Best Time Of Day To Fish for Bass

Mark Johnson
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Spring

Bass vs. Summer Bass

The number one reason to fish right at the break of dawn in the spring is to catch the spring spawners. This means if you can get there early enough, you can catch some trophy size browns.

However, if you miss the window, just continue to fish in the same areas you would the rest of the season. What changes is the time of day you fish. The fish have bred and have started to move throughout the lake in search of the next big meal.

This is a time that many anglers think of as summer bass fishing. The bass will be feeding heavily and putting on a lot of weight to get them through the long hot summer.

This is important to recognize because you can typically fish later into the evening at night during the summer time because the fish are able to feed much later.

It's important to understand how different the fish are going to act and react to different presentations during these two different seasons. The best way to learn this is by locating the fish and learning where they are going to be throughout the day.

Pre-spawn

Because most bass reproduction occurs during the spring (March through June), many anglers like to focus their efforts around this time. The pre-spawn period starts with the water temperature at 50-59 degrees. It lasts until the temperature goes up to 68 degrees.

The best method to use during this time is small jigs, small crankbaits, or reaction baits. In this instance, reaction baits consist of crawfish, small crayfish, buzzbaits, topwater walking baits, and shiny spoons, among others.

During the post-spawn period, the water temperature is going to drop from 68 degrees again to 50 degrees. This lasts until the water temperature rises back up to 68 degrees. Most anglers start focusing on fishing when the water temperature rises to 68 degrees or higher. One of the best methods to use during this time is jigs, spinnerbaits, soft plastics (worm, crawfish, topwater, and spinnerbaits) or suspended jerkbaits.

Spawn

Spawning season is the perfect time to find bass because the fish are highly active, but the bigger female fish are in danger of being caught by anglers. To avoid easy pickings by fisherman looking to land a trophy fish, these bass do everything they can to have the best chance to produce the most offspring. They push themselves to their limits.

At this time of year, they will crowd the shallow regions of lakes near the shoreline. The most popular place to fish is anywhere near where smaller streams, creeks or rivers meet the lake. These are the best places to find some of the biggest fish in the lake. The smaller fish will be roaming through these areas as well, making it easy to catch multiple fish at the same time. That’s not the only reason why this location is so popular. It also has the advantage of providing suitable spawning grounds for the fish.

Post-spawn

The best time to fish for bass presents itself after the annual spawn is over. Fishing during this particular time may seem a little less exciting, unless you are targeting specific baits or locations.

The fish that were actively chasing shad from March through May are now reasonably hungry since the spawning is completed and instinctively begins stalking prey again.

Since bass do not start the process again before late June, having the absence of spawners will create more catching opportunities on good days.

The spawning process itself has some interesting traits. All bass are not likely to spawn in a given pond, but large scale spawning, in general, you have some tips that you can rely on.

Bass will spawn between the end of March and July. Most common for the spawning is in May.

Wild bass, in most cases, will be more ready to spawn for the first time in their life, between the age of one to two years. However, that does not mean that fish over 30 months are not driven by the season and the right conditions to breed.

Bass, just like other species of fish, do count on cycles to ensure survival. In the case of bass spawning, it relies on heightened water temperatures in the spring.

With the rainfall in May, especially in the higher elevations, bass are one of the first types of fish to react. The bass spawn starts and ends with the warming and cooling water temperatures.

Summer

When you think of bass fishing, what comes to mind? Is it jumping bass? Slowly fighting bass to lure them into your boat? Or catching dozens and dozens of bass?

For me, it's all of the above. Nothing beats a day out on a bass boat. The only drawback is that it requires a lot of time and patience.

In my opinion, there is no better place to fish for bass than on our home padogs. Freshwater lakes create awesome bass habitat. The more we build and fill reservoirs, the more awesome Bass habitat we get. Bass cannot stock or reproduce as swiftly as other fish species, but they can live for decades once they reach proper size, and they can reach huge sizes (5 lbs and beyond).

Fall

Those are the best times to catch bass. During those seasons, bass are getting ready to spawn. That means you are more likely to pick up a meal than just a trophy.

Winter

If you want to know what time of day to fish for bass in winter, then you should know that bass feed in winter to build up their fat reserves to make it through the colder months. And most of their feeding doesn’t start until after dark and it can continue into the early hours in the morning.

But, you should also note that January is the month when they appear to feed the most vigorously. This is because the water is cold so they need to find food as quickly as possible.

One of the good things about fishing in the winter is that the bite is typically light, which means that you’ll get a longer fight. And, if the bite is light, then you can make up to three times as many casts to a single spot.

In the summer, the bass will be active all day long, making them more difficult to catch. That’s why fishing at night is so effective. Fishing at night has many other advantages.

You are less likely to be bothered by the insects. And as the water cools, it’s easier on your physical condition. You are also able to use a variety of winter baits to catch the bass.

Conclusion

The best time to fish for bass depends on your location and experience level.

If you are new to bass fishing, then the only time you should be fishing for bass is during the day time. These fish are very active during the day.

If you have been fishing for bass for a while, you might want to take advantage of the times when the fish are known to be more active.

These times include dusk and dawn, as well as night time. Generally, in the late afternoon the fish will be deeper and as the sun sets they will come closer to the surface again.

A lot of factors will influence what time of day will work best for you and your area. You will get a feel for the best time of day to fish for bass as you get more experience.