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Hi everyone!  I'm excited to be a new member of the forum, this is my very first post.  Here in Southeast Michigan (and like much of the country) we are experiencing an atypically cold March/April.  On the Detroit River where I live the water temp just finally cracked the 40 degree mark on April 13th.  How will this affect the bass spawn, when can I expect to start targeting them in their pre-spawn?  Until then just biding my time fishing for walleye 😪

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Hello and welcome.

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Don't pay attention to the calendar. The fish don't. Just because it's been cold doesn't mean much. We could go from winter right into summer and the bass could spawn earlier than usual. If it stays cold, they might spawn later. It really doesn't matter unless you've made vacations plans. You can only fish the conditions you face day to day. Just like every year, they'll spawn when conditions are right.

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Thanks Scott.  I typically start having success with smallies in Lake St Clair the last week of April by draggin' tubes, which just so happens to coincide with water temps in the high 40s to low 50s.  Based on the weather forecast for the rest of this week it's looking like the last week of April is only going to produce water temps in the low to mid 40s... move my planned vacation out to the first week of May?

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Sorry, my Magic 8 Ball that forecasts the weather isn't working right now. I fish Northern Wisconsin for prespawn smallies every year but I take a 2 week vacation to make sure I don't miss out on prime time entirely in case the weather doesn't cooperate.

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We need one solid week of 60 degree air temps, to get back on track. But right now it looks like cooler temperatures, will most likely slow the transition into the pre-spawn phase

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I am expecting it to be a late spawn this  year given that some of our local lakes just thawed this past weekend. It may end up being a slightly colder spawn than usual as well -- will be interesting.

 

 

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Here in West Michigan, we just got 2 more inches of snow last night. Last year we were 80. The key to getting the water to warm up quickly is for the nights to stay warmer. It can get up to 60-70 degrees but if the nights drop back in the 30's, then it kills the temps. A few warm rains will definitely help, but we need to get rid of the snow and cold run off asap. I anticipate a spawn at least 2 weeks later than last year. Many lakes in the UP still have ice fishing going on.... all the snow in WI will definitely prevent a quick warm up. I was planning to fish Sturgeon Bay in mid May, but now looking at end of May

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I've been coming to St Clair for the last 15 years straight the 21st to the 28th of May.  I've been rained on, hailed on, snowed on, blown around and sweat 1/2 to death. :lol:  This is the longest I think in those 15 years it has taken spring to show up.  It will be interesting to say the least.  When timed properly, we normally get to fish the smallies in all phases...pre-spawn, post spawn and on the beds.  Last year we had 20-40mph winds the whole week but luckily we rent a cottage on Harsens Island and can cut through to Little Muskamoot.   We ended up in there almost all week and did really well.  You just never know.  

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3 hours ago, TOXIC said:

I've been coming to St Clair for the last 15 years straight the 21st to the 28th of May.  I've been rained on, hailed on, snowed on, blown around and sweat 1/2 to death. :lol:  This is the longest I think in those 15 years it has taken spring to show up.  It will be interesting to say the least.  When timed properly, we normally get to fish the smallies in all phases...pre-spawn, post spawn and on the beds.  Last year we had 20-40mph winds the whole week but luckily we rent a cottage on Harsens Island and can cut through to Little Muskamoot.   We ended up in there almost all week and did really well.  You just never know.  

"You just never know"  ... and that is why it is called fishing and not called catching 😂  It's the truth though TOXIC,  we never really do know and that's what makes fishing so fun, the mental challenge of trying to figure out the bite.  If we caught 50 bass every time we went out we might get bored and find a new hobby.  I usually hit Lake St Clair during the last week in April and again in May.  Then I hit it in August for musky.  I live on Grosse Ile so the lower Detroit River is my home waters and I really don't start seeing smallies in my waters until mid to late May; until then walleye is king in my parts.  That's why I head up to St Clair the last week of April because it's my first opportunity to start catching decent numbers of smallmouth. Keeping my fingers crossed the weather hasn't sabotaged me. 

5 hours ago, 8pt172 said:

Here in West Michigan, we just got 2 more inches of snow last night. Last year we were 80. The key to getting the water to warm up quickly is for the nights to stay warmer. It can get up to 60-70 degrees but if the nights drop back in the 30's, then it kills the temps. A few warm rains will definitely help, but we need to get rid of the snow and cold run off asap. I anticipate a spawn at least 2 weeks later than last year. Many lakes in the UP still have ice fishing going on.... all the snow in WI will definitely prevent a quick warm up. I was planning to fish Sturgeon Bay in mid May, but now looking at end of May

Yeah, unfortunately I'm thinking the same thing, hence why I started the topic.  I already have my vacation time booked so I guess Imngoing to be stuck walleye fishing next week 😔

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Hello from up in Otsego County and Welcome to Bass Resource ~

Unfortunately, in this neck of the woods, the lakes are all still WAY frozen and buried under 3 feet of snow.

So it's going to be a while.

Good news for both of is, that as soon as there is open water, there should be plenty of willing participants.

Now exactly when that might be ? Your guess is a good as mine.

But the first few days of sunny open water, you know where I'll be . . . . . .

:smiley:

A-Jay

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6 hours ago, 8pt172 said:

Here in West Michigan, we just got 2 more inches of snow last night. Last year we were 80. The key to getting the water to warm up quickly is for the nights to stay warmer. It can get up to 60-70 degrees but if the nights drop back in the 30's, then it kills the temps. A few warm rains will definitely help, but we need to get rid of the snow and cold run off asap. I anticipate a spawn at least 2 weeks later than last year. Many lakes in the UP still have ice fishing going on.... all the snow in WI will definitely prevent a quick warm up. I was planning to fish Sturgeon Bay in mid May, but now looking at end of May

I'm getting old and my memory isn't what it used to be....I'm not sure if I've already asked you but what part of West Michigan you from? I'm from Greenville.

