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I live in the Mid-South (Tennessee) and I have heard and read that the fish start moving up to spawn when the water temp gets around 55-60 degrees. I was just wondering when y'all notice the fish moving up where you are at ( water temp., month etc.) Reading something is different than actually putting it to use in my opinion and looking at something on the internet can only help you so much. Besides, I always like to hear the various opinions.

It's to early for the true pre-spawn here but hopefully the fish will start moving up soon.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

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previous years they seem really locked in around 1st, 2nd, 3rd week of May.   So I fish prespawn end of march some years and april.  May be later this year...

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You'll likely get different responses as pre-spawn movements can mean different things to different people.  To me, that movement starts when the fish start their move from deep to shallow and that takes place around here when the water gets into the mid 50's.  To someone else, it may be when the fish are staging at the last deep structure prior to moving up on the  flats and scoping out a spawning site. Many don't consider it pre-spawn until the fish are up on the flats.

Reguardless of what your definition is, the good news is that once that initial move begins, the fishing will improve. Of course that depends on ones ability to figure out where the fish are.  :wink2:

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There isn't a specific temperature. Fish start to move up when the water starts to warm up. They were shallow here when the water was in the high 40's. It's now in the high 50's and they are eating heavy. 

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I've noticed them pulling up in the grass on the main lake getting ready to move back in the creeks and pockets. Won't be long before they get on bed

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On 3/11/2014 at 9:43 AM, Cast_And_Blast said:

I live in the Mid-South (Tennessee) and I have heard and read that the fish start moving up to spawn when the water temp gets around 55-60 degrees. I was just wondering when y'all notice the fish moving up where you are at ( water temp., month etc.) Reading something is different than actually putting it to use in my opinion and looking at something on the internet can only help you so much. Besides, I always like to hear the various opinions.

It's to early for the true pre-spawn here but hopefully the fish will start moving up soon.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

 

 

On 3/11/2014 at 12:29 PM, Nice_Bass said:

previous years they seem really locked in around 1st, 2nd, 3rd week of May.   So I fish prespawn end of march some years and april.  May be later this year...

 

 

On 3/11/2014 at 7:30 PM, papajoe222 said:

You'll likely get different responses as pre-spawn movements can mean different things to different people.  To me, that movement starts when the fish start their move from deep to shallow and that takes place around here when the water gets into the mid 50's.  To someone else, it may be when the fish are staging at the last deep structure prior to moving up on the  flats and scoping out a spawning site. Many don't consider it pre-spawn until the fish are up on the flats.

Reguardless of what your definition is, the good news is that once that initial move begins, the fishing will improve. Of course that depends on ones ability to figure out where the fish are.  :wink2:

 

Its is important to note all of the different locations we fish. I am listed as from chi town but I fish central Illinois, missouri, and kentucky for college tournaments more. Darren is fishing down south, papajoe fishes up north by wisconsin,and nice-bass by me. The difference is that the water temp in northern illinois lakes will be a lot colder than down south. With this information in hand  nice_bass may be bed fishing still and may and may already be deep cranking.

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It can be different lake to lake as well, don't forget that..  You can have two lakes a mile away from each other and the fish could be doing two different things...

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It can be different lake to lake as well, don't forget that..  You can have two lakes a mile away from each other and the fish could be doing two different things...

True most lakes around me are frozen besides the power plant lakes that sit at a constant 50+ degree in some parts during winter 

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When i grew up in southern mo as a kid. When the dogwoods bloomed the spawn was in full swing.

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As  BuckMaxx wrote, when the Dogwoods bloom the bass are on their beds.

 

So monitor the dogwoods as they progress towards blooming.

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When the lilacs bloom, the bass are spawning....Usually accurate, at least here in Minnesota.

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Hmmm..some dogwoods are bloomin here in east tenn and water temp is 50. Maybe some smallies are movin up...but then this weather has been so inconsistant here.

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I think it's a bit more complicted than just water temperature.  The bass will get ready to spawn based upon water temperature but also length of day, moon phase may kick off movements once the daylight is around for so long, or the water temperature is at a certain level.  Just saying it's not a linear equation.  A cold front or other nasty weather can push them back out, as well, etc.

 

Pre-spawn and post-spawn movements are also equally variable based upon weather, light, etc.

 

My observations are made from living on a natural lake, the headwaters for a small river system for 30 years and being able to walk out the front door and catch fish off the dock, see them bedding on the beach where I laid pea-gravel, every single day through a spring.  This is in northern Indiana, so your mileage may vary.  I'm in Southern Indiana/Kentucky now for the last 6 years on a large river system rather than a lake so I'm still figuring that out.  It's amazing how long it takes to really know the heartbeat of a body of water.

