Bass Fishing Forums - The Bassholes banner

Pre-Spawn

13362 Views 77 Replies 30 Participants Last post by  ab8aac
Pre-Spawn is my favorite seasonal period because it is the time when a catch of a lifetime can occur. Following the cold water period of late winter, pre-spawn begins when the water temperate approaches 55 degrees down to the depth of light. The female bass leave their deep sanctuaries and stage near structure breaks, that holds baitfish and clay or rocky soil where crawdads are coming out of hibernation, located close to the spawning flats. Wood cover like trees or brush on deep break lines is ideal if that type of cover is available.
The big bass are hungry and feeding to get ready for the spawn. These bass are usually in small groups or 5 to 15 fish and stay in the staging area for a few weeks or until the water warms to 58 to 60 degrees, then begin to cruise the spawning flats. Depending on the depth of light the big bass will stay a few feet above good light pentration and are establishing the territory they plan to spawn in.
The primary prey source for these big bass are emerging crawdads and baitfish. The presentations that trigger these bass are reaction baits that look like the prey fish or jigs and creature baits that mimic crawdads. Swim baits, spinner baits, crank baits, plastic worms  and jigs. The emerging crawdads are green/brown in color, the baitfish will be predominately light color due to the colder water and your lures should be in those hues. It is a little early for salamanders or waterdogs to be a food source factor, however big bass will eat them if available and kill them on sight during the spawn. Bluegill and crappie are also a good baitfish during this time. Eels are a cold water food source and the darker color plastic worms and jig trailers work well.
On larger reservoirs the deeper water zones tend to warm later than the protected flats near deep water points or channels. Therefore you can follow the pre-spawn from the north west wind protected areas to the more wind prone areas and extend the pre-spawn period without targeting spawner's.
Smallmouth and spots tend to spawn at 58 to 62 degrees, where largemouth tend to spawn at 62 to 65 degrees. The bigger bass may spawn deeper down to 15 feet if the water clarity is very good or 6 to 2  feet in off color water. The smaller bass tend to be up in 1 to 3 feet. Clay with gravel/sand near wood / brush or tulle's is preferred for largemouth and rock/gravel for spots and smallmouth.
Tom
See less See more
1 - 20 of 78 Posts
There appears to be very little interest in this type of information on this board. This takes lots of time to post all the calendar periods and with no interest, why continue the effort.
Tom
imonembad said:
I'm guessing people who want information will ask for it.
I have decided to post the "Winter cold water period" as it may be appropriate for the majority of bass fisherman on this board at this time. Sometimes it is difficult to ask a question that you do not already have a answer for and just looking for support. I do not have all the answers and that is the purpose of this type of forum, to get everyone involved. You do not need to believe in what I post to ask a question about it. It may also seem like I'm from mars because of some of my opinions and view points differ from the mainstream. We all have different opinions and sharing experiences can be applied as you see fit. After this post, I will take your advice and try to answer questions that are posted.
Tom
Jim, thank you for your support! As you are well aware, not everyone has had the opportunity to fish for a life time or even live this long! There are few secrets, everything has been done before just not shared openly.
Tom
OTTER said:
Jim and Tom, keep the info comming.  I am making notes, copies and anything else I can do to become better at this sport I love so much.  I read Jim's old post on electronics last week and it really has helped me understand what I'm seeing.  To be honest, I had no idea of how to use the darn thing and by the time I get to go again, I will have studied it until I can actually use it to catch more fish.  The resources on this site, as well as the friendly chit chat is why this site is #1 in my book !  Teach on brothers, its appreciated.

