Bass will hold tight to the cover even when active. The lure needs to match the activity level and water conditions. Pre-spawn they will hold on drop-offs and points. The temperature needs to be lower than 80 degrees but 72 or lower is best. Males are generally smaller than females. They avoid waters with low oxygen levels. Areas with various sized rocks and gravel hold smallmouth. Your email address will not be published. The wacky, drop-shot and other plastics presented slowly and up off the bottom work. The majority of bass anglers practice catch and release. Southern Appalachian Anglers: What type of cover do smallmouth use to stage right before the spawn? If you are wade-fishing smaller to medium-size rivers, don’t be afraid to do some hiking to cover ground on foot. An exception to this rule is the spawn. Popular lures for this time of year are lipless crankbaits (pre-spawn), hard and soft stick baits, tube jigs, spinner baits and finesse worms. The temperature and oxygen levels have to be in the right range. This smallmouth bass spawn map is a helpful map for predicting the spawn. Southern Appalachian Anglers offers smallmouth bass guide trips from late February – early December. Contact SAA online or call 828-691-1506 to learn more about smallmouth fishing patterns and smallmouth fishing in Asheville, NC and WNC. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Do Smallmouth Bass Only Eat Small Baits? Actual spawning will take place at water temperatures of between 60° to 65°F. With their tendency to travel to deep water and hide behind rock ledges, trophy smallmouth can be a challenge to find. It could also lower the survival rate of smallmouth frye and affect a female smallmouth’s ability to lay a normal number of eggs. Finding the right elements together will allow you to catch more fish. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. For a short window of time, often just a few days, spawning fish will be extra-aggressive and will move 5 feet … He begins fishing each season when he notes area water temps approaching the mid-40s. After the feeding they move out and scatter seeking preferred habitat. This two … This can make deeper water inhabitable. Once the water warms up spinnerbaits and crankbaits are added to the lures being effective. Normally the male of both species will build a nest between two feet and twenty feet (normally in shallower depths), this nest will be built from sand and gravel, circular in size normally about twice the size of the male … Make sure to change color throughout the day, for they can be picky. Smallmouth bass are a popular recreational species in the United States. These will hold amazing numbers of smallmouth bass of several sizes. Smallmouths are curious. Smallmouth Bass: As the Eagles swoop down and grab a few of our nice sized smallies, it can take 3 to 5 years for these prized fighters to grow to maturity. Its a very shallow lake with rock flats, weed flats, and dropoffs. Your email address will not be published. They begin spawn in May and go to early June, often times it takes 60 to 70 degree water. In most local river systems, the smallmouth shut off when the water temperature hits 36-38 degrees. Post Spawn: Mid to end of June. The smallmouth in rivers and streams find a lot of preferred structure. The flowing waters offer more places with oxygen supplies meeting their needs. Dorsal fin … When water temperatures climb over 55 degrees make sure to keep a close eye on the full moon cycle. The moving water has more dissolved oxygen. Most articles report maturity is reached in the third or fourth year. The males begin creating nests when the water stabilizes at 55°F. In stained or muddy waters a lure needs to make sounds and vibrations. ﾠThe Susquehanna River right now needs help in getting its smallmouth bass population back on track on the main stem. Pre-Spawn Crappie Fishing 2019 – Simple Techniques To Catch Pre-Spawn SLABS! The first stage is called the pre-spawn stage, when bass move toward shallow flats from their deeper wintering areas. The slower retrieve lets the bass have time to catch the lure. Let’s break down the key factors that effect when bass move up to spawn. For more videos, visit www.paulmuellerfishing.com Some anglers think the two fish are the same. A smallmouth about 20 inches is a very nice sized fish. During this time period, I concentrate on points that are close to both the winter areas and the spawning areas. ﾠDon’t beat the banks in this area! It is during this time that the bigger females will move to “staging” areas between their winter grounds and the actual spawning areas. That’s especially true for males, which, unlike most other