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When Do Smallies Spawn In Lakes.

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I got to thinking about what I don't know about the smallmouth species and realized I really don't know squat.  I've caught my share along with some northern and walleye, but the weren't the species I was targeting.  So I decided if I plan on targeting smallies, I'd better educate myself on them. and I decided to start with the spawn?

Generally speaking, at what water temp do smallies spawn? I know there are other factors to consider, but water temp seems to me to be the best.  I'm assuming that it's colder than that wich  largemouths will spawn, but you know what they say about assuming.  Along those lines, Is their prefered bottom composition for building nests sand or gravel if both are available and do they generally build beds in deeper water than their cousins?  Thanks

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On erie they start spawning when the main lake temps hit 60-65 degrees from my experience. They will bed shallow but also deeper than I have heard or seen largemouth.  You can spot beds out to 12 feet at least. Sand & gravel is the norm for beds.

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Lake George will put smallies on beds at 65 degrees. 1/4 oz jigs dragged across the bed will get a strike from the male first, usually. Patience and persistence  can eventually pick up the female.

From ice out to spawn is my favorite time to target smallies.

Sandy flats to 12 foot rocky drops hold fish here.

Experiment with various jerkbaits, fluke style baits and med depth cranks...a reaction bite can lead to plenty of fish in a days time.

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I have seen them on beds in water as cool as the low to mid 50's, but the major "wave" of them wll be in high 50 to mid 60 degree water..........around here. Every lake is different. That 2 week window where you can cruise along a spawning area and pick them off of beds at will is about as magical as it gets. They are way less shy and fussy on beds than largemouth.

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Fishing a large, clear, hilland type reservoir here for smallies and I start seening them on beds when the water temps are in the mid-50's. And they can still be on the beds well into June....they just bed a bit deeper, the later in the season it gets. I've seen active beds down to 12' in early summer. So I guess the answer to your question is to start early and use a good pair of polarized sunglasses. (And don't forget the sunscreen!)

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Lake Champlain's spawn from 55-70. (May through late June). Bigger fish spawn deeper, one lake up here (better than Champ for smallies) has 6+'s spawning in 20fow in 60 degrees. IE whenever and wherever they want

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Lake Champlain's spawn from 55-70. (May through late June). Bigger fish spawn deeper, one lake up here (better than Champ for smallies) has 6+'s spawning in 20fow in 60 degrees. IE whenever and wherever they want

What lake is that?

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Seymour

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A little further south here, but the same holds true.  Around the 60 degree mark for a week or two seems to be the primary trigger.  Of course runts will run early and late, and depth wise here they go from just a few feet of water to as deep as I can see, im guessing 15 maybe 20 feet if the conditions are right.  Basically it seems to me that the location determins how deep they bed vs the fish size around here.  If you have a big flat with pebble rock and any type of cover near a channel or ledge that's where they seem to like to be.  Or that's where I seem to find them anyway, lol.

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I've caught river fish on beds at around 52 degrees before here in WI

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yea once the water starts hitting about 55 degrees the males start into the shallows and start making beds in 3-12 ft or deeper .... if you wanna find the good spawn spots just hit your lake and find anywhere that has rocks and sand/gravel ....... find rocks in the size you would imagine would be easy for a fish to move....... i have watched a couple of smallies make nests its a trip to just sit their and watch em do their thing.. from 55-60ish degrees is when they will be sitting on nests and if you fish large bodys of water they will spawn earyier in the spots that are shallower and get the longist sun exposure ...... but always look for rocky gravel bottoms.if you are looking for info hit the web i found all kinds of info on this fish but it will take some time to find all that you are looking for.

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