 

Bass are catchable in shallows as soon as the ice comes off but it's interesting how they stage.  The small 1 year old bass seem to come in first and their numbers grow as the water warms.  Sunset on the east side of the lake with a west wind coming in is a winner.  The buck bass that are going to make beds seem to come in and pre-spawn feed next.  At this point you are targeting 1-2 lb fish.  The big ladies dont seem to come up until they are pretty well ready to find a mate.  These phases roll around the same time as water temperature hitting about 40 for the small guys, 50ish for the bucks, 60ish for spawning.  But at the same time, if you have a cold or late spring those fish dont have to come up to the shallows to spawn something else is triggering them such as length of day or that combined with a new or full moon phase. They may spawn and stage deeper and you never see them come up in huge numbers.  Or things may be going great and you get a week of rough spring weather and they all push back out to the first break.  Hard wind and rain will clear those fish out fast for a few days before they come back.  They don't like bad storms.

 

Some of the observations above I think are very accurate about dogwoods or lilac's blooming about the same time.  Nature is funny the way things are connected and I have observed through the years certain consistancies.  Flowering trees and such seem to be blooming about the same time that animals are starting to make their spring moves such as bass and crappie and squirrels.  The crappie first, then the bass are moving in.  The cottonwood trees seem to be dropping that d@mn cotton on everything about the time the bluegills are bedding.  etc.  The first small leaves of the year on brush in the woods are just popping out and are about the size of a squirrels ear when the Turkeys are ready to get it on.  The baitfish start to move shallower about the time that the red-winged blackbirds show back up from their wintering areas. Etc.

 

So, the advice I give is this:  Pay attention to what's around you.  Pay attention to nature in general and I think what is happening above the water will tell you alot about what is happening below the water.  In the spring, be sensitive to how the flora and fauna in your area are behaving and I bet it will help you to posistion the fish.

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Thanks for the feedback guys. I understand everywhere is different and there is no set time when the fish move shallow. I liked the stuff about the Dogwoods and Lilacs blooming. I never would have thought about that!

I think it's a bit more complicted than just water temperature.  The bass will get ready to spawn based upon water temperature but also length of day, moon phase may kick off movements once the daylight is around for so long, or the water temperature is at a certain level.  Just saying it's not a linear equation.  A cold front or other nasty weather can push them back out, as well, etc.

 

Pre-spawn and post-spawn movements are also equally variable based upon weather, light, etc.

 

My observations are made from living on a natural lake, the headwaters for a small river system for 30 years and being able to walk out the front door and catch fish off the dock, see them bedding on the beach where I laid pea-gravel, every single day through a spring.  This is in northern Indiana, so your mileage may vary.  I'm in Southern Indiana/Kentucky now for the last 6 years on a large river system rather than a lake so I'm still figuring that out.  It's amazing how long it takes to really know the heartbeat of a body of water.

 

Bass are catchable in shallows as soon as the ice comes off but it's interesting how they stage.  The small 1 year old bass seem to come in first and their numbers grow as the water warms.  Sunset on the east side of the lake with a west wind coming in is a winner.  The buck bass that are going to make beds seem to come in and pre-spawn feed next.  At this point you are targeting 1-2 lb fish.  The big ladies dont seem to come up until they are pretty well ready to find a mate.  These phases roll around the same time as water temperature hitting about 40 for the small guys, 50ish for the bucks, 60ish for spawning.  But at the same time, if you have a cold or late spring those fish dont have to come up to the shallows to spawn something else is triggering them such as length of day or that combined with a new or full moon phase. They may spawn and stage deeper and you never see them come up in huge numbers.  Or things may be going great and you get a week of rough spring weather and they all push back out to the first break.  Hard wind and rain will clear those fish out fast for a few days before they come back.  They don't like bad storms.

 

Some of the observations above I think are very accurate about dogwoods or lilac's blooming about the same time.  Nature is funny the way things are connected and I have observed through the years certain consistancies.  Flowering trees and such seem to be blooming about the same time that animals are starting to make their spring moves such as bass and crappie and squirrels.  The crappie first, then the bass are moving in.  The cottonwood trees seem to be dropping that d@mn cotton on everything about the time the bluegills are bedding.  etc.  The first small leaves of the year on brush in the woods are just popping out and are about the size of a squirrels ear when the Turkeys are ready to get it on.  The baitfish start to move shallower about the time that the red-winged blackbirds show back up from their wintering areas. Etc.

 

So, the advice I give is this:  Pay attention to what's around you.  Pay attention to nature in general and I think what is happening above the water will tell you alot about what is happening below the water.  In the spring, be sensitive to how the flora and fauna in your area are behaving and I bet it will help you to posistion the fish.

Thanks for this. I never noticed these things before. The only thing I've heard before is that,"When the Dogwoods are blooming, the turkeys are booming."

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