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Illinois Post Spawn Time & Temps?


AJ Hauser

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Hey broskis!
I've been out and about lately - on the lake, not in front of a screen (thank God!) so I haven't posted much. Been out with the kids working on castin' & catchin' without my help... a few examples of my youngest angler "that does it all by himself" are attached - he was using a method like the one my oldest recently used to land some really nice bass - but he had a bobber instead of a popper.

 

Awesome. Bittersweet. The good stuff. Sorry I just... you know, proud dad stuff all around lately... 

 

Question though... I went out by myself a few days ago in the jon boat to a borrow pit I like to fish. The water here is SUPER CLEAR, and this trip, it was also several feet lower than usual (confirmed by the locals). The temp was reading 68°-69° according to my Garmin. I've heard that 70° water can mean post-spawn conditions. I did see several lingering males on beds, but I could NOT get a bite. Well ok, I got 4, but I saw something like 150+ bass cruising all around me in the clear shallows, down to 15 feet. All sizes. All kinds. NOBODY WOULD BITE ANYTHING.

 

I had several follows, fish would inspect my finesse presentations just to back off slowly. I tried everything I had, added scent, changed colors, weights... I saw so many but I could not get them fired up.

 

Is this normal during a post-spawn period, or am I just imagining that? Was it just a tough bite? Like I said, water was low, but a ton of fish chose to stay up shallow and remain visible. They had the option to go deep (this place has steep banks and drops to 40+ feet) but they were just very lethargic.

 

I've never paid attention to water temps or periods like spawn, post spawn, so any help making sense of this before I pull ALL of my hair out and quit like I wanted to the other day, would be appreciated :)

 

Thanks!
-AJ

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@AJ Hauser, first off, great job of dadding! 

 

Second off, your youngest is a heckuva fisherboy. Please tell him that the Bass Resource gang is proud of him.

 

Thirdly, I think what you experienced is pretty common. Spawning and nest guarding are both draining and all-consuming. One time, I was fishing smallmouth post-spawn and struggled for six days in northwestern Ontario to catch bass. Then, one day, they activated and I literally caught fish, bigger and bigger, until I set my rod down and smiled, not needing to catch one more. Maybe that will happen for you too. 

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I won't be much help as our waters are not clear enough to see fish. I would have been thrilled just to view the bass and observing their movements. I do know on my own pond, the males won't touch a thing while they're guarding the fry, but as soon as they complete that responsibility, they become aggressive to the Bluegill. Clear water is a foreign language to me. Hopefully some of our northern friends can help with this as their water is so much clearer.

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Hey fellas - thank you very much @ol'crickety - he had a blast and I'll be honest... I'm pretty sure I was even more excited than he was, watching him cast & reel & land these fish all on his own. He's better than I was at that age, no doubt.

 

@Blue Raider Bob where do you usually fish? Here in Illinois, we have a lot of dirty rivers, and a lot of muck waters with low visibility - but I've been able to find some clear water in creeks and borrow pits. Any chance you have similar water(s) near you?

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On 5/28/2023 at 10:07 AM, AJ Hauser said:

Hey fellas - thank you very much @ol'crickety - he had a blast and I'll be honest... I'm pretty sure I was even more excited than he was, watching him cast & reel & land these fish all on his own. He's better than I was at that age, no doubt.

 

@Blue Raider Bob where do you usually fish? Here in Illinois, we have a lot of dirty rivers, and a lot of muck waters with low visibility - but I've been able to find some clear water in creeks and borrow pits. Any chance you have similar water(s) near you?

We have clear and stained. In middle Tennessee we have clear highland lakes such as Dale Hollow and Center Hill which I struggle to catch fish, then we have rivers which run from stained to fairly clear which I have much better success such as the Cumberland, Tennessee, and a smaller river called the Duck.

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1 hour ago, Blue Raider Bob said:

We have clear and stained. In middle Tennessee we have clear highland lakes such as Dale Hollow and Center Hill which I struggle to catch fish, then we have rivers which run from stained to fairly clear which I have much better success such as the Cumberland, Tennessee, and a smaller river called the Duck.

 

Awesome, thanks for the info - we're headed to Arkansas next year after we sell our house, so I'm trying to learn as much as I can about more southern waters. Looks like there will be a surprising amount of variety! 

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