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2 hours ago, A-Jay said:

Hello from up in Otsego County and Welcome to Bass Resource ~

Unfortunately, in this neck of the woods, the lakes are all still WAY frozen and buried under 3 feet of snow.

So it's going to be a while.

Good news for both of is, that as soon as there is open water, there should be plenty of willing participants.

Now exactly when that might be ? Your guess is a good as mine.

But the first few days of sunny open water, you know where I'll be . . . . . .

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

Wow!  Luckily the ice is finally gone here in PA, but water temps have been sitting between 38-42 pretty much everywhere I've seen.  We need a solid, very warm week to get things back on track and to get things moving.  It sounds like you've got at least another month. 

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2 minutes ago, Turkey sandwich said:

 

Wow!  Luckily the ice is finally gone here in PA, but water temps have been sitting between 38-42 pretty much everywhere I've seen.  We need a solid, very warm week to get things back on track and to get things moving.  It sounds like you've got at least another month. 

If you're looking for brown bass and you have open lakes, don't let the water temps discourage you. 

Those temp IME do not dictate the bite.  They still eat - but it's often a mid to late day deal.

AND I really like the SUN. 

The Smallies will chew - just gotta find them.

You'll know when you do - 

:smiley:

A-Jay

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3 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

If you're looking for brown bass and you have open lakes, don't let the water temps discourage you. 

Those temp IME do not dictate the bite.  They still eat - but it's often a mid to late day deal.

AND I really like the SUN. 

The Smallies will chew - just gotta find them.

You'll know when you do - 

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

I haven't gotten out on Stillwater here yet.  I've still been chasing trout.  The crazy weird weather we've had has been less than ideal for getting a predictable bite out of them, either.  Water levels have been all over the place.   This spring has been silly.   Very, very silly.

 

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Just now, Turkey sandwich said:

 

I haven't gotten out on Stillwater here yet.  I've still been chasing trout.  The crazy weird weather we've had has been less than ideal for getting a predictable bite out of them, either.  Water levels have been all over the place.   This spring has been silly.   Very, very silly.

 

You know I can relate - my world is so silly - it's silly.

And it's making me very silly.

And I mean way more than usual, which is pretty darn silly.

:smiley:

A-Silly 

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2 hours ago, 12poundbass said:

I'm getting old and my memory isn't what it used to be....I'm not sure if I've already asked you but what part of West Michigan you from? I'm from Greenville.

Just west of you in Rockford. 13 mile rd

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1 hour ago, 8pt172 said:

Just west of you in Rockford. 13 mile rd

Cool. I'm in and around Rockford everyday and up and down 13 mile all the time heading to Sparta.

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And just to raise the stakes, we have a Facebook fishing friend whom I've never met (my partner has because he travels worldwide for his job) flying in from Australia to sample some of the legendary St Clair smallmouth this year. He has taken my buddy Barrimundi fishing in Australia and we decided to show him some of what the states have to offer.  We'll get on some fish no doubt but I sure would like St Clair to show him her good side.  I just hope he is up to what we call "combat" fishing because we are 100% hardcore when we come up.  :lol: 

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Welcome aboard, Mike!

 

Spawn is on in VA! But I have yet to get out :( 

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Welcome to BR.

Bass are cold blooded animals so the water temperature controls their body temperature, it's the same as the water they are in. The eggs don't start to develop in very cold water and the spawn will not start until the eggs are fully developed, about 58 degrees for smallmouth bass, 62 degrees for LMB.

Remember these fish have successfull evolved in the ecosystem they live in and adapt to weather changes.

I am not sure when Smallmouth in a river system start active pre spawn, my guess would be about 50 degree water temps.

Tom

 

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3 hours ago, TOXIC said:

And just to raise the stakes, we have a Facebook fishing friend whom I've never met (my partner has because he travels worldwide for his job) flying in from Australia to sample some of the legendary St Clair smallmouth this year. He has taken my buddy Barrimundi fishing in Australia and we decided to show him some of what the states have to offer.  We'll get on some fish no doubt but I sure would like St Clair to show him her good side.  I just hope he is up to what we call "combat" fishing because we are 100% hardcore when we come up.  :lol: 

What is "combat" fishing?

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1 minute ago, Lord Castlereagh said:

What is "combat" fishing?

When we go to St Clair, we fish no matter the conditions, sun up to sun down, eat like kings and party like Rock Stars for a week straight.  Now don't get me wrong, we are overly safety conscious but on "blow" days, we will load the boats back on the trailers and take the ferry back to the mainland and re-launch in areas we know are more protected.  Last year in the 20-40mph winds we were able to cut through from the island to Little Muscamoot Bay and still fish.  We have had some downright brutal boat rides from the mile roads back to Harsens Island when the weather kicked up.  We have drift fished with 2 drift socks out in 4 footers (and caught fish).  We have fished the Firecracker when somebody has to stay on the big motor to hold us in place because the TM is out of the water in the swells and it's a 52" shaft.  So yeah, we do battle when we are up there:lol:  We start 2 months early here in Virginia fishing as much as we can (no matter the conditions) to get in "fishing shape" for St Clair.  There's no fair weather fishermen in our group.  Depending on the conditions, after a solid week of fishing, I need a vacation to recover from my vacation.:P  Wouldn't give up this trip for a million bucks though.  Makes my year, every year.  

 

 

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On 4/19/2018 at 4:52 PM, A-Jay said:

You know I can relate - my world is so silly - it's silly.

And it's making me very silly.

And I mean way more than usual, which is pretty darn silly.

:smiley:

A-Silly 

This is best read in the voice of Frank Rizzo.

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