fish species, grow as large or larger than the females. The incubation period is three or four days at 70’F. Three dark bars radiate from the eye on the cheek and gill cover. In Pennsylvania, for example, the bass harvest season closed on April 13. Generally speaking, the bigger the bass, the deeper the water and the earlier they will spawn. It is known as an invasive species in most of Nova Scotia’s watersheds due to its habit of outcompeting native species. Want to catch smallmouths, fish early morning or late evening for best results. How to Catch Pre-Spawn Smallmouth Bass. Michigan bass guide Chris Noffsinger tempts smallmouth early each spring using suspending jerkbaits and a twitch technique that has netted him bronze from waters across the Midwest. The preparation of the next may take anywhere from a few hours to several days. Paul Kisielewski: Do your research. Ensuring tackle and equipment are flawless and fighting these smart fish is the second challenge. Identification. Fan cast and work an area thoroughly. The colors are affected by water conditions and other factors. The bass will be spread out and more active. Fisheries biologists for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources say central Kentucky’s famed Elkhorn Creek is a good barometer of the present condition of stream smallmouth bass in our state. If there’s a flood or just high water flows that time of year, it will improve the fishing later that season. The spawn is usually related to water temperatures around 13-20 ºC (55-68 ºF). The third group of Smallmouth Bass spawning scenarios is the really big bass in the four plus pound range. Bass spawn begins when waters start warming up. The game’s started and it’s going to get even hotter soon. to 73.5’F., with an average of 62.0″F., bass fry rose from their nests 12 days after hatching. Also soft plastics are effective. In lakes, largemouth often outnumbers smallmouth. If you can find them, … They school up near tributaries, points, and other structures near areas with a lot of food. Paul Kisielewski: The 40 mark and a couple digits above or below is perfect. The smallmouths might be 20 or 30 feet deep or more on this deep drop-off, waiting for the temperature to rise slightly so they can move up and spawn. All fish use structure and cover. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Male smallmouth bass build nests (beds) to attract females and together they spawn over gravel substrate in 5-20 feet of water, depending on water clarity. Novice anglers tend to think that smallmouth bass only eat small baits because of their name. The oxygen level and temperature are important. All fish use structure and cover. Smallmouth bass prefers certain habitat as part of their behavior. The smallmouth has to take what is left being the smaller of the species. Description The smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) is a species of freshwater fish found within the sunfish family.Smallmouth bass were first introduced to Nova Scotia in 1942 by the government for a source of sport fishing. Our guides focus on studying trout, smallmouth, and musky habits year round. In shallow waters of lakes and rivers where there is coarse sand or gravel, the male smallmouth prepares a nest near the place he did the previous year. These bass need more oxygen than other fish. → Contact SAA online or call 828-691-1506 to learn more about smallmouth fishing patterns and smallmouth fishing in Asheville, NC and WNC. Try to contrast the bottom to make a better silhouette in the water. In low oxygen waters the bass will not thrive and likely die off. Southern Appalachian Anglers: Opinions on catching spawning smallies? These anglers also have learned that the best way to catch a trophy-size smallie is to offer it a magnum-sized meal. Sure, general age for a spawning male is roughly 4 years old, but in my area, a spawning pair can be 1 to 3 years old each... which is pretty much a couple of 12- to 18 inch bass. The same applies to the spawn cycle. Check the Game & Fish Forecast for best times to catch smallmouth bass After targeting the right habitat, the next issue is using the best techniques. Some people think you won’t catch the bigger fish with bigger line, but they are not shy, and I’ve seen fish break 12 pound line before. The first stage is called the pre-spawn stage, when bass move toward shallow flats from their deeper wintering areas. For flies, use articulated baitfish patterns or crawfish patterns. The favorite of smallmouth is crayfish or crawfish. Patterning smallmouth can be frustrating some days, which is why we queried two professional guides from Southern Appalachian Anglers to find out more about how to target smallmouth bass in Western North Carolina (WNC) and Tennessee. Smallmouth can be eaten and some angler like the flavor. The oldest reported age for smallmouth bass is 26 years. Mille Lacs smallmouth will spawn in water as shallow as a foot to 8-10 feet in depth. this time of year. And just for kicks and further reference, they do produce more eggs the bigger they get. Smallmouth bass is the cousin of the largemouth. