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Ksam1234

Where are the bass ?? Always confused

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So this is my hardest part of the year for me. I went out today on a small inland lake , it is fed by a large creek. Just 4 weeks or so ago the fishing was amazing (pre spawn) and was catching them on anything and everything super shallow.  Now the water temps have gone up a lot , not sure but the last time I knew 4 weeks ago they were around 52-55 degrees as it’s a smaller lake and warms fast. Today when I went out I “tested the water “ and say it’s warm enough that if you happen to fall in then you would be fine and could just swim around. Might be a little cold and not super comfortsble but you would be fine. Anyways , I looked for bass on beds and couldnt find any , tried shallow , couldn’t find any I went deep and also no luck.. went from anywhere to inches of water to 20 feet. Water is clear where you can see 10 feet to the bottom.. this time of year I struggle till it warms a little more and can be csught again.. where would they be at this moment of life .. 

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Without being there it hard to say defiantly but they could be post spawn. 

 

But again it's hard to without more information from you like where in the United States ya at?

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Some are probably in shallow water structure and the rest on deeper points, ledges, road beds, etc

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You can't go wrong focusing on fishing around cover. That's usually my go-to when the weather is warm. Bass just love cover in general. 

 

Try to vary your lure selection. If the water is super clear, you want realistic looking bait that you can work through the top of the water column, middle, and bottom. If I were you I would go with a green or dark colored jig that you can swim through the top, pull through the middle, and hop on the bottom. That way you're covering a lot of depth in your area. Texas rigged worms are killers for doing that as well. 

 

Cast those things into lily pads, near trees in the water, and any vegetation you can find. 

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2 hours ago, Catt said:

Without being there it hard to say defiantly but they could be post spawn. 

 

But again it's hard to without more information from you like where in the United States ya at?

New York , by buffalo 

1 hour ago, Nepatizz said:

You can't go wrong focusing on fishing around cover. That's usually my go-to when the weather is warm. Bass just love cover in general. 

 

Try to vary your lure selection. If the water is super clear, you want realistic looking bait that you can work through the top of the water column, middle, and bottom. If I were you I would go with a green or dark colored jig that you can swim through the top, pull through the middle, and hop on the bottom. That way you're covering a lot of depth in your area. Texas rigged worms are killers for doing that as well. 

 

Cast those things into lily pads, near trees in the water, and any vegetation you can find. 

I tried everything all natural and not. presentations were senkos , jigs , swimjig, ned rig , swimbaits , tubes , bottom contacts of all kind. spinnerbait , chatterbaits 

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   I had kinda your situation today in a relatively clear lake that had high water. Nothing worked; not soft baits, not spinnerbaits, not blades and not jerkbaits or spinners. Then by accident, I used a 5' crankbait, and WHAMMO!  I found out the the fish were "rafted", or suspended in layers at 5 feet of depth, about 20 feet out from the lip of a shelf that was also 5' deep. Once I hit that critical 5 foot mark, a dead and empty day turned into a great and busy day. I don't know why they were at that particular depth nor do I know why they were so stubborn about hitting upwards or downwards, but that's the way it was.  Might your fish be at a certain critical depth also, refusing to be enticed by any lure at other depths?      jj

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Smallmouth or largemouth bass?

Tom

 

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Smallmouth or largemouth bass?

 

  Who are you asking, the OP or me?      jj

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9 hours ago, jimmyjoe said:

Smallmouth or largemouth bass?

 

  Who are you asking, the OP or me?      jj

The OP, he is in NY.

Tom

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It's still prespawn.  There haven't been enough warm days in a row to warm waters, even shallow ponds above the low 50s.  You simply cannot get water temps up above 60 if the average daily temps are in the mid 50s and night temps in the 30s.  Now, this is going to turn around FAST.  I've seen this before.  We're having some warmer average temps steadily, and very soon, you will see beds.  We're just a little late this year.  Most normal years, they are on beds by today.  Why today?  It's my birthday, and I usually go fishing on my birthday.  Was out last weekend, and there's no way you'll see beds yet.  Reminds me of '95 when they didn't start spawning until mid-late June.  I don't think it will be that late, but we're behind in WNY.

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18 minutes ago, J Francho said:

It's still prespawn.  There haven't been enough warm days in a row to warm waters, even shallow ponds above the low 50s.  You simply cannot get water temps up above 60 if the average daily temps are in the mid 50s and night temps in the 30s.  Now, this is going to turn around FAST.  I've seen this before.  We're having some warmer average temps steadily, and very soon, you will see beds.  We're just a little late this year.  Most normal years, they are on beds by today.  Why today?  It's my birthday, and I usually go fishing on my birthday.  Was out last weekend, and there's no way you'll see beds yet.  Reminds me of '95 when they didn't start spawning until mid-late June.  I don't think it will be that late, but we're behind in WNY.

Happy Birthday!

 

It's the same in the Northern Capital Region of NY as well. I have a super shallow pond near my house and I have yet to see a Bass bed. That rules out the deep lakes and rivers around here having beds.

 

I agree we are late this year. The spawn was in full effect this time last year according to my logs.

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I'm getting reports from downstate (Westchester Co., NYC Res. System) that bass are just creeping up shallow.  In years past, we're around two weeks behind them.

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And to answer the OP's question, this is a good time to fish for Yellow Perch in Northern NY Bass not so much.

