Bass Fishing Hacks

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What water temperature do largemouth bass prefer?

Bass are most active in water temperatures between 55 and 85 degrees. If the water is below 55 degrees the bass will be lethargic and in energy conservation mode. When the water temperature is above 85 degree the bass will find shade or deeper water to stay in a stable temperature environment.

When you think about it bass have a very wide temperature range when they are active. Many other species of fish are only active when the water temperatures are within a 15 to 20 degree range.

When it comes to hot water bass fishing oxygen is a limiting factor on how deep the bass can go. Quite often there is no oxygen in many lakes around the country below 15 or 20 feet deep. The bass will suffocate if they go below those water depths.

I am a Bass Fishing Charter Guide on the Treasure Coast of Florida. I have been catching bass in the lakes, ponds and canals all over Florida from more than 40 years. In the article below, I will cover in more detail how temperatures affect largemouth bass.

Let’s get started.

Watch the video below and catch more bass in the Spring.

How does water temperature affect bass fishing?

All fish are cold blooded except for a couple of types of sharks. This means that they must use their external environment to regulate their own body temperatures. This can be done by moving up and down in the water column if you are a bass.

On really hot days where the water temperatures are over 85 degrees the bass will be down deep or in the shade of a dock or trees. When the water temperatures are less than 55 degrees the bass will school up in deep water where the temperatures do not vary as much. Bass don’t like temperatures that vary up or down quickly.

There are some temperature levels that you will have to learn that are important to bass. The first water temperature level is less than 50 degree. This is considered the winter water temperature range for most bass fishermen in the United States. Where I live in Florida, the water temperatures never get that cold but many other states do see temperatures get that low.

50 Degrees or Less

When the water temperatures are less than 50 degrees the bass will be schooled up in deeper water and not moving or feeding very much. They will not chase down your lure or bait actively like they do when the water temperatures are higher. A good cold water bass fishing day might be two fish.

50 to 55 Degrees

When the water temperatures move between 50 and 55 degrees it is considered pre spawn. This is when the bass move from their deep water winter haunts into areas that are adjacent to the shallows. The fish are starting to think about the spawn so they move closer to the places where they will ultimately go to spawn when the water warms up more.

During the pre spawn the fish will be actively feeding to gain energy for the spawn that is right around the corner. They are usually not up on the flats or in shallow water yet but they are in those transition areas between the deep water and the shallow water.

55 to 60 Degrees

Once the water temperatures get between the 55 to 60 degree range the bass will begin to spawn. Bass like the water temperature to stabilize at 60 degrees for a week or so and that will trigger them to spawn. The big females will lay eggs in the nests that the males have created in the shallows.

The females will often lay eggs in multiple nests to better the chances of their babies surviving. The males will actively try to kill anything that comes near their nests during the spawn. They are usually quite easy to catch during this time of the year.

The females will move into deeper water near the spawning beds after they have spawned. They are voracious feeders during this time because developing eggs takes a large amount of energy for the females. This high metabolic cost means that they must feed quite a bit to replenish their energy levels.

60 to 85 Degrees

Post spawn water temperatures start at 60 and go up from there. The bass are very actively feeding from 60 to 85 degree water temperatures. Once the water temperatures get over 85 degrees the bass start to shut down and find cool water. That gives you a very large water temperature range to find actively feeding bass in the water bodies in your area.

That is a large water temperature range to catch bass. You can catch bass when the water temperatures are below 50 degrees but it is challenging. You can catch bass when the water temperatures are over 85 degrees but the fish will tire quickly and will need to be thoroughly revived after catching them.

I hope that this bass fishing temperature guide helps you catch a ton of bass. Thanks for reading it.

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