Joe Revercomb with a trophy James River smallmouth bass. Increased rainfall driven by a warming planet is causing parts of the river to routinely flood in May and June, during and immediately after the smallmouth bass spawning season. If the smallmouth have not yet spawned, then their forage baitfish, crayfish and aquatic insects will not have spawned, either. Soft plastic swimbaits like the Keitech Swing Impact Swimbait or Sassy Shads work well and sink deep quickly when fished on a jig head. Threadfin shad need mid-60-degree water. The smallmouth bass streams of the Ozarks and Ouachitas are popular any time of year; but, winter makes for a perfect float fish because water levels are just right and rivers are less crowded. Males aggressively defend a nest containing the fertilized eggs of multiple females. Conventional thinking, supported by research, is that once summer smallmouth reach their summer habitat, they remain in that area until fall migration, unless forced out by environmental factors such as fire, flood, or drought. Stay at least 6 feet away from other anglers you encounter and try to avoid crowded access points. On average years during late winter, water temperatures climb out of the 30s and into the 40s on rivers and streams across the state. Chartreuse and white, tan and white, or olive and white are good color combinations. Expansive sand and gravel shorelines usually provide the best smallmouth spawning areas. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds or using alcohol-based sanitizer even while afield or afloat. Do not fish if you feel sick or think you might be sick. The flashy profile of the Kreelex does a great job of attracting smallmouth in high, stained flows. This bulky pattern pushes a lot of water and draws in strikes from big pre-spawn bass. Spring is best broken into four periods. The smallmouth bass is common in medium to large streams and in large, clearwater lakes throughout Wisconsin. Spawning: In Wisconsin, smallmouth bass spawning usually occurs at water temperatures between 62 - 64º F, but they have been found spawning at 53º F. In southern Wisconsin, the smallmouth spawns from the middle of May through June (water temperatures … Learn more about two new Elite Archery bows, the Enkore and Remedy, two new broadhead from Slick Trick and a new site from Custom Bow Equipment (CBE). It drives the time of the spawn and whether the spawn will be successful. Look for those with a mixture of rock sizes ranging from cobble to small car-sized boulders. Spring also coincides with great opportunities to target smallmouth bass as rivers across the state warm up from the winter months. Make sure to have some crankbaits on hand in a variety of colors during this time of the year. The newly-hatched crayfish will not leave the female and become bass food until they've gone through several molts, each triggered by warmer water. As proof that the knee bone is connected to the thigh bone, smallmouth bass behavior is predicated on water temperature. Smallmouth bass can be finicky at times. If we have what the business school professors call "perfect knowledge," that is, if we know all there is to know about this subject, then we would hold all information necessary to catch a fish on every cast. Addition of steel ball creates loud hard-rattling sound bass find irresistible. It's easy to catch nesting smallmouth. Spawning time. When the water temperature tops the mid-40s, male and female fish begin to actively feed after going perhaps all winter without taking food. If you choose to float please do so with individuals that you live with and are isolated with. Spring can often coincide with high flows on rivers and streams across Virginia. Real-time temperature information is not available for all waters. In lakes, wind-protected shallow coves on the north shore warm first because they get the most sun. Spawning typically begins in late April and continues all through the month of May on our Virginia rivers and streams. Before making that first cast, dunk the thermometer to get a clue as to where the fish are located. The more you understand about your home water, the more and bigger fish will be on the end of your line. Mountain streams are typically in prime flow conditions during this time of the year, and spring hatches have the fish feeding regularly. Water temperature prescribes when and what forage becomes abundant and available. Mid to late March signals the beginning of pre-spawn activity for smallmouth bass. McCLINTOCK: Anywhere from 58 to 70 degrees, but I find they spawn more by moon phase than water temperature. Strongly consider adding smallmouth to your list of favorite species to target as the trees bloom and the grass grows. Doug Lane, local guide and owner of Angler’s Lane fly shop in Lynchburg, mentioned that “one can expect to catch some of the most aggressive fighting smallmouth during the pre-spawn weeks of March and early April. These fish can also be found holding along ledges, drops offs, in riffles, and even along the banks. Along with water temperature, spring largemouth location is driven b… The first main time period for the Largemouth Bass is what I call the Pre Pre-Spawn. Also consider carrying large articulated streamers in your fly box during this time of the year. Find Smallmouth as the Weather Warms in the Spring, If you choose to fish during the pandemic it is essential that you follow, Fish alone or with family members or others that you live with and are isolating with during the Governor’s. Here's a look at the latest shotguns, loads, calls, clothing and more. These fish often seek out softer currents in 2 to 6 feet of water behind boulders, logs, or other obstructions when choosing spawning sites. This April smallmouth took a clouser minnow fished on a 250 grain full sinking line. Smallies are hungry and will bite almost anything, however, conditions are tough and finding fish can be difficult in the spring. Water temperature controls their diurnal movements as they shift between resting and feeding areas. Give a Gift   Early summer is a period of transition. They have moved, awaiting the courtship that will soon follow. With the water temperature below 60 degrees, the fish hold in the mid-depth range. Episode 1 reviews some company history to explain how this all came about. In lakes, the fish will be spread across all available cover, such as rockpiles, weedlines, large woody debris, and man-made structure. In the spring, they gather for the spawn. It can be best to cover water when fishing for pre-spawn smallmouth bass. All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. What this demonstrates to the smallmouth angler is how important a thermometer, time on the water and careful note-taking are to angling success. Each year, fisheries biologists in McCall conduct a routine gill-netting survey on Lake Cascade to monitor trends in the fish community. Seasonal Habits of the Smallmouth Bass Pre-Spawn. The optimal temperature will be reached first in the southern parts of the country in early February and then work north throughout the spring months. Since their starting point is lower, it takes more radiant heat to wake up the smallies. When parenting duties end, they resume feeding and can be taken in the shallows. I normally catch my biggest spring fish in spawning areas one or two days before the full moon in April. Catch and release bass fishing is allowed year round during the open water season. Perch numbers are up, and anglers should continue to catch good numbers and sizes of rainbow trout and kokanee in … The phenomenon often happens when the spawn is extremely late. Photo by David Paul Williams. Topwater flies and lures will become more productive as summer approaches and April turns to May. Males and females energetically feed in preparation of the spawn. Photo by Walker Dales. Chuck Kraft once told me the key is to work one’s fly more slowly than one is accustomed to in the summer. Some noted that smallmouth bass recruitment also occurs in years of extremely low river flows, particularly in May, when fish are spawning, indicating that there is a river level “sweet spot” needed for a robust spawn to occur resulting in large numbers of young-of-the-year smallmouth bass. The entire mature population points toward the shallows. Expansion of Woodland Series targets continues fun, realistic way to practice. We know what you're thinking: Isn't Benelli a shotgun company? Biologists used to think smallmouth lived their entire lives within a single pool, never traveling more than a few hundred yards. North shore smallmouth move into the shallows several days before their south shore brethren. However, the best months to experience it is April and May. Subscriber Services. Michigan bass guide Chris Noffsinger tempts smallmouth early each spring using suspending jerkbaits and a twitch technique that has netted him bronze from waters across the Midwest. Make sure to exercise caution during this time of the year more bites or olive white., loads, calls, clothing and more to do their part to! Hold in the 60- to 70-degree range foods and the reverse is true as well Woodland Series targets continues,. Food source state often associate spring with trout fishing season those fish limits the.! 5 feet deeper than where the food Redemption EKO and Legit RTH - are light, adjustable and.... 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