Are you eager to catch more bass on your next fishing adventure? Timing will make or break your trip, and many factors will affect the result. So what is the best time to bass fishing?
We will explore the effects of weather patterns and water temperature on your catch rate. Let’s read on to discover the tips to become a successful angler!
What Time Of Day Is Best To Fish Bass?
Bass are predators and feed on other fish, crustaceans, and insects. Hence, if you want to catch them, choose the times when those prey are active: early morning, late afternoon, and nighttime.
Early morning, from 5:30 to 8:30, is a great opportunity to fish bass, as the water is cool. This condition encourages the fish to remain active and hunt for their food.
Moreover, thanks to the lack of light, you can hide the unnatural characteristics of your artificial lures. Then, your chance of success will increase.
For example, you may want to add treble hooks or flash to the lure. These tools can make it brighter and easier to detect. Yet, you don’t want to use them during the day because the bass will find them suspicious.
You can use shiners and minnows to lure bass in the early hours. You can also use artificial lures, like plugs and poppers, to attract them.
The low light condition returns in the late afternoon. Moreover, the water cools down after the sun sets. Thus, the timeframe from 5 to 7:30 is ideal for bass to feed.
Even so, the fish’s behaviors may change depending on the weather. For example, if it’s chilly, your prey becomes lazy. In this case, you need to move to deeper waters to catch them.
Testing with different retrieval speeds depending on the fishing area is necessary. Please remember that bass reacts differently to your speed.
Nighttime must be the best time for bass fishing for multiple reasons.
First, bass tend to be more active in cooler water and low-light conditions. Meanwhile, the night gives you all these advantages even better than early morning and late afternoon.
Second, anglers don’t want to fight against the heat while waiting for the bass to bite their bait. Yet, fishing for these fish during the nighttime will release their stress.
If you fish for bass under the full moon, your chance of getting a bite will be higher as the glow can lure them. In contrast, the cold and dark night will give you some disadvantages.
Fishing in the dark is challenging because bass can’t see their prey or your bait. So, consider using large lures, such as buzzbaits or spinners, to attract them.
Another tool you want to bring is the LED headlamp. Then, you have hand-free equipment to reel in bass and select the best lure.
See also: Top 4 baits for summer night fishing
What Is The Hardest Month To Catch Bass?
The water temperature and light conditions differ by season as well. For example, cool temperatures and rainy days make the bass more active. On the other hand, they are more lethargic on sunny days.
So which season is best for bass fishing? You need to understand how weather patterns, spawning habits, and water temperatures of every season to answer.
After a cold winter, bass become more energetic and start to eat more in the spring. Hence, spring is terrific for heading for the water to catch some bass.
When the water starts to warm up, between 55 and 65 degrees, these fish tend to move into shallower waters to find breeding grounds and food.
The best time for bass fishing in the spring is in the early morning and late afternoon. During these times, look for covers, such as brush piles, fallen trees, and weed beds, where bass hide to attack their prey.
You can also fish for bass on rainy or overcast days. In such conditions, you should aim for deeper waters.
The weather may be fickle in the spring. Thus, you may receive mixed results. In this scenario, be careful with cold fronts because they will give you a hard time even when the temperature doesn’t fluctuate dramatically.
In these conditions, the bass may head to deep waters. To catch them, you can use crankbaits, swimbaits, spinnerbaits, worms, and chatterbaits.
Aggressive bass will strike your bait. As a result, remember to use large baits to catch their eyes and help you reel them easier.
Summertime is also popular for bass fishing, whether you target smallmouth or largemouth bass. During the season, the water temperatures become warmer while making these fish more active.
If you plan a summer fishing trip, cast your line in the early morning or late evening when the water gets cooler. The bass like to hide in covers, like lily pads, weed beds, and drop-offs.
If you miss the best time and arrive at the fishing site at midday, do not worry. When the temperature is hot, bass move to deep waters where they can remain cool. Hence, aim for deep structures, like underwater humps and points, to find them.
Almost all types of lures and baits can attract hungry bass in the summer. You can attach topwater baits, jibs, or worms to your hook. Then, be ready to reel in your prey.
Summer is hot. Hence, bring a fishing cooler with you to keep your caught bass fresh. Remember to carry water to stay hydrated, too.
Although the bass slows down in the fall, this season is still a great time to land a big catch. During this time, striped bass are easy to see during slack and peak tides.
You’d better use lures like jerkbaits, crankbaits, swimbaits, and spinnerbaits to catch bass. If you fish on a windy day, swimbaits and spinnerbaits work best.
If you are preparing for a fall fishing adventure, pack up and head for the water during the early morning and evening hours. On the other hand, bass are scarce on dark, cold days.
