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Ghostshad

Spawn

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Is the Spring all about the Spawn & the rest of the year all about the baitfish ? If not would you explain how the bait does affect finding the bass .  GodBless &  Thanks

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The spawn is all about sites and substrate. Winter is all about environmental stability. The rest of the year is all about security and food, which play competing roles for energy and attention. How this parses out is why bass fishing -and understanding nature- is such a challenge. 

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Ghost, the bass follow the bait all year.

Now the shad in lakes are heading into the back of creeks so that is where the bass will be.

The shad also have "shad balls" in lakes and the bass will be under them waiting to ambush one,

The spawn is based on water temperature. When the water temp hits 62* to 65* in the spring the bass spawn.

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If you define the spawn as the time period bass are on nest sites then food isn't a priority.

The time period of about a month or two before the male bass move up and make nest sites is called pre spawn, food is a major priority.

The time period of about two weeks after the bass spawn is called post spawn, easy to eat food is a priority, the female bass are tired from spawning.

What complicates a simple term we call the spawn gets fuzzy because male bass behave differently then females and females may lay eggs several times over a month period and.....not all bass spawn during the same time period, it can be over a 3 month spawn cycle.

The rest of the year food is a priority, bass need to eat to servive and are aggressive predators that hunt live prey of all types, not just baitfish. Bass eat terrestrial critters that live near the water and get too close or are swimming on or in the water, all sorts of frogs, tadpoles, aquatic insects, salamanders, crawdads and wide variety of smaller fish.

Welcome to bass fishing!

Tom

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Most of the above guys have stated some useful information. Additional factors to consider in the summer time can be dissolved oxygen, water temperature, and shade.

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How to find bass by finding baitfish is a good question.

I noted in the 1st reply that bass eat more prey types then baitfish and we don't  say find the prey to locate the bass we do say find the baitfish. The reason may be that finding baitfish usually requires sonar unit because baitfish often difficult to see visually without the aid of sonar.

As everything in bass fishing nothing is absolute, always exceptions. To find baitfish without sonar is possible by using your sense of sight, hearing and smell. You can sometimes see bait jumping out of the water to get away from a predator. If the surface is calm you can see bait puddling, this looks like tiny ripples or waves being pushed along the surface by the bait. You can see and hear splashes caused by feeding activity by bass on bait near the surface. Believe it or not you can smell baitfish odors or oils created by heavy feeding on baitfish by bass. Last but not least is bird watching, birds have phenomenal eye sight and detect bait below the water surface. When you se birds like grebes on the surface diving individually or in group they are following and feeding on baitfish. When you see blue herons standing next to or in the water the heron is waiting or feeding on baitfish.

Metering schools of baitfish with sonar is the easiest method and also tells you important information, the depth the baitfish are at and that is the depth the bass will be.

Tom

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Keep in mind,. just because you find the baitfish,.. doesnt mean you will automatically be hooking up. Often, when you see the bait being corralled by fish, the fish in question are actually inactive, not always, but it does happen. They will keep that bait in check so they can pick one or two off when the dinner bell rings. But a lure even dropped on their nose, will be scoffed at. Whats going on in this situation is, the bass are keying in on that specific bait. They wont be hitting anything else, until their activity level changes.

If you can mimic the bait they are keying in on, their size, natural colors, scent, and movement, you may incounter a hit. But its a fine line, and on larger water bodies, its just easier to find more agreeable bass. if available. 

There are times when you find the bait,. the fish are active, and on a feeding spree that you will catch some. And its a gratifying experience, you have conquered the deeper invisable fish, and the fishing gods shone down upon you.

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Dang!

I like Paul's answer till I read Sam's till I read WRB's till I read fishballer06's till I read "hamma"'s!

Gotta let all that sink in so I can answer!

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1 hour ago, "hamma" said:

Keep in mind,. just because you find the baitfish,.. doesnt mean you will automatically be hooking up. Often, when you see the bait being corralled by fish, the fish in question are actually inactive, not always, but it does happen. They will keep that bait in check so they can pick one or two off when the dinner bell rings. But a lure even dropped on their nose, will be scoffed at. Whats going on in this situation is, the bass are keying in on that specific bait. They wont be hitting anything else, until their activity level changes.

If you can mimic the bait they are keying in on, their size, natural colors, scent, and movement, you may incounter a hit. But its a fine line, and on larger water bodies, its just easier to find more agreeable bass. if available. 

There are times when you find the bait,. the fish are active, and on a feeding spree that you will catch some. And its a gratifying experience, you have conquered the deeper invisable fish, and the fishing gods shone down upon you.

If the baitfish are balled tightly together it's because some type of predator is working them, not always bass could be trout, crappie, catfish, whatever. Big bass often wait at a convient place to let smaller bass or other predator move or injure the bait to where they have learned is to their advantage. Can't catch inactive bass, easier to catch active bass.

Tom

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Great advice guys.  Especially with pressured fish, matching the hatch in terms of lure presentation is key.  Example being where I was fishing one of my local honeyholes at a rivermouth in the summer.  There happened to be thousands of 2 inch minnow schools everywhere.  Nothing was getting bit and all of my go-tos weren't producing.  Strapped a 1/8 oz 1.5 inch long Blue and Silver Little Cleo and instant fish on.  In just 15 minutes I had caught a 31 and 7/8 inch pike and a 15 inch smallmouth directly after landing the pike and popping out the treble.

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13 minutes ago, Catt said:

Dang!

I like Paul's answer till I read Sam's till I read WRB's till I read fishballer06's till I read "hamma"'s!

Gotta let all that sink in so I can answer!

I know you will do it in one sentence or less!:)

Tom

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Do You watch the birds year round ?

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3 hours ago, WRB said:

I know you will do it in one sentence or less!:)

Tom

I know I can't do that.

I was once awarded the Tolstoi Award on a trout site a while back, taking it from a long-standing, and long-winded, member. I bet the two of us accounted for a third of the verbage on that site. I actually thought I did pretty well on my post above. :)

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14 minutes ago, Paul Roberts said:

I know I can't do that.

I was once awarded the Tolstoi Award on a trout site a while back, taking it from a long-standing, and long-winded, member. I bet the two of us accounted for a third of the verbage on that site. I actually thought I did pretty well on my post above. :)

Your reply was short and accurate, mine were long and probably confusing.

Tom

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Once I reached a certain level of understanding I no longer looked at the calendar to define "spring".

Many anglers wait for the " spring spawn" to start, problem is by the time "spring" starts on the calendar the spawn is well underway.

Spring 2017 on the calendar starts March 20 th, down here "spawn" starts in late February & ends in mid-April.

If I wait on the "spring spawn" I've missed the majority of the spawn.

Baitfish!

I don't care time of year it is baitfish is the key to finding bass. 

Nest are located where they are because a "feeding" flat is near by!

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For a bunch of years I did research in ecophysiology with a lot focused on photoperiod, and I came to the conclusion that at my latitude (42N) the first day of "spring" was Feb 10th, and the first day of "fall" was Aug 10th. I was not talking about "the weather". The rate of change in photoperiod accelerates then, starting the ball rolling. It's most noticeable terrestrially -if you are watching. Aquatically, water's heat capacity buffers the changes.

I break "spring" into stages: initial heat-up (heat, food), pre-spawn (sites), spawn (substrate/mates), post-spawn (food). I break "fall" into "cool down" (food), "re-heats" (food), and "winter" (habitat). Each tends to "slide" into the next, although winter often comes rather suddenly up here, usually with the first snow. 

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The water here is so murky in the spring that I usually dont know when the spawn is happening . Early bass are hungry , after the spawn bass are hungry . I just go fishing .

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