Gary
Take a look at Don Iovino's book: http;//www.iovino.com/donbook.htm
I keep a copy in my boat to help remember all the little tricks with GPS/sonar.
Merry Christmas or holidays to you and have a great new year fishing.
Tom
rick said:
hey new to this sight and seems like a good one but if anybody could help me with a problem that I have and that is locating bass consistently anyway on my home river system and when I say river I mean river 50 feet wide and good current some small shallow bayous spaced out with laydowns all up and down the banks I do a lot of fishing there and catch some nice fish but don't understand the patterns and movements of these river bass with every spot looking good and the river bottom being pretty much the same (mud and flat) what do they do during cold fronts,High pressure,warm water,low water (5 feet normal depth),high watersunny,cloudy ect,, all info would be helpfull   thank you 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       ps .spring summer and fall patterns would be helpfull also                                                                                                   
Jim's reply is very good information as usual. My experience with rivers is limited. In-Fisherman published a very detailed report on rivers and I can copy the sections applying to bass and send it via email if you post your address to the message board, as soon as I get a chance to locate it. What type of bass are you targeting; Smallmouth, Spots or Largemouth? Largemouth tend to seek slower moving current, wing dam breaks, oxbow lakes and heavy cover. Spots and smallies tend to be more active in the current, holding on objects that provide breaks, similar to how trout sets up to ambush prey that the current brings to them. Water temperature still governs the basses life cycle in the river and they stage near spawning areas, just in smaller more compact areas where the current or sudden depth changes does not affect the nest sites. Weather conditions are more dramatic to river bass as storms change their ecosystem, water clarity, water levels, current speed etc. Ambush sites are he primary holding and feeding zones for river bass, therefore light conditions are very important to help camouflage the bass. Low light is better than bright light and following a cold front the light is most intense, so the bass will position themselves in the darkest ambush sites available. Prey is crawdads and smaller baitfish then you would see in a lake or reservoir and reaction bites are faster because the strike zone is reduced as the bass generally stay close to cover. Down size the lures and use baits like, buzzers,spinners, spinner baits, jigs,Texas rigged worms, crank baits that tend to look like crawdads or darker color baitfish.
Tom
See less See more
Ice out is a big event for lakes that freeze, the ecosystems alarm bell to wake up. Wind is usually the force that causes ice to break up along with prolonged warming periods. Remember the water colder than 39.4 makes up the surface or upper layers, with the warmer water being compressed deeper. The wind tends to mix the heavy and cold water layers quickly and sink down through the warmer deep layers causing a condition known as early turnover. The oxygen poor layers that were very deep mix with the more oxygen rich water and the lake becomes colder with less DO for the bass following the turn over. It takes time to reestablish layers and the fish a in a neutral mood until they acclimate. Thats may be what happens where you fish, however I have no idea where that is? If largemouth are the bass you are targeting, then use slow moving large lures like swim baits that represent the forage fish in your area. Jigs are good because you can fish them slowly and cover the whole water column depth. Twin spins and single blade spinner baits work well helicoptered down through the water column. If you see surface activity, then try a dog walking lure or slowed down jerk bait. Big wide wobbling deep diving crank baits and slow falling senko's all do well during pre-spawn. However you are really in the late winter cold water period during ice out.
Tom
See less See more
Everyone has days on the water that nothing comes together, so don't get frustrated. Where I fish is very similar to your Texas climate, not as cold as it freezes more often there. I would look for the first full moon in January as the earliest bass should be moving away from their pre spawn staging sites and start to cruise the spawning flats. The buck bass are usually a little easier to see along the shallower shore line zones, the big girls will be out on the first break line and occasionally move along the bank if a deeper break is close by. Bass generally will not spawn in water that has very poor light penetration and will seek water that you should be able to see the bottom down to 2 feet or so. LMB eggs need both light and 60+ degree water to hatch. Check the water temperature when you launch your boat and in the back of protected coves, it is everything this time year if the water level is stationary. If the water level is fluctuating up and down sereval feet, the bass tend to hold off spawning as long as possible.
Tom
See less See more
KeithsCatch said:
Perhaps other people who are new to this site as I am might benefit if some who are "experts" would post a little biography about themselves so that people will listen more to what is said.

I know Jim from another site and know he has some good info to share. I do not know Old School from Adam so I have no idea who he is or how long he has been fishing or anything. He could be Bill Dance for all I know?

I always appreciate information that is shared. I do my best to share what information I have learned over the years also. I do want to make this point if I may. I see things on forums that bother me as I have been around allot of forums over the years going back to 1998. I see people chimming in about subjects with their opinions and when someone chimes in on a subject with a differeing opinion that might not be "mainstream" this person sometimes gets looked down upon. Let me say that there are no hard and fast "rules" to fishing. This is not a video game that can be mastered after playing it a dozen times. Proper equipment arguments get really old to me because what it all boils down to is an opinion. If someone says a fiberglass rod is the only rod to use for crankbaits and they reference a
"pro" who uses them does this make this true? No not at all. It makes this a true statement for the angler who believes this.

