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26 Seasonal Bass Fishing Tips – Summer, Spring, Winter, Fall

There are over 30 million anglers in the US and bass fishing is one of the most popular species to target. 

It can be difficult to have success bass fishing without the right gear, so make sure you have got a proper bass fishing rod and reel and a variety of lures and baits before you head to the water.

Bass are predators and generally have a lot of different food options, so make sure you have many different types of lures and baits with you, from bottom hugging, to topwater, to spinners, and soft plastic lures.

Most anglers who catch big bass are not just lucky - they have the right gear to go along with their knowledge and experience.

Warm weather increases bass metabolisms, meaning that you will feed more often. This gives you more opportunities to put a lure in front of a hungry fish. Fishing for bass in summer is certainly worthwhile trying to increase your chances of catching that big fish.

Bass need three things to survive - food, shelter, and oxygen.

Look for locations within your target environment that will provide all three. These will have more likelihood and having bass either living there or passing through than just randomly throwing a lure into the middle of the lake.

  • On low light days target the shallow side of a lake or reservoir
  • On bright days target the deep side of a lake or reservoir
  • Target underwater ledges and drop offs
  • Look for shad spawning areas - shad are perfect for hungry bass
  • Summer heat might impact us more than the fish - get some UV resistance long sleeve shirts to protect yourself from the sun
  • Try summer night time fishing - this is cooler and is known for producing big bass
Catching Summer Bass: Fishing in Reservoirs
Source: Fix.com Blog

Spring Bass Fishing Tips

The warming waters and the start of spawning can turn lazy winter bass into feeding machines. The spring bass fishing season can be one of the most exciting times after a slow winter.

Bass can also be very protective of their nests and territory. Try  lure that mimics a fry predator (such as a bluegill) and they may strike to scare it away rather than for food.

Have a look through some of these simple tips to improve your bass fishing this spring time:

  • While the weather is still cold target the warmer, deeper waters. However, as the weather begins to warm bass will move to the shallows. Identifying when to move is important to a successful days fishing.
  • When you get a bite, fish the area thoroughly - there are often more fish nearby
  • As the temperature changes rapidly don't expect the fish to be in the same place as they were yesterday
  • Use big lures - big lures catch big bass
  • Look for areas where warm water is discharging into a large, cold body of water - this may attract the bait fish and hence the bass
  • Get a good pair of polarized sunglasses - this will help you to identify the bait fish the bass are eating so you can mimic it with your lure
  • Be stealthy - bass eyes are facing up so they can get spooked easily if you are making too much noise or movement
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Winter Bass Fishing Tips

A bass metabolism is much slower in the winter, but this doesn't mean that yo can't go fishing. The bite will be a lot slower than in the summertime, but the fish are still there and they still need to eat.

You may need to work harder for that bite, but the bass are at their fattest as they have prepared for the winter.

  • Use a bottom hugging bait to imitate dead bait fish
  • Move your lure very slowly - this helps to replicate the speed of the cold bait fish
  • Target shallow eddies were the water can get hotter than the deep lake and attract bait fish
  • Target 15-20 feet structure - deep water has a more stable water temperature
  • Trust your fish finder - bass will congregate around the bait fish
  • Be patient - bass aren't feeding as many times per day as in the summertime, so don't give up if you haven't had any bites
  • Cold weather impacts on us more than the fish - get a warm, waterproof jacket for a more enjoyable day fishing
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Fall Bass Fishing Tips

Fall is my favorite time for catching bass. It isn't as hot as summer and is more productive than winter. The bass behavior also changes as the shad and other bait fish stop spawning.

The fall turnover is a weather induced phenomena that occurs when the top surface layer of water begins to get colder than the deeper water. This causes a reaction in the bass living there and changes their behavior. This means that we need to change your lure types and retrieve tactics as well.

  • The depth matters more in fall than any other season - change your depth until you find where the bass are feeding. Most common depth range is 15-25 feet.
  • Bass start eating crawfish - change your lure to match
  • Keep the bait moving up and down through the water column
  • Change up your retrieve technique until you start getting bites and then stay with that technique
  • Look for weed cover - this provides shelter and oxygen for the bass
  • As fall turns to winter the top water layer starts getting the coldest - again focusing on depth is crucial

Most Popular Bass Fishing Lakes in America

USA today has put together this list of the 14 most popular bass fishing lakes in the USA. Let me know which ones you have tried in the comments below and whether you had any success. Also let me know if you have any other lakes that you have had more success on.

  • Lake Champlain, Vermont
  • Lake Okeechobee, Florida
  • Falcon Lake, Texas
  • Toledo Bend, Louisiana
  • Lake Fork, Texas
  • Lake Chickamauga, Tennessee
  • Lake Jordon, Alabama
  • Mille Lacs Lake, Minnesota
  • Lake St. Clair, Michigan
  • Clear Lake, California
  • Kentucky Lake, Kentucky
  • Lake Erie, Ohio
  • Guntersville Lake, Tennessee​
  • Sam Rayburn Reservoir, Texas

What Month is Best for Bass Fishing?

Every season has its advantages and disadvantages, however we recommend October when the bass are gorging themselves before Winter to catch the most fish and March to catch the largest sow largemouth bass when they are heavy with eggs.

Conclusion

Bass fishing is one of the most popular hobbies in North America. It is an option throughout the continental United States all year around. Don't think that just because Winter has arrived that you can't go fishing. I hope these seasonal bass fishing tips have helped you to try something different and have more success.

Having the best gear is also another idea to increase the number of fish you catch - don't go fishing with substandard gear.

Russ Egan
 

Russ is an avid angler. He has fished all over the world, primarily for Saltwater game fish but also for local prize fish. Russ writes reviews for all of his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. His favorite reel is a Shimano Tyrnos for an overhead reel or a Shimano Curado for a baitcaster. His dream is to catch a Black Marlin.

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