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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I fished a deep clear highland reservoir on sunday and noticed large pods of fish fry in many of the little cuts off mainlake banks.The water temp. was 45' when I started and made it up to 51-1/2 ' by the afternoon. Now our spring weather has been miserable and cold up to a week ago and this lake has just made it into the low 50's. I was wondering what would have spawned in these main lake cuts already? The lake is full of smallies,with some largemouth,muskies,yellow perch,panfish,carp and catfish. No walleyes that I am aware of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't believe that it's possible that any bass or panfish have spawned. The lake has just climbed out of the low 40's about ten days ago. Two weeks ago we still had snow on the ground and lows in the 20's at night. The lakes around here have been in the upper 40's at night climbing to the mid 50's by afternoon. Smallies don't even spawn at that temp.range and certainly not largemouth.I have been catching plenty of bass to know that they are not spawning or even ready to bed. Besides there are no beds visible in a very clear lake. These fry have to be some kind of baitfish or possibly carp. I would like to what temp. range shad or other baitfish spawn.
 
G

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I believe Walleye spawn in water temps in the 50's and then Pike and Muskie. I watched Al Lindner when they where fishing a new lake that was in the 50's and some fish had already spawned they said.

100% fact that NO Bass or panfish of any kind spawned in water temps that cold.
 
G

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Just reread your post and for some reason I overlooked 41 degrees and thought you said the water temp started out at 51 degrees and became warmer.

Thats what I get for speedreading and just picking out words before I post. LOL

I would also say bait fish but I also thought that bream could spawn in colder water.

As far as carp....I don't know.

What about Crappie.....what temps do they need in order to spawn?
 

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All the sunfish family spawn when the water temperature is above 60 degrees, generally in the mid 60's(62 to 67F) at the depth the fish are located, between 6" to 6' or deeper. Water temperatures in the low 50's is 10 degrees colder than bass or any other sun fish family member can effectively spawn. You may need to check your thermometer accuracy. Keep in mind the surface water temperature is not the same everywhere on the lake and not the same at the depth the fish spawn. If you have a trolling motor temperature probe, use that and lower the motor down a foot or more. The rear temperature probe is usually located near the big engine at the planning depth surface and may not be as accurate.
Cold water river minnows, suckers and other rough fish species can spawn in colder water. Pike and muskies spawn in mid 50 degree (13C or 55F) water in the back of muddy shallow wind protected coves. This gives the pike & muskies a head start so their fry can feed on the other fish species fry. Walleyes spawn about the same temps as pike & musky, however on gravel bars. The length of light of day is a important factor and generally needs to be near the equinox; 50% day to night light.
Tom
 
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