When Do Bass Spawn

Keeping tabs on when bass spawn is a crucial consideration of bass fishing. Understanding when bass spawn can help you track their patterns for months. With that, you can prep earlier and get the most out of the spawning season.

The spawning season varies from one state to another, considering the differences in weather, waters, and temperatures. The good thing is that bass spawn towards the end of winter and the onset of spring despite the differences.

In this article, you will learn more about the bass spawning season, factors that affect the season, and how to target bass spawn. With this, you will understand when to expect bass and plan accordingly.

Key Takeaways

  • The bass spawn is the season when bass lay, fertilize and hatch, a process that takes about three weeks under favorable conditions.
  • The spawning season occurs at the end of winter and the beginning of spring when the conditions are favorable.
  • The availability of bass during this period is determined by the stages pre-spawn, spawn, and post-spawn.

What Is The Bass Spawn

The bass spawning season is when bass lay, fertilize and hatch eggs. The process can take as little as three weeks with all the conditions right. Usually, bass finds hard-bottomed spots where they build nests to start the spawning season.

They lay the eggs in these spots, and with time, the eggs are fertilized and hatched. Once the hatched bass are mature enough to survive by themselves, they leave the nest and choose their living area.

The Bass Spawning Season

The season is pretty much the same every year since the stages are constant and predictable. The bass spawning season starts when the waters start warming up, which is usually the end of winter and the onset of spring [1].

The season has three stages, namely, pre-spawn, spawn, and post-spawn. Here is a description of each season and what happens in each stage.


This stage of the season is when the bass start making moves towards creating nests in readiness for their spawning stage. During this time, the bass explore along structural landmarks near shore to find inlets and coves.

Additionally, they feed heavily and move fast to prepare for the spawn. They explore heavily in deep waters to find spots where they can lay eggs and start the spawning season.

This stage can be pretty productive since large numbers of bass travel near shore to prepare for spawning. If you wish to catch bass during the pre-spawn period, a good idea is to position yourself around inlets at the end of winter or when water significantly warms up.

Surprisingly, this period is the best to maximize your bass catches. This is because bass are active and bulking, increasing the chances of catching large numbers of high-quality, nourished bass.


Once female bass settle down in favorable spots, they lay eggs and nest in the spots. The eggs are then fertilized and incubate to maturity, whereby they hatch. This can take as little as three weeks, especially in warmer environments.

This stage is one of the most challenging to catch bass. This is because females locked onto their beds are typically inactive. However, they are easily visible in clear water, and you can maximize your catch.

The best way to get hold of these is using drop shots. The drop shot works well because you can leave the bait in the bed and move it without pulling the bait closer. Setting the bait aggravates the bass protecting the bed, increasing the chances of catching some.


This is the stage where the bass has finished spawning and left their nests. During this time, there are a few male bass hanging around shallow areas protecting the newly hatched bass. Females stick around too but are typically inactive as they recuperate from the spawning [2].

Bass in the post-spawn season do not go far from the shallows and hang around outer weed lines or nearby bushes. Here, you can catch a relatively good number of bass, but they do not last long in the areas.

As soon as the offspring matures enough to stay by themselves, the bass leave and find favorable areas to live.

Related: Best Bass Fishing Reels

Factors Affecting Bass Spawning Season

As mentioned, the bass spawning season can be as productive or not, depending on several factors. Here they are.


This is a significant factor affecting the bass spawning seasons. Remember, spawning happens when it starts getting warm at the end of winter and the onset of spring. As the water temperature hits 50 degrees, the bass start to prepare for the season.

They feed heavily to stay put in their beds and nest as the spawning season runs. They typically stay in the nests for 10 to 14 days, where they do not feed at all.

As the water temperature rises to about 55 to 70 degrees, male and female bass start roaming the shallows. During this time, they clear circular areas creating a favorable environment for the females to lock onto the bed [3].

The temperature varies from one spot to the other, especially in large bodies of water. This means spawning may not happen at the same time in one water body but in different waves.


The location determines how fast or slow the spawning season starts. If the area gets warmer earlier than others, spawning will start earlier. Usually, the spawning in the South starts earlier than in the North because spring begins early in the South.

Moon Phase

This factor is one that seasoned anglers have different opinions of. Some say that during a full moon, a big wave of bass surfaces in the shallows. This is because the full moon is associated with temperatures getting higher in spring.

The Bottom Line

When do bass spawn? Spawning happens towards the end of winter and the beginning of spring. At this time, the conditions are suitable for spawning. Understanding when helps you plan for the best time to catch bass and make the most use of your fishing expeditions.

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