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stumpjumper

Bedding Bass

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Bass will spawn in different part of the lakes at different times.  Also, usually the largest females will spawn first.  Then it goes down.  Typically, the spawning duration in a large lake can be 3-5 weeks.  Remember, fish the lower end first for spawners, when the numbers start declining work your way to the upper end.

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Remember, fish the lower end first for spawners, when the numbers start declining work your way to the upper end.

When you say lower end, what do you mean? I would think the water would warm up in the shallowest areas first and trigger the spawn first.

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well, they'll stay on their beds from spawning season all the way to winter time when it gets cold again.  when winter time comes, they go down deep where it's warmer.  but all through summer, bass will get up on the banks, make a bed and just stay there for days... i caught my biggest bass on its bed in late july two years ago.  but that's only a few of the bass. most bass will stay on the move, or go down deep when it's warm, or find shelter from the sun.  but every now and then, you'll see some of the biggest bass on beds right on the bank.  sometimes as shallow as 6 inches.  that's one thing i haven't really figured out yet, is why 10 lb. bass are so shallow when the surface temp is about 90 degrees... but hey, doesn't matter to me, the bigger the better

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When you say lower end, what do you mean? I would think the water would warm up in the shallowest areas first and trigger the spawn first.

that's what he's talking about

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usually the water warms up on the northern end of the lakes first because thats the end that receaves the most sun light i have found a male bass usually guards the bed for a  little less then a week are so and i have had my best luck on them 2 days are so to the full are new moon

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Northern end...........tired of hearing this....not always true cause there could be trees blocking the suns rays or light to incubate the eggs to me its a part of the lake or pond that gets the most sun and where the water warms the fastest...its not always the northernend! ::)

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Bass on beds year round???

I totally disagree as far as the bass here in Southern Oklahoma. In the extreme heat of July and August you can't buy a big fish in shallow water here. You might pull a 4 pounder but if you're wanting one 6 to 7 or bigger you're going to have to go deep. Occansionally you might luck out and catch a crusier that's run bait fish up shallow but once they've caught them a meal back down deep they go!

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I think I remember watching some Doug Hannon appearance on some show where he said they are on the beds for 3 days the rest of the time they are there to protect the young. It might take about a week for them to hatch and another week for them to change moods from protecting to eating the fry.

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Someone should attach a tiny underwater camera with a GPS locator to a bass before releasing it back into the water.  Be d**n interesting to track it's patterns and see the neighborhood that it lives in : :D

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Alan & Bassmaster,

I should clarify my response regarding lower end (northend).  The statement I made I was referring to man-made reservoirs.  If the river is dammed.  The dam end would be the lower end and the river entrance to the lake would be the upper end (southend).  This terminology is referencing the river flow.  I may be wrong but the northern end of the lake would warm the quickest after winter.  But this is due to the wind direction coming from the south.  Wouldn't it make sense that the wind is pushing the top layer of water towards the north end and warm water temps first?

Sorry for the confusion.

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Skeeter6598, Exactly...Since most fishermen fish shallow water and occasionally catch a big fish, most assume that's where they live. Not so. Big fish spend most of their time suspending in or around structure in deep water that has access to even deeper water.

Regarding the timing of the spawn, it's not a north south issue on a reservoir. The water near the dam is generally the deepest and the coldest. The water "up lake", which used to be "up river" is usually warmer. More importantly, lake arms that used to be feeder creeks and fields are now shallow(er) flats. So, these areas may be perfect bedding sites and prespawn bass will be coming in to prepare, post spawn bass will be leaving. All this activity generally starts earlier up lake and proceeds down.

Chris answered the original question asked on this post, bass stay on or near their nest about two weeks. However, they don't all spawn at exactly the same time. So what you might consider a bedding flat may stay active for a month or more.

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Roadwarrior,

I guess this would depend on your location more than anything. One particular reservoir I fish, the dam does have deeper water. If you travel away from the dam about 1/4 mile it has 10-14ft flats that I know factually bass will move up during the pre-spawn to these flats.  This is where I catch bedding bass "first".  They seem to spawn first in this area.

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Bass_junky, Those darn bass don't always follow the rules, do they? I don't actually fish bedding bass, but I try to keep track of where I think they are going and when they are on the move so I can catch a few of those big mommas before they nest. I would fish just off the flats you're talking about, in the deeper water. That's where those big girls will stage.

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bass in oklahoma may be a little different than they are here in NC... i mean i don't know if they're on a bed, or if they're just sitting there, but bass down the street from my house at a big pond will stay on the banks all year

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Exactly, fish are pretty much diff across the US then over here in NC....so don't think what bassmaster is saying doesn't make since cause its true as can be.... come on over and see for yourself...

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Sorry guys not trying to run ya'll down. I just know that here in OK in the lakes the bass will head deep in extreme heat and extreme cold. I can see where it may be different in a pond but that's a whole new issue.

As for bass being different across the US I'm not all for that either! In my opinion a bass is a bass. There may be some tiny difference in their habits depending on location but to be a totally different fish I don't completely agree. Bass are all instinct! When it's cold they want warmer water, when it's hot they want cooler water and most importantly they are going to place themself where they can find a meal!

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i wasn't saying they bed all year in all the lakes here in NC, cuz i know that's not true... when it gets hot in the lakes they move down deep where it's cool and then come up when it's time to feast... i don't know why they bed during the day in the ponds, but it's not just one i've noticed it at.  there are a couple huge ponds around my house and in both ponds they bed when it's 100 degrees outside... HOWEVER, they aren't always in the open... the ones i've seen bedding in that type of weather find some sort of shade or shelter... still haven't figured out why they bed in ponds in that type of weather

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Just because a fish is stationary in shallow water doesn't mean that it is "bedding". They don't "bed" all year.  Some fish may come to the shallows all year but that doesn't mean they are bedding. As far as the "northern" thing.  I think they were saying that "usually" the northern end gets more sun and the temp's are warmer. Not always due to different bodies of water we all fish.

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All year, you have got to be kidding.

Bedding means: The clearing of debris on the bottom of the lake for the purpose of spawning.

Bass spawn in the spring when water temps are ideal to do so. About 60 to 70 degrees. After they are finished spawning they leave the bed and go into their post spawn activity of periodic feeding. The clearing that they make sometimes will stay that way year round and can be a great place for a bass to ambush its prey if there is cover close by. The fact that you see a fish on one of these clearings does not mean it is bedding.  

As for the original question. A male will move up to find and clear a bedding location. This will take him 1-3 days. When the weather and water temp is ideal the female will move up and find a male that suits her. The spawning will take 24-48 hrs. The female will hang around for a while and then move off to rest or if she still has eggs she will go and find another male with a suitable bed. The eggs hatch and the male will be left to fight off all the things that are trying to eat the fry. He will stay with them for about a 5 days and then leave.

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Bassmaster corrected what he said so chill.... :o

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ok, then what is it called when a bass sits on a BED to protect its territory?  it is an animal, and all animals have their own territory.  a bass is no different... a bedding bass is a bass that sits on its bed to protect its own territory... whether it's spawning season or not... so if there's a different word for it, please let me know, b/c i have heard that word for more than just spawning... so please, induldge me... and if i am wrong, then i'll shut up and admit it.  and all i really need is one person to bring it up... having two or more people bring it up is unnecessary.

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