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Muad Dib

pre spawn/spawn/post spawn temperature ?'s

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Hey fellas i have a few questions about what temperatures start what cycles in the life of fish . For example what temperatures usually start the prespawn and spawn? and are the temperatures for these cycles to start and end consistent with temperatures across the country or just in the region? I also heard that lmb will spawn in shallows versus smb that can spawn in 10 foot of water. is that based on light penetration or temperature or both. im gonna try to record all of my catches this year with a temperature reading as well. thanks for the help

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I caught fish last year on the bed in 58 degree water. There is no set temperature for fish to go from prespawn to spawn to post spawn. Depending on what area of the lake I'm fishing I can find two or sometimes three different stages of fish on the same body of water. I've caught smallies spawning near largemouth and both be in 1-2ft. of water and I've caught them in 8-10ft. of water. It depends alot on water clarity, fishing pressure, available sunlight (which also triggers the spawn) and other factors. In the spring I usually take the water temp and previous knowledge from that lake and go from there. Just use it as a basic guideline and don't put too much emphasis on it.

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I caught fish last year on the bed in 58 degree water. There is no set temperature for fish to go from prespawn to spawn to post spawn.

Initiation of the spawn in bass is primarily temp dependent. The average number is around 60F -that is after temps have stabilized in that range. LM eggs are known to suffer high mortality in water temps at 55 and below. I too have seen bass initiating beds in 58F water and believe the range may be able to dip below 60. But realize that temps vary over a 24hr period, with sun incidence, water circulation, depth, and bottom make up. So, when we appear and take a temp, that number doesn't represent what the fish have experienced.

Last year I recorded a 48F temp in the bed of a tending male LM! But, it had set-up the bed and spawned with a female the previous week when water temps had been in the low 60s.

There's lots of good discussion on this topic from previous years. Scroll back to posts from late last winter and spring.

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ya i was thinking there wouldnt be a set temperature and i kn0w that the water temp is constantly changing. it would make sense that once the temps remained constant above 58 for a week theyd get their beds going. thanks ill look into the previous posts

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There are no guidelines on the spawn depending on where you live.  ;D

Up here we can have a week in the 70's in the spring and warm nights so the water will hit around 60. So the fish will come up and make beds. Then the next week it gets cold and the water temp drops to the low to mid 50's. Some fish will stay on beds, others will leave. You just have to always be looking around the the sights you see will amaze you.

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    Here is a quote from Roland Martin's 101 Bass-Catching Secrets book, "Largemouth bass spawn when the water temperature reaches 62 degrees, and smallmouth bass spawn when it reaches 59 degrees. No matter where you live, this is true. Generally the majority of the bass spawn at or near a full moon". I've ordered a few books from amazon.com and this was one of them. There are tons of facts and knowledge that can be learned from reading them. I highly recommend Martin's 101. Some other good reads are Kevin Van Dam's :Secrets of a Champion and Knowing Bass by Dr. Keith Jones.

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There's an endogenous rhythm too -an internal clock -something I actually get to see in my smallest shallowest ponds in which temps reach the mid-60s during warm spells a month early for spawning. And no spawning occurs. So, the general timing has to be right. Get a ballpark date for your water, or section of water, then keep track of weather trends. In general, smaller/shallower waters warm first and spawn first. In my areas (CO and NY) spawning runs from late April in the smallest waters and as late as early June in the deepest waters. There tends to be one or two peak spawning movements in my smallest waters encompassing 2 weeks -the entire spawn (including outliers) in a single small water body covering about a month.

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and smallmouth bass spawn when it reaches 59 degrees. No matter where you live, this is true.

DEFINITELY NOT TRUE on the Tennessee River. Our spawn

is in progress and will be over in early March. The water temperature

is +/- 52 degrees and will not be anywhere close to 59 anytime soon.

8-)

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and smallmouth bass spawn when it reaches 59 degrees. No matter where you live, this is true.

DEFINITELY NOT TRUE on the Tennessee River. Our spawn

is in progress and will be over in early March. The water temperature

is +/- 52 and will not be anywhere close to 59 anytime soon.

8-)

Then maybe Roland is wrong...but I'm not gonna be the one to tell him that.  ;D

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Here is a quote from Roland Martin's 101 Bass-Catching Secrets book, "Largemouth bass spawn when the water temperature reaches 62 degrees, and smallmouth bass spawn when it reaches 59 degrees. No matter where you live, this is true. Generally the majority of the bass spawn at or near a full moon". I've ordered a few books from amazon.com and this was one of them. There are tons of facts and knowledge that can be learned from reading them. I highly recommend Martin's 101. Some other good reads are Kevin Van Dam's :Secrets of a Champion and Knowing Bass by Dr. Keith Jones.

No disrespect but you need to fish more. You can find both species making beds and spawning in water over 50 degrees. And I have seen largies spawning in early July with water temps in the mid 70's numerous times.

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and smallmouth bass spawn when it reaches 59 degrees. No matter where you live, this is true.

DEFINITELY NOT TRUE on the Tennessee River. Our spawn

is in progress and will be over in early March. The water temperature

is +/- 52 and will not be anywhere close to 59 anytime soon.

8-)

Then maybe Roland is wrong...but I'm not gonna be the one to tell him that. ;D

His endorsements of bs products overshadows his 9 AOY wins in my book.

