For seasoned veterans this is a question that doesn’t need to be asked, but for the novice knowing when you can start catching bass and how many you can catch is a season is important information. So, when does bass season start? Also, are there restrictions on how many bass you can catch in a season?
‘Tis The Season
Bass fishing is not actually restricted by seasons like hunting is, however you should be sure to consider the time of year when you are deciding on a lure. Bass have different feeding habits throughout the years, so what may work in the spring may not attract them at all come fall.
As for the fishing limits, local laws can vary greatly, but there is no federal restriction on how many bass an individual can catch in a year. With this in mind always remember to stick with sustainable practices so the bass will be there for years to come.
What we need to determine is not “when to fish for bass,” but instead, “What do we need to do to catch bass this time of year?” Lets get started with winter. When the temperature is below 48 degrees bass tend to stay close to drop off in the main body of water. This means you will need a lure that can be dropped deeper easily.
Once the weather begins to warm up and the water is between 48 and 55 degrees bass begin to move towards their spawning grounds. At this point they are still going to be in the main body of water rather than offshoots, but they will be moving closer to the edges of the lake. At this point in the year bass mainly eat crawfish coming out of hibernation. This means that crawfish should be your bait of choice until the water warms up a bit more.
Add A Little Spring To Your Step
When the water temperature gets between 55 and 70 degrees the bass will start spawning. This is when they move to shallow waters and away from the drop offs of the open water. When the bass are in this stage one of the best baits is a simple worm. This makes sense when you consider the depth of the water.
Getting a little closer to summer the water will reach between 70 and 75 degrees. For most bass this is when they enter the post spawn stage. During this stage bass tend not to bite as much as pre spawn bass. You can still catch them with a floating lure, but it is much less likely.
Summer Time Fun
Once the temperatures get above 75 degrees bass begin to migrate back to the open waters of the lake. A good place to catch these during this time is the funnel areas between the main lake and the spawning grounds. Since the bass will have to pass through here to get back to the lake you are sure to catch plenty by doing this.
After a few weeks, once the water starts to really heat up, you will need to move back to the open water of the lake. Rivers are also a good area to fish for bass during the summer. A river is usually going to stay cooler than standing shallow water in a lake or reservoir.
Falling Off Again
Once fall hits and the temperatures begin to drop bass move back to shallow waters. This usually happens once the temperatures reach around 75 degrees. They will stay in these areas until it has dropped another 20 degrees down to 55.
During this time bass are mainly feeding on bait fish like shad and alewives. Since these fish usually suspend themselves about the ground you should keep your lure up off of the ground as well to attract more bass.
When choosing a lure for this time of year try to find one that is about the same size as the bait fish you are trying to imitate. If you get one that is the right size and has a bait fish pattern on it, such as a shad pattern, you will have a much easier time catching bass which can be very aggressive during this time.
I hope some of you have learned a little about fishing for bass. Just remember, there is no set season on bass fishing, but depending on your location you may have restrictions on how much you can catch and when you can’t fish for them. Check with the clerk for documentation on your local laws when you buy your fishing license.
The most important thing to remember is that bass migrate during different times of the year and will have different feeding habits accordingly. For a beginner this can be frustrating since what worked for you last week may be completely useless now, but just remember to follow the fish and learn their patterns and you will have success fishing bass year round.