The survey is coordinated by the U.S. Like many species, the end of winter means it's time to mate. But this winter has been a lot colder than recent years so I'm guessing the spawn may be pushed back a little. From there, the eggs are fertilized and hatched. The male fans a nest that is 2-3 feet in diameter and 6 inches deep in 1-4 feet of water. The best pre-spawn bass fishing lures at the point just prior to spawning are reaction baits. The Bass Spawning Season. The entire process can take as little as 3 weeks in some spots! There are 4 main time periods during the spawn that are important to know. Therefore, not all bass will spawn at the same time. But in years of low water, such as 1985 and 1986, striped bass do not migrate as far upstream to spawn. When the water starts to warm to 60-65 degrees bass will start moving up on to beds, so look for beds. Return to Bass Family Home This helps egg development in females. When does Pennsylvania bass season open? Let’s break down the key factors that effect when bass move up to spawn. For smallmouth bass, the best spots are Allegheny River, Clarion River, Delaware River, French Creek, Juniata River, Lake Erie, Lake Wallenpaupack, Susquehanna River and Youghiogheny River. Alaska: In Alaska the carp population is too small or non-existent, so no real carp spawn times are available to report or document. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. They spawn in shallow bays, backwaters, channels and other areas protected from wind on firm bottoms of sand, gravel, mud or rock. Generally, the Northwest side of lakes and the upper areas of reservoirs warm up first. This is the most unpredictable time of the year but once you find the fish, they are usually good ones. The first day of bass fishing season in Pennsylvania is a Saturday in mid-June, according to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. Some people assume that the females move directly to their summer schooling areas but this is not the case. These same areas will be used before they move to the summer areas in 4-7 feet of water; they may also move to the summer areas but will suspend rather then use the bottom. Pennsylvania is home to many popular game fish, including trout, bass, musky, walleye, steelhead, panfish and many more! Below, is a template that you can simply take and apply to any lake/river/creek in your region….. when certain variables align and push those bass towards the areas where they are going to spawn. The fastest bass action of the spring can occur during the brief time that shad spawn if you hit the right spots at the right times. Ditches, canals or other structure at the mouth of a creek arm or bay. Have there been several days of consistent temperatures and patterns or has it been one front after another moving through the area. You may still see the smaller males guarding the nests, but the females have moved off. When you are trying to target the females that are on the bed, I like to use big worms or creature baits like crawfish and lizards. And as the season progresses, when bluegill bedding is observed in multiple main lake areas (not just protected bays and canals), then the bass spawn is nearly over. Largemouth bass spawn in spring and early summer, when water temperatures remain at 60 degrees for three days. During the prespawn, crappie often will hold on these brush shelters on points that lead into creeks where they’ll spawn. The first stage is called the pre-spawn stage, when bass move toward shallow flats from their deeper wintering areas. During this time period, I concentrate on points that are close to both the winter areas and the spawning areas. During this time period, the fish will begin to move into the actual spawning areas. New rule pondered for Susquehanna and Juniata rivers Harrisburg – Approaching the April 11-12 meeting of the Pennsylvania Board of Fish & Boat Commissioners, agency staff has recommended that the commission "go back to the closed season" during the mid-April to mid-June, smallmouth- bass-spawning period on the lower Susquehanna and Juniata rivers. In Pennsylvania, for example, the bass harvest season closed on April 13. Several females lay their eggs – 2,000-7,000 per pound of body weight – into the nest. The male builds a 14- to 30-inch diameter nest, usually in 3-4 feet of water, by fanning a depression of in gravel or sand with its fins. For the most part, nests will accumulate at … When do bass spawn? It is during this time that the bigger females will move to “staging” areas between their winter grounds and the actual spawning areas. Arizona: Carp in Arizona spawn from February to August 1st. Bass feed heavily prior to the spawning ritual because they know that during the 10 to 14 days of spawning they will not feed at all. All of these things help to determine where the fish is in its spawning cycle. Care of their nests, eggs and young is the responsibility of the male. Prime spawning temperatures for bass are 55-65 degrees. In a small pond, this could be 30 feet. