4 Determine factors for the spawning season of freshwater fish

If you’ve ever planned a freshwater fish spawning fishing trip, you may already know that the bite can be steady and incredibly exciting. The reason for this surge in activity is because fish like largemouth bass tend to feed heavily as they prepare to spawn.

OK, how do you plan your trips around freshwater fish spawning? Sure, you can go with a general answer like spring or summer. However, in order to answer this question in more detail, there are two important things you should consider.

First of all, you need to decide which freshwater fish species you want to target. Second, you need to determine where you want to fish.

Spawning factors for freshwater fish

Answering these two questions won’t always give you the exact spawning times for freshwater fish (that’s Mother Nature we’re talking about here), but they usually give you a pretty good idea. Keep in mind that extreme weather conditions or unusual environmental changes on a waterway can affect the spawning season of fish from one year to the next.

Once you know what freshwater species to target and where to go, a few key factors can help you make an informed decision about when to plan your trip.

  1. Water temperature: The spawning times of the fish vary for different species and can also vary depending on the size and depth of a waterway. For example, largemouth bass prefer water temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees for spawning, while bluegill spawns at water temperatures in the range of 75 to 85 degrees.
  2. Size and depth of the waterway: Keep in mind that not all areas of a large lake will evenly reach the desired spawning temperature range. This means that fish that live in different areas of a large lake can spawn at different times.
  3. Light: Spawning in some species can be triggered by changes in the day / night cycle. In the largemouth bass, longer periods of daylight not only warm the water, but bass eggs also need sunlight to hatch.
  4. Precipitation or current: An increase in rainfall can create additional current in a waterway, which can delay spawning activity. Stable water levels (along with stable water temperatures) are preferred.

The bottom line is, if you’re planning a spring freshwater fishing trip around fish spawning times, the water temperature is the most important factor to consider. If largemouth bass is your preferred species this spring, one of the best times to fish is when the water temperatures remain constant in the 60 to 75 degrees range.

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