So keep in mind you good folks of this site. If something works for me I am going to say so. If something works for you then say so. If you like fiberglass rods for instance, then by all means use them. But let's allow each person the space to grow within their own rules and standards. I used that as an example. I could have used the mind numbing arguments about Lucky Craft lures, GYCG, or any other high priced lures are the only way to go, just as easily. So keep in mind that most knowledge that is shared whether it be from a newbie or an old timer is opinion. There are not many facts in this hobby we call fishing. This isn't mathematics with one absolute right answer and millions of wrong ones.
Look at the new member post for my basic bio. Bill Dance is about the same age. I agree, no one has all the answers. All you need to remember is returning to the boat dock after a long day on the water, thinking it was really tough out there and the boat next to you is all smiles with a boat load of bass. Sometimes lady luck smiles on you. Time on the water is the best teacher and you should learn something each trip.
Tom
denneyjames said:
Tom,
i recently just left the insider board because of the fact that its just like any old forum where they are just talking about anything and everything i am here to learn about bass fishing and thank you for your knowledge it is more than what i could ask for.
James :) :) :) :)
Welcome, Once you get past the name it's a great board. I'm still trying to learn all the levels they have here and Jim aka "arkieforster' is known as "Ouachita" on this board, a great resource and very knowledgable fisherman. I have a problem remembering what I've posted where, so reposted the seasonal periods and one In Fisherman article. Good luck.
Tom
Jim, Thanks for your kind words. I was not offended from anything said from members of this board. What may be important in my mind to share, may be of little interest to the members. We are all creatures of habit and tend to repeat what works best for us. I was just trying to expand the envelope a little, based on experiences that most fishermen have not had. It's not my nature to sit back and follow and will continue to find a way to share information, for what it's worth.
Tom
Thanks!! appreciate the positive feed back.
Tom
Ps; great spell check feature for those of us who are impaired.
Thanks Joe! I know that some of this stuff is over the top and so different then whats is generally excepted. I also realize that most people reading some of the information will never give it more than a passing thought and question who is this guy anyway, some crack pot! All I can say is that is their choice. The only thing that would tick me off is to challenge my credibility and I know Jim feels the same. You can take what you want from free information, it's offered without strings. Someday when you are old and gray, all you can hope for is an opportunity to give something back to the sport that has given you so much pleasure, share a few things and help someone like you who appreciates catching bass.
Tom
KeithsCatch said:
Ok somehow I think a few things need to be clarified here.

My post was placed simply because Tom himself asked the question why bother? Since I relate to this question and often ask myself why I provide so much detailed info about things that I do, I thought I would offer some input as to why some may not bother. I in no way suggested not to provide any information or to discuss things that are only asked for. I merely stated what happens when we cough up knowledge and infoprmation that no one asked for and then wonder why we got such a low response.

I am all for the sharing of fishing knowledge and is why I am so active on fishing boards. I am not an observer. I chime in with both feet. I am also not a newb fisherman and I know a thing or two about the sport. There are really two things in life that I am extremely knowledgeable about. 1) God (Christianity) and 2)Fishing. in that order. I take great pleasure in both of these and enjoy sharing and learning in each. I will never get to the point that I will shut the doors to learning in either of these arenas. They are just to large to be completely mastered by anyone person.

So take what I said with a grain of salt and I hope Tom can appreciate where the reference to the casting pearl before swine came from and why it was shared.

