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Redhed

Spawning Flats question

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how deep will bass spawn on flats? What is the usual depth? ( i do realize it depends on the depth of the lake but you get what i am saying)

how can you identify spawning flats

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That's a good question. Depth depends on several things. Light penetration, water temp, bottom composition, protection from the cold North or West winds and access to deeper water (ditch, creek channel, ledge close by).

The first place I would look would be the shallowest water in the back of pockets and creeks that are protected from the N or W winds. They must have a hard bottom. They must have some type of cover. They don't need much though, a stump, log, rock, anything that will protect one or two sides from bluegill. Then the staging area will be the first drop (deeper water) from the shallow area.  

I've seen bass spawn so shallow that their fins were sticking out of the water and I seen them spawn over 16ft deep on a stump flat in the middle of the lake.

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Most bass spawn in fairly predictable places with the following criteria:

A solid bottom: Bass avoid soft, muck bottoms; instead they prefer to spawn on hard sandy bottoms, gravel or rocky banks, large boulders or even a fallen log or lily pad root.

Shallow water: The fertilization and hatching process requires the warmth provided by sunlight penetration which is why the fish migrate into shallow water (with the exception of deep, clear western reservoirs); generally in a foot to 6 feet of water.

Protected areas: When possible, bass will bed in water that is somewhat sheltered from the elements like coves or pockets.

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Would this apply if your main fishery was a river? How would you approach the spawn in a river system?

Most importantly on a river system is the depth through all tides.  If your river only flucuates a foot or two, it will be easier to predict spawning areas than if your river flucuates 6 or 8 feet.  Look for the same areas mentioned, but with the water at all tides.

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What about water temperature i've heard that they start to spawn once it gets above 50 and does the spawn normally take place in northwestern area of the lake out of the cold wind.

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What about water temperature i've heard that they start to spawn once it gets above 50 and does the spawn normally take place in northwestern area of the lake out of the cold wind.

Yup here you can generally find them on beds as soon as the water gets into the 50's. But our lakes are so small the whole "northwest area" goes out the window. Instead they will go to the areas that are protecting by brutal April northern winds. (Except on Lake X). To give you an example, on Johnsons Pond the first spawners are always in the pockets of the southern portion of the lake. Watchaug is generally the same way because of the rivers.

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