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INTERMEDIATE GUIDE to BASS FISHING: 2A – Seasonal Bass Behavior

INTERMEDIATE GUIDE to BASS FISHING: 2A – Seasonal Bass Behavior


Hello everyone, welcome back to
HatCamBass’ INTERMEDIATE GUIDE to Bass Fishing presented by Mystery Tackle
Box. My name is Jeff and in this episode we’re going to talk about seasonal bass
behavior specifically where you can locate bass from season to season, why
they’re there, and also some good baits to catch them on. As conditions change from season to season bass go on the move. In part 2 of our
Beginner’s Guide we pointed out that bass have just three primary concerns: food,
survival, and reproduction. All three also greatly contribute to seasonal movement.
For food, a bass must follow migrating food supplies. For survival, they must
seek ideal water temperatures and oxygen levels. For reproduction,
they must spawn in areas where eggs can hatch successfully. Water temperature.
Oxygen levels. Light penetration and food supply…these are all driving factors.
Fall, winter, spring, and summer. The Four Seasons. Except, in bass fishing, there’s more like 6. Behavior is pretty diverse
in the spring when bass reproduce so it makes much more sense to divide this
period further into three different sub seasons: pre spawn, spawn, and post spawn.
So let’s start breaking this down season by season beginning with the fall. The fall season begins with a movement
from deep summer sanctuaries to shallower water. As temperatures begin to cool bait fish play a huge role this time of year. On typical reservoir style lakes,
schools of bait like shad will migrate into the shallower tributary arms where
they become extremely active. Shad are constantly on the move in the fall often
roaming in slightly deeper areas of these creek arms for most of the day then
retreating to shoreline cover in the evening. With so much activity bass have
numerous opportunities to feed, and they take full advantage of it. You can expect
bass to be located in a variety of areas, but the common denominator is always
nearby bait fish. Structure found where creek arms open into the main lake like
shallower humps, large flats, and main lake points are all areas where bass can
lie in wait for schools a bait to bunch up as they move by. Also, shad will push
further back into tributary arms as water temps continue to fall and bass
will follow. So fishing nearby coves and secondary points near the mouths of
these creeks can also be productive. You can expect bass to be holding to
various cover in these areas like boat docks, timber, and grass lines. Because
bait fish are so prominent, your choice of lure needs to reflect that. Shallow to
medium-running crank baits and willow leaf spinner baits are probably the most
effective baits this time of year. A lipless crankbait or
even a top water popper style bait can also work wonders if you happen to find
bass in a feeding frenzy near a school of shad. Shad are not fully grown this time
of year so you’ll have more success with smaller profile baits. Also, they suspend.
So you typically want to make sure to keep your baits off the bottom. Color
will mostly depend on water clarity with natural colors working better in clear
water and flashy colors working better in stained water. From one of the most
active seasons of the year to the most inactive season of the year: winter. Cold
weather pushes bass and shad to deeper main lake areas where water
temperatures are more stable and less cold compared to shallower water. Before
we continue let’s clarify that bass do not hibernate. They don’t stop feeding.
They don’t stop moving in the winter. They simply do much less of each. Bass
are cold blooded which means their bodies take on the temperature of their
environment. Cold water slows their biological processes, and they simply
require less food and have less energy for movement. Less movement is a big
factor in where and how you’ll catch bass this time of year. Expect them to be
located around structural areas with steep depth changes like creek channel
drop-offs or rock ledges which allow them to cover
depths quickly without exerting much energy. Main lake humps, submerged
roadbeds, standing timber in deeper water…these
are all high percentage locations, and you’ll likely find them grouped up this
time of year. A slower presentation is usually needed in the winter since bass
feed far less frequently and are less willing to chase baits. Baits like jigs,
spoons, and grub-style plastics rigged on jig heads can be hopped slowly along the
bottom and are great at probing deep vertical structure. Crankbaits and
bladed baits like under spins work as well especially during warming trends. If
you’re in need of a search bait and wants to cover lots of water quickly
don’t discount the lipless crankbait which tends to single out more active
fish. In clear water, a jerkbait also makes for a great search bait and is
considered one of the more effective winter baits. The first big warming trend
marks the beginning of what has to be the most exciting, diverse, and sometimes confusing season: spring. Bass leave their winter sanctuaries and begin the process
of reproducing which involves building up energy in the pre-spawn, working to
hatch eggs in the spawn, and then recovering from the stress of
reproduction in the post-spawn. The interesting thing about the spring
season is that all three of these sub seasons are often happening at the exact