Thanks.
Please do not think for a second that your reply bothered me, I would have instantly let you know if it did.
Some folks just sit back gather information without wanting to become involved. I post stuff without being tied to a specific question because the question may never come up and those people who need the information the most may never know.
Tom
jwbarker said:
I think that one of your problems in encountering "like minds" to discuss the technical matters of fishing is that from what I can tell - it is because there aren't that many people out there that are in the same "league" as you are. While I like to consider myself knowledgeable in fishing matters I lack the years of experience and access to the more technical aspects of fishing - which is mostly a result of a lack of time. - we can't all be retired.
I'm old not retired, 2 more years for me. Thank you for posting what you think. I was hoping this wasn't some sort of competition where I know more than everyone else does. Everyone knows something about bass fishing that I don't know and collectively if we share that knowledge , we all benefit. If you think for one second that my ideas are understood by everyone or anyone some of the time, you would be mistaken. When I sat down and created the Cosmic Clock and Bass Calendar and drew it up, you can't imagine how proud I was, it look clear cut to me. As it would turn out after a few seminars, I was the only one who understood it and that was nearly 30 years ago. It was not until In-Fisherman came out and slowly introduced the same concept of seasonal periods that mainstream bass fisherman began to accept some of the information. Today terms like pre-spawn are commonly accepted, but not be completely understood. If someone like Jim, who is the best communicator with bass fisherman that I have ever known came up with that information, the bass fishing community would have comprehended the concepts better. So if you or anyone else doesn't understand me, just say so, it will just help me know what you are thinking and I can reconsider how to respond.
Tom
See less See more
Ouachita said:
Besides all that I fish a LOT all year long, still work second shift, all a lot more than getting time on the internet :D

Good grief! I was out walking in shorts this morning and a fishing buddy drove by commenting on my paper white legs. "You look like a corpse. Hide them thangs." So there's ANOTHER project to work on. I'll sure be glad to shed the heavy winter threads. Some days I wear so much I can't bend over in the boat. Hey, 40 degrees is UNBEARABLE for some of us Southern boys :mad:

Jim
Jim, I quite the Insider board because don't have the time and this is a good group of people.That for suggesting it. by they way, I did fix the Arkie statement.
Tom
bigdaddytowe said:
I disagree with odlskool about nobodt cares,I searched through the archives to find this,I look foward to th insight of yours
Did I say nobody cares?? It's been a foot in mouth kinda day for me and not even a full moon! The only reason I do this is in the hope someone benefits from the years of experience that they may not have. I think I'll go fishing and hope that I can stay in the boat without falling over board.
Tom
Someone asked me back a few months ago on the BASSInsider board what I thought he should use at Amistad the first weeks in March. Everyone was predicting the bass would be in full spawn by March at Amistad and my response was it's a late year because of cold weather. Bass don't know what the calendar is and should be in pre spawn, staging in 25 to 35 feet of water on major points near spawning flats.
I watched the Elite series tournament event today, missed it last week and was surprised to see only one boat was fishing outside on major points with jigs in 25 to 35 feet of water, targeting staging fish. That one angler won the tournament. Big surprise! To me the surprise was that the majority of the pro's didn't get on that simple pattern.
I have been fishing the local lakes and find myself alone enjoying a wonderful big bass bite very similar to what you see on the Amistad tape. Fishing my old jig and deep swim baits on major points and catching a lot of big bass.
If the bass where you are fishing haven't moved up on beds, go outside and catch them, they are waiting for you.
Tom
Ps; Remitz was using a brown/purple/green 3/4oz football jig w/Yamamoto hula grub twin tail, watermelon green/purple/black flake. The bass held onto this combination long enough for Remitz to set the hook. My guess is Remitz only detected about 25% of the strikes with the presentation method he was using because of his rod position was held too high, in my opinion. Must have been a very good jig bite. Give the youngster credit for staying focused and with his pattern, when all the big guns were inside throwing swimbaits.
See less See more
highrider26 said:
oldschool said:
My guess is Remitz only detected about 25% of the strikes with the presentation method he was using because of his rod position was held too high,
what would be the proper position fishing a jig as he was?
and thanks for all of your time, i have saved most all of what you and jim have posted to be printed out for future refreshers.
thanks to both of you.
rich
Proper is something that works for the individual. I believe he would have had higher strike detection if he kept his rod tip down and pointed at the jig and reel set. See the Horizontal Jigging In Fisherman article when Jared gets it scanned for details. When you get older it is important to share whatever knowledge may help the sport and both Jim and I are getting gray. Thanks for the positive feed back, it helps to know something good comes out of this effort.
Tom
Ouachita said:
Welcome Roy. "TY" at Insider is Tom here. I was Arkieforester. Jump right in and comment or at least ask questions.

Jim
Also look at "Oldschool" postings on this board.
Tom
1 - 20 of 78 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top