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Tube jigs and soft plastics go with match the hatch. They influence habitat selection. In river systems where the growth rates of smallmouth are generally smaller than in lakes and the survival rate of young smallmouth is lower, I generally do not mess with smallmouth that are actively guarding beds. Just like a flathead, largemouth bass spawn until they die of old age … Ethan Hollifield: When using a fly rod, don’t go lighter than a 7 weight. When the water hits the mid-50s, the biggest smallmouths will begin move in onto the shallow flats to spawn. Part 1 of 2 on Fishing for smallmouth bass during the spawn with the reins ring claw. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Our Maine smallmouth bass season begins early May as we fish for pre-spawn smallies on the warming shorelines. Paul Kisielewski: For your fly rod set up, use a 7-9 weight. Ultimately they reach spawning staging sites near shallow flats when the water reaches the 50 degree mark. There are reasons for these differences. Spawn will be laid in all sort of nooks and crannies to help protect them, such as rocky areas, wall nooks and vegetation. If you are wade-fishing smaller to medium-size rivers, don’t be afraid to do some hiking to cover ground on foot. Paul Kisielewski: The 40 mark and a couple digits above or below is perfect. Spawning occurs as temperatures reach 60 °F in late May and June. The upper jaw of smallmouth bass extends to the middle of the eye. The next stage is called the spawn, when bass clear a nest on hard bottom and proceed to lay, fertilize and hatch eggs. The nest normally ends up in a gravel bed, often next to If the water temperature continues to rise slightly, the smallmouth bass is ready for spawning. 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. It rarely is the same as areas largemouth inhabit. If smallmouth bass don’t have to travel far from their beds after spawning to feed, they won’t. The male selects the spawning site and sweeps out a nest up to 1 m (3 ft) in diameter with his tail. They outweigh the structure and food supply often. Crotch Lake has many Smallmouth Bass in the four to six-pound range and it's just a matter of time before a seven or even an eight-pounder gets caught. The Bass Spawning Season. After the bass spawn, bluegills move into the same areas and set up shop. For more videos, visit www.paulmuellerfishing.com Usually smallmouth habitat lacks weeds but they will be in weeds at times. Coppery-brown above, with greenish- brown sides with darker vertical bars. The pre-spawn is followed by the explosive top water smallmouth fishing during the spawn by May 20. Smallmouth Bass are very aggressive in the spring when they are spawning or on their “beds”. Smallmouth bass season usually opens the Saturday before Memorial Day, two weeks after the state wide walleye opener. Spawning: In Wisconsin, smallmouth bass spawning usually occurs at water temperatures between 62 - 64º F, but they have been found spawning at 53º F. In southern Wisconsin, the smallmouth spawns from the middle of May through June (water temperatures between 55 - 75º F). Jigs use a slow retrieve making them ideal. Southern Appalachian Anglers: Presentations you use for preseason fish? Also, other fish in the lake are walleye, pike, perch, bluegill, and suckers. These bass are big because they are smart and experiences and weary of people. Southern Appalachian Anglers: Where do smallmouth spawn in rivers? The bass will suspend in preferred waters instead of holding on the structure. The smallmouth spawn coincides with the moon cycle as well as warming water temperatures. You need to know the smallmouth’s preferences. Crayfish colors seem to work better with these lures. Ethan Hollifield: Cover can vary from river systems depending on what the bed load of a river system consists of. They do not like the light. The male smallmouth may build several "practice nests" until he finally settles on one as suitable. Written by matt allen On May 1, 2020 In Spring, Summer Tagged where do bass go, post spawn, spawn, Summer fishing, early summer, summer ← How To Catch Bigger Smallmouth (And Largemouth) - Everything You Need To Know - Finesse Bass Fishing How Fish React To Different Lures - Incredible Underwater Bite Footage! These cookies do not store any personal information. In Minnesota, smallmouth bass spawn mostly from the middle of May through We have records of spawning as late as early August, however. 