Hey everybody, hope your fishing is starting to pick up with the warmer temperatures. Today’s blog is covering the spawning behavior of Largemouth Bass and my favorite tactics to target and catch them.
Largemouth Bass enter the spawning phase when water temperatures get above 58 degrees Fahrenheit. When they start the phase the males find a suitable location for a “bed” to be fanned out with their tails, a bass bed is a cleared out area where the female bass lays her eggs. Once the water temperatures have been above the 60-65 degree mark consistently the females males find female bass and guide them to the beds and try to coerce them into laying the eggs in the bed he has made. The males are generally smaller than females and the two can be cleanly distinguished by the size difference around the beds.
Targeting the spawning bass-
During the spawning stages is when the most aggressive and territorial behavior comes out of these fish. Instead of throwing fast moving baits around the bed’s it is better to throw slow moving Soft plastics resembling lizards, small fish and crawfish. The bass see these lures as threats to their eggs and will do one of two things, eat the lure as a reaction strike, or literally use their heads to push the lure away from the eggs. After the females lay their eggs they hang around for a little while but will move back to the deeper water and the eggs are left to be defended by the smaller males. If you’ re consistently catching small to medium sized bass around beds that means the females are holding on the deeper structure in around 4-7 feet of water.
My favorite ways to target spawning bass-
#1 Plastic Frogs/ Top water lures-
The male bass will give reactions strikes by the beds and the hungry females will come up from the 4-7 foot range to feed on the surface lures.
#2 Soft Plastics-
My favorite soft plastics to target spawning bass are Lizards and Flukes in two colors, Watermelon Red Flake, and Baby Bass colors. Working the lures over the beds will catch the males and the females will be staging around submerged structure feeding on small fish and other food sources.
#3 Spinner Baits-
The spinner bait approach doesn’t really catch the males guarding the beds; it is used as a slow rolling lure to cover large areas of water to find the large females in the 4-7 foot deep range.
I hope this post helps you understand the bass behavioral process in the months of April may and early June. Good luck fishing and come back Monday to see video from my first kayak fishing trip of the year in search of bass and crappie.