Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) are an incredibly interesting species of fish and they’re one that has taken over our hobbies and source of fun. With such a unique process of reproduction, understanding this process will benefit you majorly in knowing where these fish will be during the springtime. Here are 8 interesting facts about the largemouth bass spawn.
1. The Largemouth Bass Spawn is Divided in 3 Stages
The pre-spawn stage is marked by the gradual rise in water temperature, and bass begin migrating from deeper water columns, to shallower zones.
Water temperatures rise above 50 degrees Fahrenheit
Bass move to feeding areas
Bass will bulk up for the crucial spawn period
Bass have migrated further and prepare to suitable areas for egg fertilization and maturation.
58 degrees Fahrenheit is a comfortable temperature for largemouth bass to spawn
Focus moves from feeding to defense of their beds
Males will stay around the beds throughout the spawn
Largemouth bass are stress-exerted from the draining spawn.
Males will stick around fry and fingerlings
Females slowly begin feeding again
2. Largemouth Bass Will Look to Shallower Flats to Spawn
Sunlight is a crucial element for the maturation of a largemouth bass’s eggs. For this reason, bass will migrate to shallower flats during the spawning period.
Shallower water allows for more direct sunlight — directly benefiting the incubation process for a bass’s eggs.
Water clarity directly links to how deep bass will look to spawn. For murkier water, bass will look to spawn shallower, for clearer water. bass can spawn deeper as the sun’s rays will penetrate further.
For this reason, as a bass angler, you’ll want to dial in on shallower pockets of water and keep an eye out for spawn beds.
3. Largemouth Bass May Spawn Earlier in Smaller Bodies of Water
Smaller bodies of water such as ponds, and other smaller lakes will warm up faster on the arrival of spring. For this reason, bass are triggered to begin their spawning process earlier compared to large systems of water.
4. Bass Require a Harder Surface to Spawn
A harder surface provides a suitable platform for bass to lay their eggs, as well as an ideal place for eggs to mature.
Male bass are the main preparers of a spawn bed. With their lower fins, they’ll remove silt which could easily smother eggs and impact their maturation.
5. Bass Go Into Defensive Mode During the Spawn
The spawn is an incredibly stressful time for both female and male largemouth bass. Their focus shifts from aggressive feeding in the pre-spawn to defensive mode as they defend their beds.
The male is the main enforcer when it comes to bed defense, and is the most active in deterring potential threats such as bluegill, sunfish, crappie, or even crawfish.
6. Females May Lay Several Batches of Eggs On Different Beds
Female largemouth may move from various beds laying several batches throughout the spawning period. More mature female bass may take up the whole spawn period to lay their eggs - a period that can last longer than 10 days.
For this reason, females are way less loyal to specific beds than males. Male bass will stick around their beds as their brood matures.
7. Male Bass Will Stick With Their Brood Until Fingerling Stage
The spawn period is a long and tough one for male bass. After spending several days preparing their bed, males will not only have to protect their eggs, but they’re also in charge of hanging around fry and fingerlings. This will greatly strengthen the male broods’ chances of survival in the short term.
As bass hit the fingerling stage, they’re more difficult to track and guard. They migrate from their original spawn beds and are left to fend for themselves.
A reminder of the potential threats to fry and fingerlings: bluegill, crappie, other bass, carp, crawfish, and several more.
8. The Post-Spawn Period Can Be Tough on Bass and Anglers
Although bass are slowly moving away from their defensive mindset, bass will still operate at their usual level when it comes to feeding.
The spawn is an incredibly draining process for both females and males and it is often said that enter a 'post-spawn funk'. This 'funk' is a time of recovery for bass, as they regenerate energy and slowly get back into their normal feeding routines.
For this reason, catching bass in the post-spawn can often be tough. Fish can be finicky, and lure selection can be a tough ask.
The largemouth bass spawn is an exciting time for bass anglers. The season is upon us, and we're ready to start getting fish off their beds.
Understanding the spawning process is key to an angler's know-how on the water during the spring and it will help majorly with lure selection as well as focusing on high percentage areas.
If you're looking to understand a bit more about the largemouth bass spawning process, I couldn't recommend the below video by The Nature of Fishing:
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