same time as bass do not spawn uniformly. Bass in the pre-spawn stage begin to
move closer to their desired spawning locations. As bass leave their deep
winter spots they will migrate back into tributary arms using structure and cover
exclusively as navigation points. So fish any structural features between
winter spots and likely spawning grounds. Bass become more and more active as
temperatures warm and they also tend to stick tightly to cover as they make this
journey. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, lipless crankbaits, chatterbaits can all work
quite well this time of year. Work these baits faster and faster as temperatures
rise to cover water quickly, slowing down along the way around isolated cover like
brush piles and stumps with a jig or Texas rig. In lakes and reservoirs the
red rattletrap has become known as THE primary pre-spawn baits as crawfish
become a prominent food source in late winter to early spring. When bass are
ready to spawn, male bass move on to spawning grounds which are often
shallower, hard-bottom flats and wind- protected areas. Females wait nearby
until they’re rounded up to drop their eggs, and the male is then left to defend
the nest as the eggs hatch. We’ll go into more detail in our video devoted
entirely to spawning bass, but a variety of baits can be used successfully during
this phase. Soft jerkbaits like a fluke, jigs, lizards, and ribbon tail worms are
just a few that work well. Keep in mind though that bass are often not drawn to
your lure as food this time of year. It’s much more likely they are reacting
to baits based on their protective instinct of the nest. A couple of important notes about when and where bass spawn…expect the spawn to kick off
in the northern parts of a body of water first because these areas
typically warm faster since they’re protected from colder north winds.
Also, water clarity is important for spawning fish as the right amount of
sunlight is needed to successfully hatch eggs. So on murkier lakes you can expect
spawning bass to be in shallower water. On clearer lakes you might see this
occurring at deeper depths. The post-spawn is where things can get tricky. Bass
are in full recovery mode after spawning which usually puts them into a sort of a
funk. Females will often be suspended under cover not far from beds like boat
docks, submerged brush, or lay downs and you’ll have to rely on erratic action to
get them to bite. Baits like a jerkbait, swim jig, or a colorado leaf spinner
bait are great options. Males are more active and stick to nests briefly to
protect fry. Bluegill imitators or even a top water walking bait around nests can
work great here. Also, the shad and bluegill spawn occurs not long after
bass spawn in similar shallow protected areas so choose colors to match whatever
bass are currently feeding on. Watermelon reds, pumpkin colors are all great
choices for soft plastics, as well as natural colors like sexy shad for
spinnerbaits, or chatter baits. The summer heat pushes most bass back
to deep main lake sanctuaries where temperatures are cooler and shad are
plentiful. Deep main lake river channels, ledges, and humps are common locations. You might think this sounds a lot like winter except this time of the year bass
do remain active. They ARE warm water fish after all and can thrive in the
summer. However, extreme heat is a stressor so to
compensate summer bass typically will feed aggressively but only in short bursts.
Jigs, Carolina-rigged soft plastics, drop shots, deep diving crankbaits are all
great deep summer baits. Timing is often critical. So, if you happen to locate
deep water bass that aren’t currently feeding, resort to much slower
presentations. Another critical component of summer bass fishing is depth because
there is such a thing as too deep. Lack of light penetration and insufficient
oxygen levels become an issue the deeper you go. Fishermen often refer to
something called the thermocline as the barrier to which bass will not descend
below. For the purposes of this video, we can say that on clearer bodies of water
bass will often be deeper than on lakes with stained water but be aware that a
sort of dead zone CAN exist at the deepest depths.
What about shallow summer bass? Several ecological factors prevent the majority
of bass from setting up in shallower water, but you will find some of them
there. Focus on shaded cover for shallow summer bass and you will always have your
best luck in the early morning and late evening when bass might be tempted into feed around highly vegetated areas where bait tends to hover. As I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, we can never fully predict bass behavior with 100% accuracy
because there’s just too many different variables that can change even hour to hour much less season to season that make it really tough. So by applying seasonal
techniques to your fishing you can effectively and efficiently eliminate
unproductive water on any body of water that you go to. So we’re talking about
making a highly educated guess here that’s going to greatly increase your
chances of catching fish quickly and catching more of them as the seasons
change. Thank you so much for watching guys be sure to subscribe I’d love to
see you come back and watch some more videos and share this around with people
that you know might be interested in bass fishing. Also check out our sponsor
Mystery Tackle Box. Once again thanks for watching the Intermediate Guide to Bass
Fishing we will see you next time!

