When Do Bass Spawn?

It’s been a cold, wet, windy spring.  The past winter was the worst in memory.  All those factors all point to a late spawn, right?

Spawning Factors

Over the past several years we have become convinced that bass (largemouth and smallmouth) spawn earlier than conventional “wisdom” says.  There has been so much written and talked about magic temperatures and full moons where all the bass suddenly begin to spawn. But time on the water paints a more complex story.  One where bass spawn at different times of year on the same body of water.  On a body of water such as Potholes, largemouth (and smallmouth) begin spawning in parts of the dunes in early April.  Many anglers will ask about water temps, trying to time their outings to coincide with a magic water temp.  By far the number one question I hear/see this time of year is “what is/was the water temp at ______(lake/river)”.

“Eye-Witness” Evidence

Law enforcement has known forever that one of the most unreliable kinds of evidence is that gathered from witnesses.  What we think we see, is rarely accurate.  Case in point, when we initially went through this pocket with the boat we saw one bass on a bed and a couple of cruisers.  Then we parked the boat and waited for thirty minutes and put up the drone.  Turns out the “cruisers” were just ones we had pushed off the beds and there were a couple of other bass that we either hadn’t seen the first time through.

See if you can spot the largemouth…we missed a few of them the first time through with the boat.


…never mind, here he is.


Here comes the male to try and get the female back on the bed


Alpha Females

Many of the biggest females will spawn first.  With that, each of them has a window of time when they are susceptible to being caught.  Outside that window, the odds of catching her go down dramatically.  These females stage earlier than people think, spawn before people start looking for them and are done and mostly elusive the rest of the year.  Your next best opportunity for the biggest bass in the system will come again later this fall, when again most anglers will claim it’s too cold for bass.

Below is some mid-April footage of largemouth on beds at Potholes Reservoir.  A lot can be learned from this footage.  Exact locations are not important as this scene is now unfolding at a lake/river near you!  Stay tuned as we intend to bring you footage you won’t find anywhere else as we go on with our continued research and learning that we will pass on.



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  1. Nice video. Which quadcopter are you using for your filming? The ability to zoom in so well is great. This content is a great addition to your site.

  2. Don, I became a member of GOA a couple of weeks ago and I can’t get enough. The information I have gathered has helped me tremendously in verifying some of the beliefs I have held for some time now. Your video’s, all I can say are awesome. Thank you GOA for some exceptional information and down right great entertainment not to mention the well laid out educational format. Soon as the weekend is over I am back on the water…..yeah I know, us darn retired guys, fishing during the week and cruising your site on the weekends :). Keep up the excellent work.