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/21). For most avid smallmouth anglers, it doesn’t change a whole lot because catch and immediate release has become the norm. The optimal temperature will be reached first in the southern parts of the country in early February and then work north throughout the spring months. This points out once again, the impact river flow can have on spawning migration (p. The spawning area must have direct access to the sun's rays, so look for shallow flats protected from rough water. © 2021 Advance Local Media LLC. Species Feature Pages Index of feature pages of individual species (trout, bass, etc. They rise up and form a school above the nest, where the male will guard them for a month or so. Bass want to get away from the current. Without similar assistance, their close relative, the spotted bass, continues to occupy only the Ohio River drainage in Pennsylvania. Bass find a sturdy, hard bottomed area to build a nest to begin the spawn. The bass were coming off the beds, and Scroggins found them on cypress trees in 4 to 6 feet of water just outside backwater spawning ponds. Also, take in to account what time of the year it is, early spring is different then early summer. Bass season. It’s this postspawn period, prior to the fish setting up on established summertime areas, that throws a monkey wrench into bass … 44)." Along with water temperature, spring largemouth location is driven b… In a large lake or reservoir, this could be as much as a mile or more (farther for smallmouth and spotted bass). Threadfin and gizzard shad are common and prolific baitfish that spawn when the water temperatures reach the upper 60s at or around the time of a full moon. These transition areas can be very productive this time of year. From mid-April through mid-June, anglers may fish for bass, but must immediately release any that they catch. In Pennsylvania, spotted bass are found only in the Ohio River drainage and are most abundant within 20 miles of the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers. Water temperature is important for the spawn. The next important time period for the Largemouth Bass is the Pre-Spawn. Some states prohibit targeting bass during the spawn. Female bass are generally larger than male bass of the same age. If you are not sure what stage of the spawn the Largemouth Bass is in, you need to eliminate water while you determine where the fish are at. HACKER: The 53 to 55 degree range is magic for big prespawn fish at Pickwick. From humble beginnings, isolated in western Pennsylvania, largemouth and smallmouth bass have spread across the entire state, with a lot of help from humans. They seldom spawn on a thick layer or silt. The fish will begin to scatter a bit and the smaller males will begin to build the nests. In especially clear water, nests may be built in water that is 20 feet or deeper. Commonly, areas having direct access from sunlight are chosen by males. These types of lures will trigger more of a reaction bite then smaller baits that may just be pushed out of the nest by these female fish. Bass typically spawn during spring when waters near the shoreline reach 63- to 68-degrees and remain within this temperature range for several days. They grow throughout their lives, which average 10-12 years for smallmouth bass and about 16 years for largemouth bass. So when searching for a good fishing area, start by looking for heavy cover in shallow areas off the main river. The official start of bass season in Pennsylvania is June 16th, 2012. The success of that maneuver led other private citizens to do the same in the Susquehanna and Schuylkill rivers, and elsewhere across Pennsylvania. For largemouth bass the spawn is coming up. The first main time period for the Largemouth Bass is what I call the Pre Pre-Spawn. The water temperatures will begin to warm to 52-54 degrees. However, they are very different from the smallmouth, largemouth and spotted basses, which are the species covered by the fishing season that opens in mid-June. A change last year to align regulations with New Jersey rules is more conservative with respect to harvesting bass during the spawning period. Return to BestBassFishingInfo Home, © Copyright 2009 - 2012 BestBassFishingInfo.com. The spawn occurs when the water temperatures reach the upper 50s and low 60s and you have a full moon. The water temperature will now be 58 degrees or higher and this is when the bigger females will move into the freshly built beds. Anglers knew what to do as the fish went through the prespawn and actual spawn, but 10 days later these same anglers can be confused, zipping from one spot to the next like water bugs. ­Because bass are so abund­ant, their choice of spawning grounds is quite basic. Largemouth and smallmouth bass regularly live in the same rivers and lakes, but in different habitats within those waters. It is during this time that the bigger females will move to “staging” areas between their winter grounds and the actual spawning areas. When bass decide to spawn is a hard question to answer, as it can be different depending on the body of water and the geographical location. All rights reserved (About Us). Bass will search for a place where it is safe for spawning when the water temperature increases from 55 to 65 degrees. The important thing to remember about pre-spawn and spawning periods; however, is that in some states bass fishing season may be closed. Depending in the size of the female, one female can lay … Cancerous tumor confirmed on Susquehanna River smallmouth bass, The backstory on that bass with the cancerous tumor, Improvements in Susquehanna and Juniata bass. The fish generally reach maturity at 3 or 4 years. Again, water temperature plays a big role in what early spring bass fishing lures are … Others allow it, but on a strict catch and release basis. There are 4 main criteria that I use to figure this puzzle out. By paying attention to the water and your surroundings, you can quickly find the fish and have a leg up on the guys who are still searching. This spot is usually within 10 feet of shore in depth ranging from 1 to 6 feet. Fish and Wildlife Service, with the U.S. Census Bureau collecting the data through computer-assisted interviews. This is a good time to catch a giant fish at Dale Hollow - I'm convinced the biggest ones move in first to find the