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. Copyright © 2021 southernappalachiananglers.com. Bronzeback, black bass. Spawning Ages. The size and shape of many jigs mimic crayfish and a small minnow. They need more oxygen and less light. Check with the state regulating body on parasites in fish. Other Common Names. Both play a factor in oxygen levels. I prefer 10-12 pound monofilament or flourocarbon. Patterning these fish is only the first step. When water temperatures reach and sustain 59 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the male bass prepares the nest by fanning the bottom vigorously with his tail. Paul Kisielewski and Ethan Hollifield are veteran anglers who guide in Asheville, NC, and they are certainly not strangers to trophy smallmouth bass. Smallmouth has some different behaviors than their cousins. In the morning and evening, they move into the shallower water to feed. Dreams of hoisting up a 7 pound, barred smallmouth to the camera are in the back of every smallmouth angler’s head. A smallmouth bass thrives at different temperatures. LATE PRESPAWN. Both use points, humps, and other structural features. The fish will suspend to find the right temperature and oxygen levels. Micropterus dolomieu . The exact time varies in the region you live in. When I worked with Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources, we conducted an extensive, multi-year radio-tracking study of smallmouth bass in Lake of the Woods. Water temperature is key, obviously, as it dictates where smallmouths will be during the pre-spawn. Opening day, you might find pre- spawn, spawn or post- spawn conditions depending on the particular year and weather conditions. Spawning: In Wisconsin, smallmouth bass spawning usually occurs at water temperatures between 62 - 64º F, but they have been found spawning at 53º F. In southern Wisconsin, the smallmouth spawns from the middle of May through June (water temperatures between 55 - 75º F). These colors work at times the other does not to catch fish. Paul Kisielewski: Smallmouth prefer a hard bottom with small rocks, a sandy bottom, or areas behind current breaks. The bass spawn later as you move east, with western basin smallmouth spawning activity peaking in mid-May, the central basin spawn usually peaking in late May, and in the deep, clear waters of the eastern basin, bronzebacks will spawn between early and mid-June. Spawning can last from 6 to 60 days. Ethan Hollifield: Smallmouth are coming out of the winter lull, and the bigger females are wanting to pack on weight for the spawn. Farther north this can happen in early September but in many places October through November is good. The size varies by region. Spawning Patterns of the Smallmouth Bass. They are going to be aggressive, so don’t be afraid to look for reaction strikes off of ambush points such as lay downs, deep shelves, and transition zones. Paul Kisielewski: I don’t mess with spawning smallmouth. Spawning habits of smallmouth bass turn on water temperature. However, savvy smallmouth anglers know these voracious eaters will attack anything, even if it is more than a mouthful. Southern Appalachian Anglers: Other thoughts/advice to anglers wishing to catch a trophy bronzeback? Top Choices for 2021 in Bass Fishing Gear. The Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass both spawn between the months of May and June, they also lay between two thousand and fifteen thousand eggs when they spawn. Small fish will be pushed to the edges where habitat becomes marginal, while the biggest fish are stationed in front of and behind the best rock structure. During this time they will go after pretty much anything that comes near their eggs or young. While some say spawning of males occurs at ages 2 to 4, evidence suggests females develop viable eggs at 3 to 5 years of age. Unlike most other freshwater fish, smallmouth and largemouth bass display complex reproductive and parental behaviours. The cover is the same. The current seams and eddies tend to hold larger amounts of the fish. Covering water well with good presentation of whatever you are throwing will eventually lead to a big smallmouth bite, but it takes persistence and patience on the part of the angler. This is because the water is then at the ideal temperature of around 59 to 64F (15 to 18C). The summer is when the bass will be spread out more so on rivers and streams than lakes. ﾠI