Three Stages of Spawning Bass

By Jay Striker

When it comes to springtime bass fishing, one of the factors to consider is the stages in which the bass naturally follows. The pre-spawn, spawn, and post-spawn are stages that bass goes through each year. It is essential to note that these stages are actually migration routes that lead to the successful transition of what bass do to ensure future bass populations’ success. However, during these times of the year, bass fishing can be a challenge to many anglers. Let’s dig a little deeper and look at some of the things that make an angler successful during these times.

The pre-spawn phase can be one of the most challenging times of the year to fish. However, it can also be one of the easiest ways to determine where the fish are on the lake. Pre-spawn for bass means that the fish are getting ready to move up from their winter haunts and start migrating toward the back of the creeks. The places I look for this time of year are main creek channels that have channel swings. I look for the cover that is near the entrance of the cove near deep water. If some type of structure is there, then that’s even better. It could be a dock or a secondary point that will allow the fish to stage before moving further back into the shallow water to spawn.

The spawn phase is when the fish have moved back into the shallow water and started the mating season. The water temperature signals to bass that it’s time to move onto the beds and start the spawning season. One sure way to catch a bedding bass in spawning season is to use baits that mimic things that eat the bass eggs, such as bluegills and lizards. Using these baits is sure to get the attention of a bass that is guarding a nest.

Post-spawn phase has the fish moving back out of the shallows to deeper water so that the recuperation process starts. After a female bass lays her eggs, she is ready to rest and then begin feeding to replace a lot of the energy that has been depleted. Catching these fish can be a challenge; however, they can be caught. To find these fish, you have to look for deeper water, and usually out near the main channel breaks near the spawning grounds. I have caught many of the post-spawn fish on Carolina rigs and jigs over humps and ditches.

One of the most essential keys to fishing the three spawning phases is that you will have to cover water as the fish can move quickly. It is not uncommon to see bass on the beds one day, and the next day they are gone. There will be days when the bass are spooky, and as soon as you get near one of the beds, the fish darts away. Be patient during this time of year as the three phases can be a great time to catch fish and also one of the most frustrating times. Tight Lines!

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