choicest spawning areas. However, anglers have been freely fishing for bass all year. And finally, watch the weather. The smallmouth bass carries the nickname of “bronzeback” for the bronze cast across its back. Bass anglers can lose focus after the fish leave the beds. The warming influence of tributary streams at the upper end, away from the dam, and the current movement in the lower end near the dam, get the bass fishing going early. BASSMASTER: Do smallmouth "stage" or hold for a period of time in deeper water adjacent to spawning areas the way largemouth do? When the water consistently reaches 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6 degrees Celsius), the male bass will move toward spawning ground. As the water warms above 50 degrees, bass change their primary forage to a high-protein diet. The largemouth bass is often referred to as “bucketmouth” because of its large, gaping mouth. The one factor that most influences spawning activity is water temperature. Pre-Spawn: As spring advances, bass start preparing for the spawning season. At least we don’t have to worry about accidently taking spawning fish off their beds. There has been much speculation about the reason or reasons for that, but nothing has been proven conclusively. We use the word “bass” in the names of other species, like the striped bass (Morone saxatilis) and white bass (Morone chrypsops), which are part of the temperate bass family (Moronidae). You'll know it's post spawn when you stop catching fish. MIGRATION ROUTE – This is an underwater path or highway that the majority of the bass will take between their deep wintering areas and their shallow spawning grounds. They transition to summer locations at various speeds but hang out on flats mostly. Larger bass spawn first each spring. Technically, that’s true. By 1925, bass were spread widely enough across the state that the newly created Pennsylvania Board of Fish Commissioners included them among the first daily creel limits set in the state. Several females deposit their eggs – 2,000-7,000 per pound of body weight – into the nest, which the male than guards until they hatch 2-9 days later. The spawn seems to last longer in the southern United States then it does in the northern states. The smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) and spotted bass (Micropterus punctulatus) are members of the sunfish family (Centrarchidae), which also includes these Pennsylvania species: mud sunfish, rock bass, black-banded sunfish, blue-spotted sunfish, banded sunfish, redbreast sunfish, green sunfish, pumpkinseed, warmouth, orange-spotted sunfish, bluegill, longear sunfish, redear sunfish, white crappie and black crappie. Alabama: In Alabama, carp spawn between early spring and mid-summer in waters up to 6 feet deep. The first introductions of the species outside its native range came after the construction of the Erie Canal in 1825. Another thing to look for is warm water. The females are generally larger than males of the same age. Scroggins Texas rigged a 6-inch green pumpkin Houdini Worm with a 3/0 hook and pinched a … The eggs hatch in about 10 days and the young bass will stick to the bottom of the nest until their yolk sacs are absorbed, about a week. These females prefer to suspend on some type of object like a brush pile or a rock pile or maybe one big boulder. It depends on water temperature where you are fishing. According to the commission, Pennsylvania’s best fishing spots for largemouth bass are Canonsburg Lake, Cross Creek Lake, Green Lick Reservoir, Hamilton Lake, Lackawanna Lake, Lake Greeley, Lake Wilhelm, Marsh Creek Lake, Nockamixon Lake, Pinchot Lake, Presque Isle Bay of Lake Erie, Raystown Lake, Shohola Marsh Reservoir and Yellow Creek Lake. The coming of the railroad enabled a faster and wider spread of the species to the new waters. The type of water you are fishing, lake, river, pond, reservoir or stream. Through mid-April the daily creel limit on bass is four, each at least 15 inches in length. This stage can last anywhere from 1 or 2 days to 1 to 2 weeks depending on the water and the area you are in. Smallmouth bass spawn in May through early June, when water temperatures are in the 60- to 70-degree range. You also need to pay attention to what the water is doing. And once the bluegills do start bedding, understand that many female bass have laid their eggs and left the spawning grounds, but more should still be on the way. However, early spring weather is unpredictable, and as the water temperature in the shallows fluctuates from day to day, bass will move back and forth between shallow and deep water. The state record largemouth bass is an 11-pound, 3-ounce fish caught in 1983 in Birch Run Reservoir in Adams County by Donald Shade, of Waynesboro, according to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. Top 3 Baits to Use for Pre-Spawn Bass Fishing in Pennsylvania Lakes As the lakes begin to heat up during the spring, bass begin their cycle ultimately ending with the spawn. Usually, lakes do not warm up constantly that is why it is worth noting that bass will not spawn at the same time. Smallmouths prefer areas with rocky bottoms and structure, deeper water and stronger currents than largemouths, which are almost always found in areas with aquatic weeds, soft bottoms, stumps and downed logs, and rarely deeper than 20 feet. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission continued their work this year of monitoring the success of the spawn in hopes that conditions will be perfect to produce a boost in smallmouth bass populations in the Susquehanna River. After ice-out in late winter or early spring, bass begin moving from deeper areas where they spent the winter toward rapidly warming shallow waters. They’ll look for backwaters where there’s less current so they can build a nest. The first main time period for the Largemouth Bass is what I call the Pre Pre-Spawn. When the water temperature reaches about 60 degrees, bass begin feeding heavily and move into shallower water to nest. Each type warms to spawning temperature differently. Key variables to have the best chances at finding bedding fish or fish during the spawning season. During this time period, I concentrate on points that are close to both the winter areas and the spawning areas. The next important time period for the Largemouth Bass is the actual spawn. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. The water temperature will be in the 45-52 degree range and the … My favorite bait during this time period is a Crawdad colored crank bait and I concentrate in depths of 7 feet to 10 feet of water. Here’s a look at much about the fish that you might not know. It's the time just before bass spawning season when the bass move from their deep-water winter haunts and into the shallows to breed. It doesn’t re-open until June 16. This is when actual spawning begins. Females deposit eggs into roughly 3-foot diameter nests created by the males in shallow water. This is where you can target the bigger fish. Water Temperature By far the biggest factor in the spawning process for bass is water temperature. In Pennsylvania, bass were found only in the Great Lakes and Ohio River watersheds until the mid-1800s. Once again, a searching type bait is the best solution in this time period. Most bass will nest near dense cover such as brush tops, willows, cypress knees and stickups. It makes sense then, that the bass would go to shallow waters to prepare their nests. Technically, that’s true. The first day of bass fishing season in Pennsylvania is a Saturday in mid-June, according to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. Bass spawn begins when waters start warming up. When you see the males working on the nests, I like to pull off the area into 4-7 feet of water and look for the scattered females. The fish are part of the sunfish family. So, when you hit the water this spring, determine what stage of the spawn the fish are in and you will be well on your way to having a successful day on the water!!!! During this time period, the fish will be very object orientated and move toward the shallow side of any cover they can find in these spawning areas. Temperature, location and moon phase are the most important factors that affect bass spawning season. The black bass is the most popular gamefish among American anglers, according to the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. The water temperature will be in the 45-52 degree range and the afternoon air temperatures will begin to warm the shallow waters. Bass spawning season is very predictable, because bass do the same thing every year in three basic stages. The last stage of the Largemouth Bass Spawn is the Post-Spawn period. Sometimes bass fishermen build brush shelters at the mouths of creeks on points. I start my search at this stage of the spawn in the same areas that I found the females during the pre-spawn. ), which contain links to most of the web information we have about PA fish. These fish will still be feeding and I like to move a bit faster since the fish are scattered. Water temperature and moon phase. A fish is able to spawn after they've reached one year in age (they don't waste a lot of time) and exceeded 10 inches (25.4 centimeters) in length [source: Davis]. He will continue to guard the young fish until they leave the nest after another 5-6 days. When you hear bass fishermen reporting strikes on points with no success, more than likely they’ve had crappie instead of bass attack there. The bass spawn is when bass lay, fertilize, and hatch their eggs. If I am still not locating the fish, I will revert back to the pre pre-spawn points and look there. He bought 450 Potomac River smallmouth bass, moving them to and releasing them into the Delaware River near Easton. The state record smallmouth bass is an 8-pound, 8-ounch fish pulled from Scotts Run Lake in Berks County in 1997 by Robert Steelman, of Havertown. A private citizen, Thad Norris, launched the spread in Pennsylvania in 1870. Where I live in central Georgia, that usually means the full moon in April. Once bass spawning season starts you'll want to leave the fish alone, but before you do, here are 5 pre spawn bass … In recent years the winters have been warm(ish) and I have caught bass full of eggs around the middle to end of March and catching bass all spawned out by end of April and early May over here. If you take stock of the 4 criteria mentioned above and determine what stage the fish is in, you can have very successful days no matter where the fish are at. Those limits were 10 for bass, 25 for trout, 10 for walleye, 15 for pickerel and 3 for muskellunge. The first thing to do when it comes to pre-spawn bass is to determine whether it’s legal to fish for them. Return to Top of Largemouth Bass 2 Prior to 2000, fishing for bass was prohibited until mid-June. Is it rising, is it draining, does it have current or maybe the temperature is changing. Spring when waters near the shoreline reach 63- to 68-degrees and remain within temperature! That you might not know can target the bigger fish tops, willows, cypress knees stickups! Fishermen build brush shelters at the mouths of creeks on points and hatched 60-65 bass! Season is very predictable, because bass do the same areas that I found the females have moved off choice. 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