Lakecaster Online Archives - Mar, 2002

SPRING SPAWNING BASS

By Chris Wilkerson
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Chris Wilkerson

When the trees and bushes start blooming it is time for "spring bass" fishing. It is the most exciting time of the year for fishing. The air and water temperatures are on the rise. The bass know this just like we fisherman do.

March is the best time of the year for the average angler to catch a big bass. When the water temperature rises to the upper 50's, bass begin migrating toward the shallows in preparation for the spawn. The spawn is when the bass lay their eggs on a nest to hatch more bass which are called "fry." This is the natural process of replenishing our lake with more bass. So, it is really important to practice catch and release on the spring. Most bass will spawn when the water reaches 65 to 70 degrees. The spawn begins in pockets and creeks protected by wind and wave action. Some of the well known spawning areas are in the back of Brushy Creek, Penwaugh Slough and Triple Creek areas. These are great areas to look for big bass.

The process begins when the male bass begins to fan a bed for the female to lay her eggs. The male will build a clean spot about 2 foot in diameter. This nest will usually be seen as a bright, shiny spot in a bout 2 feet deep of water. When the male has completed this, he will then go search for a female bass to lay her eggs in this nest in which he will court her to the area. When the female lays her eggs, she will guard the mest for about 1 to 2 days. This is when she is referred to as locked on the bed. At this stage, is when she is easiest to catch. You can pitch a Texas rigged lizard or tube on to the nest. This will agitate her into picking it up and moving it out from her nest. After a few times, she will get somewhat mad and will then eat it. Now, you will want to set the hook and she should be caught. The female bass will move back out to deeper water after a couple of days, but the male bass will remain in the area and guard the baby fry.

It is not uncommon for more than one bass to use the same nest through out March and April. Locating the beds is probably the hardest thing in sight fishing for spawning bass. If "sight" fishing is not for you, there are other ways of fishing during the spring. The top three are the spinner baits, shallow around cover in the creeks. The weightless fluke which is a soft jerk bait worked around shallow vegetation and cover. The Texas rigged black neon lizard flipped tight to cover is also very effective. These would be my top choice for spring fishing. The areas to concentrate would be toward the back of creek and back water areas. Remember to practice "catch and release" in the spring.

So always remember before you head out on your next trip to make sure you evaluate the water levels and it's current conditions to plan for a successful trip. For up to the minute water levels and releases. You can visit my website at www.texasproguide.com and click on lake levels. I also run a professional guide service on Lake Livingston and Lake Sam Rayburn. I can meet each and every need from instructional fishing to the tournament level, you can give me call at (936) 329-2750. As always, these trip are great ideas for you and you family, and especially the kids.