmoides, is learning about the bass spawn cycle.
Largemouth bass can be hard to keep track of, but learning to determine when their spawning is will help make the fishing season a bit easier and also more fun for you.
They can sometimes be elusive, which is why knowing the spawn cycle improves your fishing.
But when do bass spawn? Bass spawn season varies across the country, but generally speaking, is between February and June.
Warmer areas will see spawning first while regions, where the temperatures are lower, will only see spawning later in the year.
Once you know everything you need to know, you’ll make for a more fruitful bass fishing season. These fishing tips will make the upcoming spawn season your best yet.
Anglers.com Community Coordinator Wes Littlefield explains the bass spawning season in this YouTube video.
- When Does the Spawning Season Start?
- What Is Spawning?
- What Conditions Do the Bass Spawn In?
- Where Do Bass Spawn?
- Bass Fishing During Spawning Season
- When Is Bass Season?
When Does the Spawning Season Start?
When do bass spawn? The spawning season depends not only on the time of year but also location and water temperature.
In the United States, the first areas to start seeing spawning are further south and can happen as early as February or March in Texas and Florida.
Locations farther north won’t see spawning until the summer months; those who might try fishing in the Great Lakes won’t see any spawning until May or June.
Those areas that have warmer water temperatures first will have spawning sooner.
The window for the whole country for bass spawning can be anywhere between February and June. Bass spawning includes the smallmouth, largemouth, and even the mean mouth bass, which is special to Texas.
What Is Spawning?
Spawning is a natural habit of largemouth bass that occurs every springtime when they come to shallow waters and make nests at the bottom of the lake, pond, or river.
The spawning season covers the time when bass lay, fertilize and then hatch their eggs.
Bass will monitor their minnows until they feel confident to leave the minnows on their own, which marks the end of spawning. Spawning duration depends on location; sometimes, it’s as short as three weeks.
Spawning is a special time for bass fishing because fishermen can find the bass easier than at other times in the year, and can play off of their instincts.
What Conditions Do the Bass Spawn In?
Bass spawn best when the water temperature is appropriate. Once the water temperature is consistently above 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the bass will begin to travel toward more shallow areas.
It can take time for the weather to become consistent, so it’s best to just watch.
Bass will travel between the deeper and shallow water areas to stay comfortable until the deep water and shallow water are similar temperatures throughout.
Shallow water is the easiest place for bass to make nests, so you’ll commonly find them close to the shore because it makes for a great spawning area.
Keep in mind other weather patterns – when spring rains start to filter in, you’re likely to see more activity as the bass receive more oxygen from the runoff and therein become more active and less lethargic.
Where Do Bass Spawn?
In the winter months, bass will move deeper and closer to the middle of the body of water.
Once things start warming a little more during the pre-spawn, they will start coming closer to the shoreline and building their nests or spawning beds.
Remember that the water temperature must be consistent – if it’s not, you won’t be able to find the bass where you think they’ll be.
Male bass will go seeking female bass, and in the meantime will start building spawning grounds. They’ll mate and lay eggs in these shallow waters; bass won’t return to deeper water until spawning ends.
You can also pay attention to the vegetation in the body of water – spots with lots of vegetation boast more sunlight, making it more comfortable for the bass.
Bass Fishing During Spawning Season
The Bass spawning season is a rather fertile time for bass fishing. Pre-spawn and during are the top times to find the bass, as they’ll stick close to their shallow water.
Pre-spawn and during spawning are popular times to fish and for good reason.
Not only is the bass found easier, but because the male bass enters a period of anorexia as they protect their young, live bait becomes even more attractive to them.
The instinct to protect their young overweighs the hunger of a pre-spawn bass, so fishing with live bait, shad, or other spinner bait is a successful way to break their fast.
Spinnerbait is also perfect for those shallow areas; you have to be careful that you don’t tangle them up in any weeds.
Lures like crankbaits and jigs used slowly across the very bottom of the water are ideal during the early-spring months.
While crankbaits are a little louder, lipless crankbaits are perfect at being sneaky in those beginning stages.
During spawn season, anglers count on top spring lures like Texas-rigged soft plastic bait.
This lure is perfect for dragging past the bedding fish because it appears natural enough, and the bass will also anticipate it being an easy catch.
One of the most important tips is to pay attention to the state of the water. If the water is murkier, you’ll save your more natural-looking baits for clear water.
During pre-spawn, spawn, and after spawning, you should stick to vibrant, bright colors so the bass can easily see them.
Post-spawn can feel like a letdown for fishermen, but bass can still be found.
Changing up the fishing routine by going earlier in the morning, at night, or during cloudy days are the best times to find that elusive bass past the spawning period.
Other fish like sunfish, crayfish, and bluegill often filter during this process to try to eat the eggs, so bass will linger to defend.
When Is Bass Season?
Now that you know the answer to “when do bass spawn?”, let’s talk about the bass season. Bass season is best described as pre-spawn and during the spawn.
This is because the bass is active around the same areas as they prepare to spawn and then finally do spawn.
Bass are extremely reluctant to leave their young, so you always know where to go to find them.
After the spawning season ends, it becomes a little harder to get bass to bite. Not impossible though.
If you use appropriate lures and aren’t afraid to venture to different spots on the lake or pond, you still have a fair chance to catch some of these freshwater fish.
One such proper lure is any of the soft plastics. Bass will tend to move into weedier areas, and embracing the use of a Texas rig makes that simple – you can toss it right in and not worry about getting tangled up.
See below answers to some common questions.
When do largemouth bass spawn?
Largemouth bass spawns at the same as other types of bass, between February and June depending on the region.
What temp do bass spawn?
Bass spawn in temperatures above 60ºF.
When is spawning season for bass?
Spawning season for bass is between February and June.
Where do bass spawn?
Bass spawn closer to the shoreline in shallow waters.
What time of the year do bass spawn?
Bass spawn during spring and summer.
So, when do bass spawn? Bass spawn in the Spring in most areas of the country with some dipping as late as early Summer.
As long as you know what factors to watch out for, such as water temperature and behavior patterns, and have an arsenal of tools, you’re off to a great start.
Spawning season is the time to embrace your live lures, shad lures, and all the stops.
Going fishing during this time is a fun challenge to test your fishing prowess and a great way to warm up for the rest of the fishing season.