Springtime is an exciting season for outdoorsmen; we begin to see green again, and for anglers, it marks the beginning of the spawning season for largemouth bass. Bass spawn during spring when water temperatures rise above 60°F, and it can be a great time to catch a trophy bass. However, fishing during the spawn requires special considerations to ensure the safety of the fish, so it’s important to know the proper techniques to use.

Bass Behavior

When fishing during the spawn, the safety of the fish should be first on our minds. Largemouth are vulnerable during this time, so handling them with care is important. We are stewards of the species, and adding more stress during this period can endanger fish stocks if we aren’t careful. Avoid fishing in areas where bass are actively spawning, as you could disturb their nests and disrupt the spawning process. If you do happen to catch a spawning bass, be gentle when removing the hook and releasing the fish back into the water. While we all want pictures, make sure to get the fish back in the water quickly to prevent the nest from being raided by other fish looking to eat eggs and fry.

    One key aspect of fishing during the spawn is understanding the behavior of the bass. During the spawning season, bass will migrate to shallow waters to spawn. These shallow areas of the lake reach the prime 60-degree mark much sooner than deep holes. Male bass will create nests, or “beds,” in shallow water and will guard them aggressively. Female bass will lay their eggs in these nests and then leave the area. 

    This is the perfect opportunity for anglers to target the male largemouth guarding the nests.


    When targeting spawning bass, it’s essential to use the right equipment. You’ll need a lightweight rod and reel with a fast, sensitive tip that can detect the slightest bite. Fluorocarbon line is a great choice, as it is virtually invisible in the water and won’t spook the fish. The density of fluorocarbon will also allow you to fish with less weight while still giving the lure plenty of action. You’ll also need a selection of lures that mimic the natural prey of the bass, such as worms, jigs, and shallow diving crankbaits.


    One effective technique for fishing during the spawn is sight fishing. This involves slowly moving through shallow water and scanning the bottom for bass nests. Once you spot a nest, you can cast your lure near the nest and work it slowly back to the boat. Be patient and persistent, as male bass may not be interested in feeding during the spawning season but will aggressively defend their nests. This is an excellent opportunity to teach new anglers how to pick apart shorelines and place a focus on accurate casting.

    Another effective technique for fishing during the spawn is flipping and pitching. This involves using a heavy baitcasting rod and reel to cast a lure, such as a jig, creature bait, or worm, into heavy cover where bass may be hiding. Post-spawn females will often seek out these pieces of cover to rest and forage for meals. Flipping and pitching require a bit of finesse, as you’ll need to place your lure in tight spots accurately, but it can be a great way to catch trophy-sized bass.

    Fishing during the spawn can be a thrilling experience for anglers, but it requires some extra care and preparation. However, the learning experiences and ability to be on the water before leisure boaters and swimmers enter the lake is well worth the effort.

    Remember:  handle the fish with care, understand the behavior of the bass, and always use the right equipment and techniques to increase your chances of success. With patience and persistence, you could land the bass of a lifetime during the springtime spawn.