- How To Track the Bass Spawn with GoWild’s Near Me Feature
How To Track the Bass Spawn with GoWild’s Near Me Feature
By: Kyler Branaum, professional kayak angler
One of the biggest mysteries of bass fishing is when, where and how bass spawn. There is unlimited information on the internet of how to catch bedding fish and maybe what to look for, but how do you figure out the right time bass are spawning in your area before you get on the water? GoWild’s ‘Near Me’ feature allows anglers to share information about bass in their area in both written and visual aspects. Let’s break down seasonality, signs of the bass spawn, the bait to select and how to use it.
Time of Year for Bass Spawn
It’s VERY important to understand when bass are going to spawn. When water temperatures are between 58-65 degrees, they are moving up and getting ready to spawn or they are currently spawning. The biggest fish are almost always the first to spawn, and the slightest change in water temperature can make those fish move up to spawn. Also you can keep an eye on moon phases. Full Moon or New Moon phase is when the majority of bass spawn. So moon phase (full moon/new moon) + water temp (58-65 degrees) = bass spawn. This is what your algebra teacher was secretly preparing you for all throughout school. Keep checking the Near Me feature in GoWild in the Bass Fishing Trail. You will start to notice other remembers saying the bass spawn is on. Or you will know the bass are spawning if you’re seeing other members log big behemoth bass on GoWild in February through April. It’s time to go!
Where to Go and What to Look For
Where do you even go to look for bedding bass? You see a term thrown around ‘spawning flats’ or ‘I caught em super shallow’. Both are vague and both are 100% accurate. In reality finding beds is a lot easier than you think.
Navionics is a great tool to use when finding areas. As you can see below, There is deep water close to shallow areas. The green dots are places where bass will go to spawn. Somewhere easy to move up to and move back out deep when they are done.
IF you don’t know what a bass bed looks like, this is what you are going to want to look for when patrolling those shallow areas (see picture below), more than likely you will see a bass on a bed or within a few feet of it.
Baits to Use for the Spawn and How to Use Them
One of the most obvious pieces of information is baits anglers are currently using. I am either looking for or sharing information with others. During the spawn, bass are up super shallow on beds (we will talk about the beds further down). The water won’t always be super clear, the sun won’t always be out. I have to account for that in my selection. For this particular situation, there are only a handful of baits that I like to use:
This setup consists of a small size 2 (not 2/0) Berkley Fusion19 Octopus Hook, Berkley Maxscent General in Green Pumpkin Red Flake. Wacky rig is a dead stick technique, you cast over the bed,if you see it, let it slowly fall, you will notice a light wiggle action from the worm. DO NOT move it when it reaches the bottom.
This setup is another finesse presentation. 2/0 Owner Covershot worm hook, Zoom Trick Worm in methylate color. This is another technique that is to be deadsticked over beds. Again, bass HATE when things are on their bed that aren't supposed to be there.
Beefing up our rig a bit, the texas rig is something that is a staple among all anglers at any level, but the slightest changes make this a formidable bedding bass catching machine! With the wait, you can use that as an advantage to impart action to your soft plastic without moving the bait off the bed. Shaking the rod every so slightly can easily trigger bites. Use a Berkley Maxscent Creature Hawg in Green Pumpkin, 4/0 Berkley Fusion EWG hook, a 5/16 ounce tungsten weight (this is the key). The lighter weight has a much smaller fall rate than normal ¼ or ½ ounce weights do.
Very rarely do I throw a jig that is lighter than ½ ounce, but during spawn, I will drop down to a ⅜ ounce jig that still has a beefy hook. A jig, no matter the weight size, is a bulky presentation. Most bed fishing is done by sight fishing. The jig shines when the water has color or stain to it. That bulkier presentation makes bass go crazy. The jig skirt will impart action, but also you can use the same “shake” technique to impart slight action to the jig.
Now I know what you’re thinking, these baits are too big and I don’t have a setup for them. They make them in all shapes and sizes, but the key thing is the ability to pause the bait above the bed. Realistic looking baits both in shape, color and size really can make your day go from great to beyond fantastic. Cast this past the bed and bring it over and pause. It will slightly sink, but you’re looking for a quick reaction.
Why These Baits?
There is one thing that all of these techniques have in common. They all are slower presentations and there is an important reason for that. When a buck bass (male) makes the bed, they don’t want anything touching that bed for fear of a big female not spawning with him OR if they are, he is the protector of that female. All you’re trying to do is make them angry and cause a reaction bite.
All of this information is always subject to change based on conditions that we have every year. So the best thing to do is to constantly experiment each spring, never get too caught up in what bass shold be doing and take every piece of information with a grain of salt. All of the information above is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the bass spawn, so keep an eye out on the GoWild app and continue to see what’s happening near you.