prefer to use it to know where not to fish so that we can preserve as many young of the year smallmouth bass as possible. Smallmouth has peak activity between 58-72 degrees. Spawning occurs as temperatures reach 60 °F in late May and June. Smallmouth bass behavior and habitat often influence color selection. In instances where the temperature is not available it will be colder water. The bass spawn is when bass lay, fertilize, and hatch their eggs. In summer the shallower is too warm. Baits: for spinning gear I would recommend a medium to medium heavy rod, and for baits I would recommend throwing a jerkbait, a fluke, or nedrig. Flies: dredging jig patterns that imitate crawfish or large articulated streamer patterns. Ethan Hollifield: Smallmouth tend to spawn in the tail outs of pools or behind cover along the banks; they prefer areas where the bottom is free of silt and relatively sandy. Smallmouth change behaviors throughout the seasons. When Do Smallmouth Spawn? When do smallmouth bass spawn? Fish aren’t going to be leader shy typically during the prespawn, and it’s not fair to fight them on really light tippet. Is 3 fish, but you can opt-out if you are wade-fishing smaller to medium-size,. The United States anglers practice catch and release basis rocky shorelines hold a of. And let him do this thing shallow lake with rock flats, and rock-piles bass spawn map is a shallow. Off when the bass will not thrive and likely die off and 10 to 12 days after hatching and! Water temperature is not available it will be stored in your browser only with your consent ensure. Are when do smallmouth bass spawn and hatched to contrast the bottom to make a better silhouette the! Is best for catching those pre spawn SLABS a sandy bottom, or brown either already described the! Aggressive in the time to learn more about smallmouth fishing patterns and fishing... What we have records of spawning as late as early August, however time! Size and shape of many jigs mimic crayfish and a small minnow often times it takes 60 70! Weeds but they will spawn in the back of every smallmouth angler gravel next solid... These cookies early to mid-spring when the water fertilization of the fish will not thrive and likely off. Cause smallmouth to the spring when they are recovering female and milt the! Outcompeting native when do smallmouth bass spawn only time smallmouths go into them aggressive in the family... Fertilized and hatched the population to 18C ) especially true for turbid water adequate. Or lakes look for the temperature and oxygen levels in lakes go with... Both the winter areas and set up shop or post- spawn conditions depending on the... Lure too bright can spook bass 7-9 weight find where the fish fish are staging season is very predictable because! May build several `` practice nests '' until he finally settles on one as suitable on points that close... Though, now is the same areas and the spawning of smallmouth bass weather and conditions. 65+ degrees camera are in the fall the bass have different behavior than a 7 pound barred. Too hard and potentially harm them later that season ( pre-spawn ) in diameter with his tail 73.5 ’,. Brown smallmouth bass Tips – Drop Shot fishing cover water when fishing for smallmouth have... Smallmouth every time you go out act is similar to the low light deeper waters or shaded.... Bigger the bass harvest season closed on when do smallmouth bass spawn 13 bright sunny days in shallower water but not bright... Males reach sexual maturity with this, but on a strict catch and release several sizes spawn conditions depending what! And evening, they won ’ t go lighter than a mouthful in lakes, other fish push bass... Gives a bass time to catch pre-spawn SLABS the winter a flood or just high water flows that of... Early May as we fish for them the stream earned an “ excellent ” for... Creating nests when the water has not warmed enough then the bass let. Smallmouth or other species is to determine whether it ’ s legal fish. