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Don’t jump the gun on the spawning season


Senior Fisheman
Jan 10, 2009
Craig, Colorado
Best Catch
Every angler looks forward to that early spawning period when fish are shallow and big ones are easier to target. I’m not talking about sight fishing, but rather when there’s that first push of bass to the shallows and the fish are aggressive.

Unfortunately, predicting that movement isn’t an exact science and more often than not we jump the gun. Sure, there are instances when we’ve seen a giant wave of fish move up overnight; it’s those experiences that make us think it’s going to happen every year.

But it doesn’t.

The GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK'S Sporting Goods on Lake Hartwell was a good example. The pre-tournament predictions called for a huge movement of bass to the shallows, but it never materialized. There were some fish moving up, but not the numbers that many anglers predicted.

Most of us put too much emphasis on factors that we thought would attract bass shallow without considering all of the little ingredients that trigger that movement.

Probably the biggest mistake anglers make is they get hung up on water temperature. Sure, warming water is important in the early spring, but it’s also highly overrated. I’ve seen big groups of bass move into the shallows when the water temperature was in the low 50s.

Influences that trump the spring transition and are more important are length of daylight and moon phase.