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I caught so many on Sunday, I pinched the barb down, and was just letting them shake off.  No sense in dealing with their prickly fins!

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The reason I asked the type of bass question is bass are bass except they behavior differently and locate in different areas on the same lake. LMB prefer more wind protected areas with some cover and smallmouth prefer gravel or sandy areas with wind protection and very little cover closer to deeper water access. This is a very generalized statement because all bass will spawn on whatever suits them.

SMB usually move in to start about 58 degree water temps in stable weather conditions, LMB  4 to 5 degrees warmer water about 62 degrees through 67 degrees with stable weather. Some folks believe in photo periods "dog woods bloom" but it's stable weather and water temps that hatch eggs.

Tom

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12 hours ago, WRB said:

Smallmouth or largemouth bass?

Tom

 

I was targeting largemouth 

2 hours ago, J Francho said:

It's still prespawn.  There haven't been enough warm days in a row to warm waters, even shallow ponds above the low 50s.  You simply cannot get water temps up above 60 if the average daily temps are in the mid 50s and night temps in the 30s.  Now, this is going to turn around FAST.  I've seen this before.  We're having some warmer average temps steadily, and very soon, you will see beds.  We're just a little late this year.  Most normal years, they are on beds by today.  Why today?  It's my birthday, and I usually go fishing on my birthday.  Was out last weekend, and there's no way you'll see beds yet.  Reminds me of '95 when they didn't start spawning until mid-late June.  I don't think it will be that late, but we're behind in WNY.

I went out today and saw some empty beds , happy birthday also. , but the water temp on Erie where I am is around 54-55 as the fish finder says on my buddy’s boat. So this inland lake has to be warmer than that 

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Keep in mind, readings off the graph are for surface temps.

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They don't spawn until it hits the 60s for water temp.

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The majority of the LMB population start the spawn cycle between 62-67 degree water temps at the depth of the bed site when the weather has stabilized. Key words is majority and stable weather. 

I like to break the majority into 3 groups; early birds, major group and later gators. Each group of females often make 2 to 3 egg laying trips while the males select the bed site and stay near it until eggs hatch. 

Extended periods of severe weather can delay or even put off the spawn. Empty beds sites after a cold front means the males moved off or the spawn is over. It's too early where the op is fishing for the spawn cycle to be over. Stable weather this week the bass will be up and continue the cycle.

Tom

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On 5/21/2019 at 8:05 PM, jimmyjoe said:

    Then by accident, I used a 5' crankbait, and WHAMMO! 

 

Dang! What did you cast that with, a tree?

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On 5/22/2019 at 12:15 PM, J Francho said:

Keep in mind, readings off the graph are for surface temps.

Which is why I have a freezer thermometer tied to a length of line and a weight at the bottom. Knots every foot lets me drop it to a specific depth, let it sit for a minute or so, then haul it up and get a reading at that depth.

 

image.png.3f0f72a4d407b2c5cee6579151d473e3.png

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Anytime bass are faced with unstable conditions, fishing is going to be tough. You still have to figure out where they are and then how to catch them. Pre-spawn is chock full of those conditions.

I'm in the same boat as you. I was killing 'em two weeks ago on the breaks out from some spawning areas. The surface water temp was 56. Three trips out last week, that temp only increased three degrees and it was like someone turned off a switch. The fish not only stopped their movement toward the spawning areas, they just suspended over the breaks and wouldn't chase anything.  I really dislike fishing for suspended fish in 15ft-18ft, but that's what it took. Thankfully, the surface temp was up to 62 Thursday and they'd moved up to the 10ft-12ft break and were holding close to the bottom.

 

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On 5/22/2019 at 9:18 AM, J Francho said:

It's still prespawn.  There haven't been enough warm days in a row to warm waters, even shallow ponds above the low 50s.  You simply cannot get water temps up above 60 if the average daily temps are in the mid 50s and night temps in the 30s.  Now, this is going to turn around FAST.  I've seen this before.  We're having some warmer average temps steadily, and very soon, you will see beds.  We're just a little late this year.  Most normal years, they are on beds by today.  Why today?  It's my birthday, and I usually go fishing on my birthday.  Was out last weekend, and there's no way you'll see beds yet.  Reminds me of '95 when they didn't start spawning until mid-late June.  I don't think it will be that late, but we're behind in WNY.

 

Same thing here in central NY.  I was out last weekend and didn't see any beds. Water temps ranged from 58°-62°..... I managed 6 decent bass and dropped 4, but it took 5 1/2 hours to do that....

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4 hours ago, Crow Horse said:

 

Same thing here in central NY.  I was out last weekend and didn't see any beds. Water temps ranged from 58°-62°..... I managed 6 decent bass and dropped 4, but it took 5 1/2 hours to do that....

Yeah this is always the hardest part of the year for me. @papajoe222 I went out the past couple days and the smallmouth have been treating  me well. They want it slow though , crawling bottom or good 5 second pauses on the jerkbaits

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Still prespawn around here. Some starting to bed. Smallies having been in the mood to chase baits and wont look at most plastics. Fishing cover is still pretty much useless. Ratltraps, jerkbaits, and squarebills parallel with shore, near drop offs has been producing. Mostly in 5 - 8 ft of water. Hitting the river tomorrow and i expect to see them moving up to beds with the warmer weather the past few days.

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