What season is best for bass fishing?
We’ve all asked a questions like this.
What is the best way to target bass in [ENTER SEASON HERE]?
What’s the best way to target bass in the spring?
What bass lures work best during summer?
What will largemouth bass hit in the fall?
Will largemouth bass bite during winter?
Here’s the problem with that question: the bass don’t give a rip what “season” it is!
Seasons are human time periods. Bass don’t care. They don’t have calendars – if you asked them what day it was – they’d be confused!
So… if largemouth bass don’t care about these human time periods… what DO they care about?
Largemouth Bass Fishing Calendar Periods
Bass operate instinctually by calendar period. These calendar periods are determined by water temperature and possibly the rising and setting of the sun (length of the day). Some guys only pay attention to 4 calendar periods, others 6, and later this year we’ll talk about the 10 calendar periods found in many In-Fisherman books – we’ll list those now for reference:
The In-Fisherman Bass Fishing Calendar Periods
- Summer Peak
- Cold Water
(Later this year, we’ll add this article to the Learn How To Catch Largemouth Bass section. Subscribe so you get updates.)
I’ll be honest… 10 calendar periods is a bit too nuanced for me at this time. Like we mentioned, some guys go with just 4 calendar periods, which is a bit too basic – however, it’s better than nothing when you’re trying to figure out where the bass might be located.
Using Just 4 Bass Fishing Calendar Periods
If you’re going to go with the basics, here are the top 4:
There are many charts online that offer something similar to this:
As an extremely general rule, this is a good place to start, but I tend to lean towards 6 calendar periods. This is a bit more involved than the 4 periods listed above, but not as hard to remember as the 10 periods In-Fisherman offers up.
Using 6 Bass Fishing Calendar Periods
As we mentioned above there isn’t a seasonal calendar that bass adhere to. The 4 seasons listed above are human concepts. Bass move based on instinct, water temperature, weather, food location & type, etc.
Here are 6 important water temperatures to watch for:
- Winter: water temps less than 55°
- Prespawn: period of warming water about 55° to 62°
- Spawn: bass are on beds protecting eggs & fry from 62° to 67°
- Postspawn: bass transition and recover from the spawn at 67° to 70°
- Summer: warm water period with temps above 70°
- Fall: green vegetation starts to turn brown and temps fall to 65°, ultimately below 55°
Combine your knowledge of the local forage + weather conditions with the water temps you find yourself fishing, and you’ll be well on your way to locating – and hopefully catching – some quality bass.
Remember, if things aren’t going your way… they could be worse… check this out:
Tight Lines & Godspeed, Patriots.
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