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In a couple of responses to a previous topic reference was made to bigger fish spawning first, or early.  On my home waters, I've found just the opposite to be true.  The bigger females tend to hold off until the water temps. are upwards of 65.  Could that behavior be unique to this body of water, or to northern waters as the shallow water temps here can drop quickly and the bigger fish instinctively know that?

 

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   From what I remember, the chances of eggs hatching and then having ample food to eat occurs when the water temperature is on the warmer side of  the nesting range. But this is not a steadfast rule, just a likelihood. Every pond is different when it comes to nesting/hatching conditions.

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The issue is apparently the costs of growing gametes. Undernourished bass must obtain the nutrition (fats in particular) to have gametes mature. Fish that come into, and make it through, winter in good condition tend to spawn first (which may not mean early but on time). These may not always be the biggest individuals in the lake, but those in best condition. Often big fish are the ones in best condition though. What is notable is that the latest spawners tend to be the real little ones -when more 10inchers show up to give it a shot. At these late dates some larger females may still be around still willing to spawn though.

 

Then there's the issue of accurate sampling. It can be hard to tell what is actually happening out there especially with limited observations (fishing only on weekends say). This is not an attack in any way, as I hold myself to the same standard. It's just darn hard to be there seeing enough to have an accurate description of things in nature, especially those occurring underwater. I'm going on what the biology literature describes. It's certainly possible that your water has some large fish spawning later, and/or "smaller" ones spawning early. It's just not the usual thing according to the literature. And we don't actually know the condition factors of those groups of fish.

 

Hope this helps.

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It is indeed a complicated process that depends on the body of water in question. In any event, since I don't fish these fish during egg laying times, I just wanted to throw in my 2 cents for what its worth.

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