Over the many years of fishing bass that are bedding there are many beliefs that just don’t hold water, no pun intended! I don’t know how many people call me and tell me that they want to come fishing but want to make sure they miss the bedding time; they believe the bass will not bite during the spawn. Wrong! I catch more fish during the bedding time on year than any other time, the females protect the bed after they lay eggs and the males protect the beds while they are laying eggs. The only time they become difficult to catch during the spawn is when they are both rolling in the beds where the female is on her side laying eggs, and that only last a few hours.
It has been said that the bass need warm water to bed, the estimate everyone uses is about 68 degrees. Well this also is not the case, a bass has a biological clock that pushes them to spawn from many times with water temperatures in the 50’s and all the way up to the low 80’s. Their body pushes them many times as late as the early July time frame before many of the fish spawn; I have also caught post spawn fish as early as the middle of February where the water has been as cold as the low 50’s. Besides their biological clock there are also many other factors that affect when bass spawn, such as moon phase, water levels and water stability also affect when they bed.
The belief that most of us believe is that bass only bed in shallow water, and the bedding time of year we hunt the shallows me included is very true! However there are many times that I have caught bedding bass in 15 ft. of water; in fact in lakes where there is a lot of water level movement the bass traditional bed deeper; water level stability is a big part of the spawn many lakes only offer stable depths away from the shallow flats.
Lastly clear water, many believe the bass need clear water to bed; wrong again, you may not be able to see them bedding but clear water is not a necessity at all.
Captain Mike Gerry
Fish Lake Guntersville Guide Service
Professional Bass Fishing Guide