100 comments on “INTERMEDIATE GUIDE to BASS FISHING: 2A – Seasonal Bass Behavior

  1. Seasonal guide cheat sheet! Download links below. Test on Wednesday…so study up!

    Image – https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1dszpO6tZdhbzdLNDBWLVZJRE0
    PDF – https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1dszpO6tZdhbWJiamo1Y3pOVUU

  2. Nice high level presentation.ย  too many factors involved to be as simple as you make it sound.ย  Current, wind, fronts, barometric pressure, temp, rain/flooding, lake elevations, tournament pressure.

  3. Was the thumbnail intentional?

    In the fall bass think with their mouths (gorging on baitfish)

    In winter they think with their stomachs( chasing after big meals , slow lethargic like when we eat alot)

    In spring they think with their crotches (spawn)

    And in summer they think with their tails( aggressive, super active)

  4. Could you please do one video for fishing black bream or bream species in general. I'm in Australia. Where are u from?

  5. is this the same kind of general movement for all fish or do other fish have different patterns throughout the seasons? Could you do a seasonal behavior for other fish l8ike trout crappie catfish etc

  6. Great bass fishing video. You literally summed up a majority of the questions I'm constantly thinking about when bass fishing. Your time and effort in this video does not go unnoticed bud. Thanks and keep up the great work

  7. THANK YOU VERY MUCH HatCamBass for all the Season Fishing Information .๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

  8. So for pre-spawn, like it is now in SC, would it be good to through a med. depth crankbait (2-6ft)? Thanks โ€‹and your videos are great and I subscribed!

  9. I tell you what!
    I use a 4" watermelon red lizard in Spring and absolutely crush most size Largemouth. 1lb to 5lb range in the Northern CA area. As spring starts into Summer a Frog will produce the big 6lb to 10lb bass which is huge in my area. Also using a much larger Lizard will produce bigger fish. Don't ever count out the effectiveness of a small presentation bait in Spring. Bass do not give a crap!

  10. I have to be the worst angler ever. I've followed all these tips from different people and I have the worst luck. just wasting my time

  11. No wonder why I never catch fish,im doing it all wrong, thanks god YouTube is here to teach us.

  12. Damn this was really informational. Thank you. As of right now I'm in between post spawn and summer. I've been catching quite a bit of bass on spinner baits in cooler evenings. Tomorrow I'm gunna go ahead and try a frog lure and a texas rigged crawfish. I'm new to fishing so I'm excited to see my outcome.

  13. This is quite literally the best informative video on the internet. No bs whatsoever. Your explanations are so spot on and easy to understand. Your channel deserves many more views

  14. As I see that each different baits for different seasons. How about what type of bait to use in all 4 seasons to catch bass?

  15. I've slowly become a strict bass fishing guy and have been watching all kinds of videos trying to teach myself different tips and tricks on bass fishing. This is the best one I've come across so far because it's informative without being redundant and also straight forward without rambling.

  16. Thank you so much. One of the very best and Informative videos I have seen about BASS FISHING on YOUTUBE. I love fishing specially BASS FISHING. Very very useful information about BASS FISHING. Thanks again bro from AZ… USA . I absolutely loved your video

  17. Lakes lakes lakes lakes,

    I hate lake fishing. What about us folk who exclusively fish Swift rivers? Do these same rules apply?

  18. For fall and summer the only thing I really use is a white grub-tail and it's very efficient

  19. Best bass lesson in youtube. Other channels tend to give somewhat subjective and disorganized lesson with confusing details, but you are very systematic!! Thumbs up.

  20. Great information. Iโ€™ve been getting skunked shore fishing all winter and now it all makes sense… I need a boat!

  21. hi there, hope this is still active, love your presentation… but can you run brief info on bass fishing but based on a tropical country like the Philippines? we have two dams here stocked with bass since it was built but our season is rainy, summer and cold Christmas… please send info so that I can increase the chance of hooking bass when I go again this summer?

  22. Should mention bass donโ€™t migrate either. Itโ€™s more of a elevation thing not north, west etc.

  23. Too bad the nearest lake is an hour away๐Ÿ™„

    Shady ass farmers wonโ€™t let anyone fish their ponds…

    So Iโ€™m reduced to nearby creeks…though…I have honed that craft…

    The world of โ€œbig lake bass fishingโ€ is so odd to me lol

  24. I am curious if anyone knows of this same kind of illustration but being 3D and animated. Would be cool to see what it looks like under the water and how you might fish the different areas.

  25. Great video, I know yall mainly work with bass fishing but if yall could do a saltwater version that would be badass!

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