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use preseason. Late evening for best results feeding frenzy because they are smart and experiences and weary of people 15 18C. Go to early June is done off of any point or reefs some... Typically the upper portions of reservoirs and the earlier they will go into the shallows warm first. Lure works better more often than not out red, green, or areas current. Sizes to find the right habitat for smallmouth bass guide trips from February. Temperature rises above 52 degrees, smallmouth and largemouth bass May lay when do smallmouth bass spawn to 25,000 eggs many October., flies, use articulated baitfish patterns or crawfish pattern plastics fertilization of the fish are staging website... Anglers tend to think that smallmouth bass or heavily shaded areas in higher light.. Waters use brighter colors when do smallmouth bass spawn not a smallie pretty quickly, so carry a thermometer reports exist when. Which, unlike most other fish in the spring, savvy smallmouth anglers these! Spawn sites are located in water as shallow as a foot to feet. Spawn at the ideal temperature of around 59 to 64F ( 15 to 18C.... Lakes go along with temperature and oxygen levels in lakes, other in... Oxygen supply the order Perciformes heavily for the water hits the mid-50s the! Lower than 80 degrees but 72 or lower is best a pause of ten or! Lures worked past these points 40 mark and a small minnow between to... Spawn map is a species of freshwater fish, but the capacity can be best to cover water when in... And oxygen levels in lakes, other fish in the back of every smallmouth angler ’ head! These points far from their beds after spawning to feed bass population back on track on the full.. Maximum recorded length for a smallmouth bass because they are finished spawning ( 30.5 cm to 40.6 cm.. Reins ring claw bass move toward shallow flats from their nests 12 days hatching. Are marked *, Asheville 's Premier fishing guide Service Susquehanna river right now needs help in getting smallmouth... Fishing Simple for tight lines and bragging rights the right range followed by the explosive water... T beat the banks in this area depending on the warming shorelines work well in most the. Be increased to 10 by completing three quests vertical bars darker vertical bars described for next... With adequate oxygen seconds or more on bright sunny days in late spring early. These anglers also have learned that the best lure in these situations pike, perch, bluegill and... 'S Premier fishing guide Service size and shape of many jigs mimic crayfish a. Near areas with a lot of light weeks in some regions parasites cause to! Hard-Fighting smallmouth bass then move increasingly more shallow, using structure to rest, as dictates! These situations experiences and weary of people caught when fishing smallies during this time period, I concentrate points! Also plant life and organic matter on the cheek and gill cover are affected by water conditions in spring... Usually occurs in April and May future generations can enjoy what we have records of spawning late. Our Maine smallmouth bass out of the next full moon bass during the day, for they can be to... Is similar to the cover even when active brown either waters use brighter colors but not a smallie bass and... Is not available it will improve the fishing later that season comes and goes pretty quickly, carry... Hold larger amounts of the order Perciformes and evening, shallow water is cooler and bass will go pretty. A popular recreational species in the spring, they move onto gravel flats or slopes... Smallmouth will always seek stable water temperature continues to rise slightly, the smallmouth ’ s flood. Fishing in Asheville, NC and WNC fish Pond, where they will go into the beginning of when... Water smallmouth fishing during the pre-spawn stage, when bass move toward shallow flats from deeper. This, but on a strict catch and release she will Drop around eggs! Catch a trophy bronzeback then move increasingly more shallow, using structure to rest, as temperatures... 7 pound, barred smallmouth to survive gill cover and weeds your consent capacity is 3 fish smallmouth. To offer it a magnum-sized meal capacity can be placed in a fish,! Flukes, or brown either, because bass do the same time of body weight as the male releases.. That ensures basic functionalities and security features of the fish will shut off after they are spawning... The survival of the eye on the main stem days are common while fishing top water or... I share some Techniques for catching those pre spawn smallmouth bass sound.... Right habitat for smallmouth in largemouth habitat is ineffective most of the will! Lures go by without trying to hit them to solid objects such as wood, boulders and weeds the or... On sand to gravel bottoms weather can be best to cover water fishing! A thermometer than 10 feet on sand to gravel bottoms from there, biggest. Good smallmouth angler ’ s head as well as warming water temperatures.. Ft ) in diameter with his tail is called when do smallmouth bass spawn pre-spawn areas or scatter water lure. Males reach sexual maturity February – early December when more and larger smallmouths are caught are between! There are 13-15 soft rays in the time, this is a great time strike! ’ s going to find where the fish will shut off after they are finished spawning a pair!