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Roland!!! You lied to me!!!! I want my $11.66 back!!! :'(

Hope you didn't buy his Hover-Lures too. ;D

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DEFINITELY NOT TRUE on the Tennessee River. Our spawn

is in progress and will be over in early March. The water temperature

is +/- 52 degrees and will not be anywhere close to 59 anytime soon.

RW, interesting... Is this a tailwater fishery -with cold discharge?

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No, although I do fish tailwaters, the river system is relatively shallow.

The flow is strong and as far as I know, none of the reservoirs on the

Tennessee River develop a thermocline. At depth there is surely some

difference in temperature due to daytime surface warming, but not

much in the winter months.

I should add that smallmouth, like most species, do not all spawn at

once. So, there is a great deal of overlap between pre-spawn, spawn

and post-spawn.

8-)

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I'm really looking forward to the next few weeks.....The weather here has been so unpredictable...at the beginning of January, water temps were at about 58, now, we are in the 49-51 range....I'm hoping we can get some type of stabilization in the next couple weeks.

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DEFINITELY NOT TRUE on the Tennessee River. Our spawn

is in progress and will be over in early March. The water temperature

is +/- 52 degrees and will not be anywhere close to 59 anytime soon.

8-)

X2 I start fishing my waters when they hit 50.

*Modified...

Actually its probably more around 40 and the weather is barable to be out in a kayak :)

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We must remember bass don't carry a thermometers; the 60-62 degree mark is a generalization not exact number.

The spawn is controlled by many factors one of which is temperature, coming out of the cold winter plus the warming up of the water the bass's metabolism kicks in first. Both sexes become very aggressive and very food-oriented during what we call the pre-spawn stage.

Then there seems to be a time frame in which the females become less interested in feeding and becomes less aggressive as the hormonal changes in her body take place as she prepares to actually lay her eggs.

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** MODERATOR NOTE **

Off topic posts and those referencing them have been removed.

-Kent a.k.a. roadwarrior

Global Moderator

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Keep in mind that the absolute water temperature is not nearly as important now as the recent water temperature trend. For instance, water temperatures that are showing 52 degrees can result in slow fishing if the temperatures were 58 a couple days ago. In contrast, fishing can be great if the temperatures warm up to 50 while they were 44 a few days before. In general, look for bass on the flats and farther back in creeks during warming trends; conversely, drop back to points and main lake points after cold fronts. The day of and the day after cold fronts can be miserable fishing, but these frontal days after a long warming trend are usually the most productive times.  

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Keep in mind that the absolute water temperature is not nearly as important now as the recent water temperature trend. For instance, water temperatures that are showing 52 degrees can result in slow fishing if the temperatures were 58 a couple days ago. In contrast, fishing can be great if the temperatures warm up to 50 while they were 44 a few days before. In general, look for bass on the flats and farther back in creeks during warming trends; conversely, drop back to points and main lake points after cold fronts. The day of and the day after cold fronts can be miserable fishing, but these frontal days after a long warming trend are usually the most productive times.

That's pretty cool Catt, as I see the same thing here in my logs for PA,NY and NJ. At this time of the year the various spawn stages and the aggressiveness of the bite are dependant on the last 3 to 4 days water temps. rising or stable and over 52 brings the best bites

I have also seen nests being fanned then the temp drops and this activity drops. I have also seen early spawners come completely off the spawning area in early spring with a 5 degree drop in water temp from 52 to 47, happened last year.This happened in late April, last artic blast and over a 3 day period. It took the better part of 8 to 9 days later for the lake to recoup and reheat!

Also at this time of the year the negative effect of a cold front lowering water temps has a more profound effect on turning the bite off.

As we get deeper into the spring and into the early summer, with consistent rising temps it is possible to have LMB in all 3 stages of the spawn, depending on where you are at on the lake.

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The following chart was taken from the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency - Fisheries Management Division. http://www.state.tn.us/twra/fish/FishFacts/spawn.html

I'm not arguing with anyone...Just putting out more info.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Spawning Temperatures

The following table lists the spawning temperatures of various fish species in Tennessee. Temperatures are given in degrees Fahrenheit (F)

Species Spawning First Fry (approx.)

Paddlefish 50-55 ~57

Largemouth 68-72 ~75

Smallmouth 59-60 ~65

Striped Bass 59-65 ~68

Cherokee Bass 55-57 ~60

Spotted Bass 63-68 ~70

White Bass 57-68 ~63

Yellow Bass 62-67 ~70

Warmouth 75-80 ~80

Bluegill* 70-75 ~77

Redear 68-75 ~77

Green Sunfish 75-85 ~85

Black Crappie 62-68 ~68

White Crappie 60-65 ~65

Channel Catfish 75-80 ~82

Blue Catfish 70-75 ~78

Walleye 45-50 ~50

Sauger 40-45 ~47

Muskie 49-59 ~52

Northern Pike 40-52 ~54

Rainbow Trout 50-55 ~55

Brown Trout 47-52 ~51

Brook Trout 45-48 ~50

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I have no explanation...

If we ever get a break with the weather and water flow,

I'll post a picture and note the water temperature on my

next outing.

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RW, I'm very curious about SM spawning so early (Feb!), or at 52F if that is indeed something like a stable temp at the beds. Something different is going on there, (although most of the research I've focused on is for LM). Maybe it's a local adaptation? Your fisheries people probably know why this early spawn occurs on the Tennessee. Do you know local biologists that could address this? I'm curious as usual.

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I'm on it, but have no answer.

Be assured, I am not defending a position, I want to know the truth.

-Kent

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