Catching the Spawn – Bass
by: Wabash Valley Outdoor Team
In Indiana and Illinois the Bass spawn tends to be when the water is around 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Many believe that these are the key temperatures for great Bass fishing, which is typically much sooner in the spring than the Blue Gill, Red Ear and Sun Fish spawns.
When the temperature is right the male bass or “Buck bass” will move to the shallows close to the bank, usually in rocky areas if available and build their nests. When ready he will move to deeper water and push or bully the egg gorged female to the nest where she will lay her eggs. When finished he will move in and fertilize the eggs. He then becomes the full time guard of the nest. The females will typically then move back down to deeper water until water temperatures climb to more comfortable 65 or 70 degrees.
The Buck, now standing guard of the nest, is when he is most vulnerable. As the temperatures approach the 70’s nest predators become more active therefore he will not wonder far and WILL be hungry. In addition he is now in defense mode. So, as a fisherman you have two big advantages working for you. You have the fact that he is hungry and he will attack nearly anything protecting his precious eggs. This is when you might try a black rubber lizard, crawdad or light colored rubber bait fish lure. Lizards live on fish eggs and can wipe out an entire nest very quickly. So a Bass will key in on this lure quick and will often strike the head of you lure aggressively.
As mentioned before the females remain deep until the water temperatures rise and food is plentiful. However this isn’t to say that they too arn’t hungry after all the excitement. So, once you have worked the banks for the Bucks try going a little deeper, perhaps four to six feet deep, with a little bigger darker lures, but don’t be too aggressive. They are often exhausted and cold therefore moving slowly.