If you’re trying to figure out the best time to fish for bass, you are in the right place. Bass are predatory fish with kind of aggressive feeding habits. You can fish them out at any time of the day, but they can probably bite during certain periods due to their specific feeding behaviors.
Weather and seasons affect their habits, but fortunately, it is predictable to understand the biology that controls this fish. Also, bass fishing periods depend on the type of breed, bass, and the site where you are fishing.
The Best Time for Bass Fishing
Usually, the ideal time to fish for bass either later in the evening or early in the morning because bass mostly feeds in low light environments. That is because it’s their adaptation to hunting in such conditions. Therefore, you can still get lucky to catch bass in the middle of a rainy day when there’s low light due to cloud cover.
Best Time of Day for Bass Fishing
- Early morning
The best time to catch bass in the early morning is between 5:30 A.M. to 8.30 A.M. That can change depending on the season, but usually, they become more active as you approach sunrise when it is still low light. Fish prefer baits like shiners or minnows in these early hours. Furthermore, they respond well to artificial shoreline lures like topwater poppers or plugs.
- Late Afternoon
In the late afternoon hours between 5 P.M. and 7:30, the low light returns creating another good feeding time for the bass. Also, topwater lures are effective during these hours. Nevertheless, if it’s cold, then the solution is to fish in deeper water where fish are less active.
Test out several retrieval speeds at that moment since it responds differently to different rates based on the area you are fishing. Such fish behaviors are evident in summer months when there are prolonged low light hours.
- Night (anytime)
Fishing at night is always a good time since no other fishermen can disturb the fish or interfere with the bass’s ability to see in dim light. One thing you should know, in as much as bass functions better in low lights, they still require some light to see. So, try picking a night close to the full moon; more moonlight will help you enjoy the calmness to the fullest.
If it’s a cold and dark night, do not expect to come across much bass. They have a visual-hunting technique; hence they would not apply much energy because they can’t see their prey. Still, if you try fishing bass at night, use large, noisy lures like buzz-bait, spinner, or popper that are big enough for them to in the night time water.
Read also: The 5 Best Spinning Reels for Bass in 2021
Best Time to Fish for Bass by Season
Bass fishing is slower in winter because they save their energy, and you can generally find them in deeper water under ledges and covers. Chances of catching bass start to rise as the temperature rises, and without a doubt, you can have a catch after the water 40 degrees and higher.
It’s also essential to check for water heating patterns. It is more vital to check if the temperature is rising 36, 37, 38, and then to 39 in a row than 40 one day and 30 next. Fish adapts to patterns, and the large female reacts to the water temperature with their activity and energy.
Remember, the perfect time to bass fish in the winter is midday when the water and air temperatures are at their optimal.
Starting slow, as it goes, the fish begin to increase in numbers as the rains bring warmer water. In spring, the weather is irregular, so you may observe mixed results as precipitation and temperature can change within a short time in the early season.
Watch out for the cold front since they can put a number on some of your favorite fishing days, even when the temperature does not drop drastically. So, if that happens, the fish goes back to the deeper waters. Thus, it is best to use crankbaits, worms, chatter baits, spinnerbaits, and swimbaits in sites that point and from shallow coves.
Once the temperature and rain start to stabilize, the fish begin to prepare for the spawning season. It usually occurs when the water temperature ranges from 55 to 65 degrees. In such conditions, expect aggressive fish to strike at your bait. Remember to use big lures that can be attractive to bass. That is one of the best periods of the year to bass fish, usually still at dusk and dawn.
As spawning ends, the summer comes and causes every bass to go and feed at high levels. They have their optimal energy levels at this time, and you can find them in all deep and shallow waters. When it is sunny and hot, they are probably deeper to avoid intense sunlight.
Most baits and lures work in summer. These include topwater baits, plastic worms, swimbaits, and jigs. Open up your tackle box, enjoy your self and expect most lures to function as bass lures.
The fall season is a suitable time to bass fish, with slow activity, but there’s significant feeding before winter. During this period, they look for baitfish, including shiners and shads. Better still, swimbaits and spinner head work well in the fall wind, with crankbaits and jerk baits also attracting attention.
Furthermore, fall is also the best period to catch striped bass; typically, during slack or peak tide. At this time, you still have to focus more on the early morning and late evening hours. Besides, avoid cold days that instantly drop water temperature.
Bass fishing during the spawn is quite a challenge because of the change in their energy and behavior. The fish becomes less active and focus on staying and protecting their nest. A widely known trick is positioning your lure in the middle of a nest and cause a female bass reaction. And if the females are not in the nest, they are in deeper water hiding.
While it is not precisely science that tells when fish spawning begins, you can keep up with it by watching the local land animals and fauna to observe when mother nature is ready to offer you an anglers’ advantage.
Read also: What Does Largemouth Bass Eat?
Best Time to Fish for Distinct Types of Bass
Largemouth mostly sticks to deep waters close to the edges, like the end of a cliff or a pier. You can find them at depths of two to twelve feet, mainly in early spring.
When it comes to fishing largemouth bass, the seasons are mostly accurate. Nonetheless, it can also help if you use your knowledge about them as hunters to boost your fishing. When hunting, largemouth bass utilizes low-light to their advantage, which commonly happens during dawn and dusk.
Moreover, you can provoke the bass, which makes them strike at baits they come across in the water even when they are not hungry.
The best time to find the bass is the period before, during, and after spawning. These are the times they are actively feeding themselves for reproduction.
Stripped bass is that they want to stay where water temperature ranges from 55 to 68 degrees. And to maintain that, most striped bass does migrate.
The migration pattern is in two divisions, the fall migration and the spring migration. It’s during these periods of migration that the best striper fish of the year arises. Even so, anglers enjoy the challenge and reward of the stripers and fall-run love biting your poppers.
The best time to catch smallmouth bass is the down hours and the 3 hours before dusk. These bass have much smaller mouths than largemouth bass, though they are relatively the same in body size. Regardless, they are aggressive predators with a grumpy attitude and a sharp strike.
Interestingly, you can fish this species of fish in all seasons. This kind of bass generally resides at depth, usually around 20 to 30 feet below the surface. Like the largemouth bass, smallmouth has a sharp vision, meaning they use close predatory tactics.
The smallmouth bass is most active in the summer season. Water temperatures are optimal, and metabolism rates high too. That makes them hungry much faster.
Surprisingly, if the water temperature there is good overcast, you may pull in a ton.
The best times to fish bass is when there’s low lighting. This time may differ by season and with the fish species. The best time to bass fish is the late spring and summer around dusk or down. In case you are fishing at midday, the shaded areas are the suitable options because that’s where fish cool off.