Imagine you gearing up to go fishing, and then you come back home without a catch? Been there, done that, and trust me, it’s the most frustrating time of your angling life. So, can you catch bass all year round?
Yes, you can actually catch bass throughout the entire year. What differs, however, through the seasons is actually the time to go fishing. During winter, you can catch bass at midday and in late afternoons. Whilst in summer it’s far better to head out when the temperatures are cooler at night when the light is low.
In this article, we will dig deep into the most favorable time to catch bass in various seasons.
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Tips to Adapt Your Techniques to Catch Bass in All Seasons
If you need to maintain the bass bite throughout the year, you need to adapt and adjust your techniques each season. This is mainly because bass fish tend to change their behavior during each phase of every season.
Here are some of the best tactics that you can consider to work best from one season to another.
Spring (pre-spawn, spawn & post-spawn)
Spring months usually offer a perfect time for bass anglers. The fish usually start to stir, bulking food after and before the energy-draining spawn, making it possible for many anglers to catch bass.
Some of the most common techniques one can consider during this period include:
- Covering a wide area
- Looking for spots of shallow water near deep waters
- Looking for bass on the shallow waters during warm weather. Bass fish tend to prefer warm areas, which helps them shake off sluggishness acquired from winter.
During spawning, the techniques one can use vary depending on whether it’s during pre-spawn, spawn, or post-spawn. Here are some of the best techniques at each spawning stage.
As the bass prepare to spawn, their appetite increases and they are most likely to come to the shallow waters since the water is warming up too. You can use a variety of tactics, but some of the largest basses come on shallow jigs, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits.
These shallow baits are perfect for picking up a number of fish and covering the waters. Always consider working over submerged stumps, over shallow weed beds, and around fallen trees. The jigs are perfect, especially when targeting cover where bass have set up to ambush prey.
When a bass is spawning, they look for shallow bays or backs of coves to make their bed. Try finding some signs that show the presence of fish nearby or dark circles in the water. They also like making their beds near structures like a rock pile and dock pilings.
Since they pair up with their mates and hang in shallow waters when spawning, consider using colored baits such as creature baits, craw-style baits, or even senkos. Be sure to set the hook at the exact point where you’ll see the bait disappear.
After the spawning period, fishing for bass can get a little difficult. This is because as they recover from spawning, they go to the deep waters for the remaining summer months. You can still target them with the use of plastics on the first drop-off outside a spawning bay or deeper crankbaits.
Bass are likely to come shallow in the morning and evening, making it a perfect time to catch them using faster moving reaction baits.
During summer, the water temperatures warm up as the sun is at its most intense. This makes bass move from their shallow spring depths to deeper water, and they’ll disperse all over the water columns.
The location of the bass will vary even in the course of the day; hence you must target the different water areas.
For effective bass fishing in summer, you should be willing to try different presentations and depths. You can also try using lures such as a swim jig, crankbaits, plastic craws, topwater frogs, and spinnerbaits.
As the days grow shorter during the fall season, bass will begin to feed more heavily throughout the day. You can, for sure, catch a big number of bass in just but one single outing. Because of the nature of aggressiveness that bass possesses, you have to come up with techniques that produce reaction strikes.
Also, use lures such as jerk baits with a fast and erratic retrieve.
Whenever you have been able to catch good numbers of smaller bass, switch out to a larger swimbait since it can be a ticket to catching the larger fish.
Most seasoned anglers prefer winter bass fishing as it usually means quieter days and bigger fish on the waters. During this season, you are likely to make a greater catch, mostly in the afternoon and at sunset. This is because, at this time, the baitfish are active, the bass is moving around, and the waters are a bit warm.
Bass like to take cover in grass, docks or woods, rock fixtures, and formations in the water that give natural cover for them. Maintain a keen look at these places, and you will certainly go home with a bass bite.
Best Months for Bass Fishing
October happens to be the best month to fish bass throughout the year, and most anglers will acknowledge that fishing in this month is very successful.
This happens because, at this time, you are likely to find bass around stumps, wooden docks, and most likely, fins fish in laydowns.
Bass also remain shallow for a long time during October. At this time, they feed on minnows because they are the only available food left. To get a catch during this period, you need to enhance your tactics to suit the period. For instance, you can use lures or bait that mimic minnows.
What happens with the spawning of bass is a process that is the same every year. After their period living deep and feeding sparingly in the winter season, they migrate into shallow bays and calm pockets during the springtime to spawn.
Their spawning is like a schedule. All over the country, in ponds, lakes, and rivers, bass start pairing up females with males. They create shallow spawning beds, which become their home throughout the spawning process.
What affects their spawning process are factors that include water temperature, moon phase, and geographical location.
Best General Temperatures for Bass Fishing
Water temperature has a significant impact on the number and size of bass you catch, as it determines their location. Since water temperatures differ throughout the year all through the seasons, you have to know where to find bass during certain temperatures.
During spring, bass undergo three stages of spawning. The stages are pre-spawn, spawn, and post-spawn. The temperature at the pre-spawn phase is about 48-50 degrees.
At this time, the bass is usually active feeding to build energy and move deep into the waters. Temperatures during the spawn phase are usually 55-70 degrees, and this is when bass hatch their eggs and build their nests. As bass are busy leaving their beds at the post-spawn phase, the temperature is around 70-75 degrees.
Summer to Fall
During summer, there are very hot afternoons, and the temperature can eclipse 90 degrees. The summer sun, however, brings the water temperatures above 75 degrees.
As the season changes to fall, water temperatures slowly drop into themed 50’s and lower 60’s. During this period, most anglers who want to get out with more strikes always keep their baits off the bottom and moving.
During winter, the temperatures finally drop even below 48 degrees making the bass sluggish. As they are hungry and probably starving, one easy meal for bass is very crucial. Lure selection here is easy, and you can use slow-moving presentations that include jigs with a bulky trailer.
Common Places to Find bass out of season
If you don’t want to go back home empty-handed, you must know all the hideouts. A good example is when temperatures are low, bass will migrate in search of food or warmer spots.
When you fish in ponds, you can get the best result in fall or spring. At this time, bass looks for shallow areas to get good temperatures for spawning. Actually, a temperature of about 10 degrees is good for them to spawn. In ponds, however, one can fish during fall as bass feed during this period.
Fishing in rivers can be a real deal, especially during falling water levels. You can fish bass in rivers in summer and fall. With rivers, a falling river is the best as it makes it easy to locate bass since they’ll often congregate alongside structures near the deepest waters available.
According to seasoned anglers, the best time for bass fishing is usually around dawn and dusk, and yes, you can catch bass throughout the year.
During early spring and late winter, put your fishing efforts around midday. In late spring, summer and fall, ensure that you focus on dawn hours up to about 8 am and 6 pm until dusk.