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High Air Pressure and Spawning Bass

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I know that high pressure can make bass become less active and send them to deep water or into tight cover. But what happens when they are in their late prespawn activities of bulding nests and plumping up? do they follow their normal habits or are they unaffected and keep going about their business? Whats the right strategy to take in this situation?

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When conditions are severe enough the bass will pull out to the first break line away from the nest sights.

My strategy would be slow finesse techniques ;)

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A high pressure with falling water temps to below spawning temps will back them off, but if the water temps remain in the low 60's or above they don't leave. I've been fishing the last few days with high pressure and abnormally high air temps and the spawn is going on pretty strong. The pollen has been the only problem with sight fishing. I saw a picture of an Elite pro at Smith Mountain Lake using liquid dish detergent to disperse the surface pollen, tried it, and it works. I used about a 50% mix with water to get it to work with a spray bottle. I've been catching them with spinnerbaits, Chatterbaits, Senko's fished like jerkbaits, and wacky rigged Trick and finesse worms.

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Once bass move up to spawn, made beds, the only weather condition that will affect them is extreme cold front that lowers the water temperatures, raising or dropping water levels or high winds that creates heavy mud lines that silts the bed site. Wind isn't a common problem because most bass bed in protected areas.

Pre spawn bass are affected by water temperature changes caused by extreme weather and will pull back into deeper water or just hunker down next to a rock or other structure/cover. When bass are being driven by the need to spawn, barometric pressure changes alone should not affect them.

WRB

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From my logs over the last several years, in my neck of the woods. Bass will be in Pre Spawn,Spawn and post spawn, in overlapping times from about May 18 to the end of June.The whole lakes population does not spawn on one or 2 days, but they spawn in groups rather than all at once

The actual spawners and bed sitters  seem to be effected only by major threats like some mook walking through the bedding area, a Northern Pike hunting in the area and a very severe storm, if the beds are shallow and can be destroyed by the roiling water

The rest of the bass will be on first,secondary points and in some of the shallower creek beds if in pre spawn mode

Note: I have been reading that some biologists believe that some of the female may spawn and lay eggs in multiple beds in a single spawning season!

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Note: I have been reading that some biologists believe that some of the female may spawn and lay eggs in multiple beds in a single spawning season!

Yup Muddy, they do. At the roadtrip, a few of us picked Bob Lusk brain for a couple of hours. The spawn is the least productive time of year for me. Though I avoid fishing for bedding fish, I still felt the need to better understand what takes place. Mr. Lusk explained to me that a female may lay her eggs in different beds and at different times. I have recently took notice that some of the fish I have been catching have had spots on their bellies that appeared to be from spawning activity yet, they still looked as if they had some eggs left. I believe some mature fish may take a month or better to release all of her eggs and will do so on different beds.

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I'm not sold on high pressure effecting much, but dropping temps will affect pre-spawn bass location, pushing them out of the immediate shallows. I'm not convinced that it's the cooler temps, instead it appears to be the lack of warming temps.

Bass on beds however can be a different story. I see males (already locked on the bed -with eggs) stay put through snow falls. I've measured temps as low as 48F in occupied beds. Of course the beds were built under higher temps.

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I know that high pressure can make bass become less active and send them to deep water or into tight cover. But what happens when they are in their late prespawn activities of bulding nests and plumping up? do they follow their normal habits or are they unaffected and keep going about their business? Whats the right strategy to take in this situation?

High barometric pressure this time of year in New Hampshire probably means post frontal conditions with high clear skies and dropping temperatures.

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    Well the past three or four days we have had weather in the 80's accompanied by high pressure. During this span from friday until today, I've the water temp go from about 52-54F to 66-68F.  The pressure right now is currently dropping and some cooler air in the 60's is on its way.

    The reason I brought this topic up is because since this warming trend with high pressure, the bass bite has really really slowed down. We were having good look in the shallows and around areas that seem to be potential spawning sites. Now the only thing we can get to bite are pickerel. The pickerel are very aggressive right now, yesterday we caught around 10 and the day before around 20. The bass seem to have disappeared.