Winter is not suitable for bass fishing because of the low temperatures. Hence, these fish save their energy and evacuate to deep waters under ledges to stay warm.
As a result, the best time to fish for bass in the winter is midday when their water and air hit the highest temperature.
Since bass are not eager to hunt for food during wintertime, it’s best to use slow-moving lures, such as jigs, soft plastics, and live bait, to catch them.
Bass fishing during the spawn is challenging because of the changes in their energy levels and behaviors. They slow down and are busy protecting their babies.
A trick here is to set your lure in the middle of their nest. Then, disturb the parent fish. If this method doesn’t work, cast your line in deep waters.
Bass may spawn during late winter or early spring. You can observe the dogwood trees to determine these fish’s spawning time. When those trees start to bloom, their reproduction period begins.
What Is The Best Weather For Bass Fishing?
Checking the weather forecast before every fishing trip is essential because it affects your catch rate. So how should the weather be for a successful trip?
Most bass species don’t like hot weather. Hence, avoid fishing them on a sunny day. Instead, if you expect the weather to be rainy or windy, then head for the shore.
Rain has cooling effects and low light conditions. And these conditions are what turn bass into aggressive and energetic feeders.
Moreover, the rain will bring run-offs, which carry a lot of prey for bass. Hence, these predators will gather where those flows meet the main water body and enjoy their meals.
In addition, in warm weather, run-offs can relieve heat stress. It’s such a perfect condition for bass to hunt for food.
While rain can cool down the temperature and increase oxygenation, heavy rain will be another story. It can lead to excessive run-offs that carry clay, mud, and dirt into the water. Your trip will become harder as a result.
Fishing for bass on a windy day can be tricky, but this condition is ideal.
More specifically, the wind stirs up baitfish and oxygenates the water. Then, the bass will take advantage of this chance to find food.
When you notice the wind blowing, bass tend to travel to shoreline pockets, channel banks, and retaining walls. You can cast your line there to attract them with your lures.
Casting under windy conditions is difficult. However, your line will look more natural to the bass.
Fast-moving baits cause a lot of vibration, but they give you good results as the wind activates the bass’ chasing mood. Topwater baits, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits can also work.
Best Time To Fish Different Types Of Bass
There are different varieties of bass, each with specific characteristics. So, you have to learn their behaviors and habits to determine the best time to fish.
Largemouth bass swim in deep waters, sometimes up to 12 feet deep. They like to live near the edge, like a sharp cliff or bank.
If you are boat fishing, prioritize the northwest areas where the water is warmer. Once you see spawning flats from your boat, it must be a perfect place for catching big largemouth bass.
These fish prefer low-light conditions to feed. Hence, the best time to fish them is around dawn and dusk. Interestingly, these fish strike your bait even when they are not hungry. So try to present a smooth lure to attract them.
Besides, largemouth bass are active before and after their reproduction time. They feed on anything they come across.
Striped bass are unpredictable. Yet, you can tell when to catch them by checking the water temperature, which should be from 55 to 68 degrees.
If the water is colder, striped bass will move to warmer spots and approach the water’s surface. On the other hand, if the water becomes warmer, they will move to deeper waters.
Like largemouth bass, striped bass like to feed during dusk and dawn. Hence, start your trip before sunset or sunrise to catch them.
Striped bass are excellent at detecting vibration. With that thought in mind, choosing live baits will give you more chances of success.
Unlike other bass species, smallmouth bass are most active during summertime. In the summer, their metabolism increases, urging them to feed more.
You can find these fish at a depth of 20 to 30 feet. With excellent vision, they can detect your bait well.
Smallmouth bass, as their name suggests, have small mouths. However, they are strong fighters. So don’t be surprised when they strike your bait fiercely.
Smallmouth and largemouth bass can coexist. However, the smallmouth species spawn later. Furthermore, they choose rocky and vegetative conditions.
Understanding the best time to bass fishing is a game-changer. You can increase your chances of landing more fish by mastering the factors that affect the bass’ behaviors, such as water temperature and weather patterns.
With the tips outlined in this guide, you will be confident to be an excellent angler. If you need any further information to master your fishing skills, don’t hesitate to contact us. That’s how we grow up as expert anglers!
Born in Lakeland, Florida, Daniel has started fishing since he was just a tiny little kid. His father was a real good fisherman, as he taught Daniel tricks and tips to catch the fish better. From those childhood memories, Daniel has built up his love for fishing. Until now, he has been participating in several bass tournaments and currently serves as the Chief Editor of fishingonsunday.com to share his precious knowledge and experiences with many more people.