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Water takes time to both warm and cool as it isn't very thermally conductive. The sun heats the air which in turn warms the surface water, then at night the cooler air tends to cool the surface water. If there isn't any wind to mix the surface water with water below it. The overall water column warming to the depth where bass spawn, between 1 to 8 feet deep or so, takes a few weeks to change, it not affected a great amount by passing fronts.

Once the bass move and establish bed site, they will stay. Most lake will have about 3 waves of spawners, so mixed pre spawn, post spawn bass can be around.

My guess is May 9 th (full moon) should see a major spawn in your area.

WRB

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A question:

Has your warming spell come with blue skies? Can you associate your change in fishing luck with sky conditions?

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WE HAVE THE SAME HIGH HERE IN NE PA! It's crumbling as I write this and we had temps in the 90's last 2 days and now we will wake up to t storms and 55 degrees.

I haven't been on my favorite lake, but in the 2 ponds we have been fishing , the shallower sides have increased a healthy 8 degrees, ( over the last 10 days) sustained and the bass have gone from cruising to taking baits.

No spawning activity is visible yet

When we hit the lake on Friday , I will post in NE Forum

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A question:

Can you associate your change in fishing luck with sky conditions?

Most times of year, absolutely.  This time of year, however, temperature is the main driving factor.  We get the same weather as Muddy, but a day later.  The warming trend we just went through was a much stronger force for them than the blue skies.  In the middle of the summer, that could be quite different.

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yes, the warming spell has come with blue skies.

My thinking here was that presenting to fish (esp in the shallows) is way tougher under blue skies. Also, they don't like to be exposed, unless they are in the spawn stupor (and cruising).

Bright sun tends to bring the best heating, and my shallow pond fish really respond. But, prior to the spawn they prefer to be either just deep enough not to be seen, or under shoreline cover.

When they get the cue (seasonally timed) to make a concerted spawning movement, they come onto the shore in droves. I can't quite separate the moon from the heat, as yet. But the heat appears to be requisite.

Muddy, glad to have you back. I'll keep tabs on the NE.

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Now we are getting the proper amount of facts to try and make an educated guess-estimation.

The ritualistic process of the spawn is not controlled by one single factor but rather a combination of factors that man has yet to completely understand. What I've gathered from every Biologist, angler, and personal experience make a definite point towards moon phase, water temperature, and weather stability.

During what we call the pre-spawn stage both sexes seem to get very aggressive and very food oriented. There is a time frame where the females become less interested in feeding and becomes less aggressive as the hormonal changes in their body take place as they prepare to actually lay their eggs. At this point the female is susceptible to severe changes in conditions and will back off to the nearest acceptable break line; while the male stubbornly holds at or near the nest site.

As WRB alluded to a single day passing front will not drastically change the overall water temperature but something about conditions associated with frontal conditions dramatically change the bass's behavior.

During the last week of February all the conditions aligned perfectly to signal the start of pre-spawn with only one exception; the bass which could not be found. Proving yet again that about the time we think we have them figured out the bass prove we don't.

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Bass are bass as the saying goes. However up in the northern zones bass can smallmouths and largemouth or in some states spotted bass.

Each spawn in very different locations and water temperatures, within the same lake.

We tend to think of bass as largemouth and respond accordingly. We also tend to relate to the bass in our areas and in lakes, not rivers.

Mother nature has a way to insure that animals, given a chance, will mate. Bass are no different. However bass, like nearly every fish, are cold blooded and water controls their body temperature. When everything is right or close to being right, the bass move to the areas that they instinctively know to be a good for spawning and spawn.

If the proper conditions don't occur, bass can miss that years spawning cycle, the females absorb or abort the eggs. It's a rare occurance, but it happens. However the later gators that spawn a few months after the major spawn may be the only bass to spawn that year. Usually the late spawners have their eggs eaten by carp and bluegill that have swarmed the spawning sites. There is a reason for multiple spawns, it's called survival of the species or not putting all your eggs in one basket or nest.

WRB

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