Once you get addicted to catching and chasing after Largemouth Bass, it’s hard to settle for any other fish. In the United States, there’s a growing community of dedicated Largemouth Bass anglers who love nothing more than just chasing these magnificent fish. However, that doesn’t mean that these fish are easy to catch. 

It’s going to take a little bit of time and experience before you start consistently catching quality-sized fish. Luckily, we’ve prepared this comprehensive Largemouth Bass season guide so you’ll have the best chance of catching a fish.

What makes Largemouth Bass so challenging to catch is that they’re constantly moving about within their area. From one day to the next, or one season to the next, they will be found in varying locations and water depths. So, knowing roughly where the fish will be and what they’re doing can make it a lot easier to narrow down their location. As the old saying goes, ‘It’s no use fishing where the fish aren’t!

The first step towards becoming a master Bass angler is to understand what’s driving the fish to do what they do. Once you understand why they’re behaving the way they do, you’ll have a much clearer idea of how to catch them, where to catch them, and most importantly, when your best opportunity is.

In the following Largemouth Bass Seasons Guide, we’ll cover:

When it comes to Bass fishing, you have to check out Master Bass Fishing: A Comprehensive How-To Guide for Bass Fishing to learn everything there is to learn about catching big Bass!

If you’re new to Largemouth Bass fishing and need a little help finding the best local hot spots, including secret places that only the locals know, then Fishbox App, a premium Fish Finder App, could be perfect for you! Thanks to the Fishbox App, you’ll know the best time to chase those monster Bass and when you’re just better off relaxing at home with your family or reading a good book.

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Expert Opinion on Largemouth Bass Seasons

Pierce Latta

16 years fishing experience

“Largemouth bass are without a doubt the most fished for freshwater gamefish of all time in America. They are simply the ultimate action fish and can be caught almost everywhere across the United States. As a result, people have a desire to learn more about these fish and how to catch them so their days on the water are more successful. This article does this and more giving anglers helpful tips that will make their days more enjoyable and productive. The article opens with a discussion of the different seasons for bass fishing mixed in with a little bit of spawn information. Some might be tempted to think, “Oh, it’s the same fish all year round so wouldn’t the patterns barely change?” No, not at all. In different seasons, and even at different points in the spawning cycle, the bass’s behavior and preferences will change. Trying to coax a winter bass into biting is far different from trying to get a summer bass to bite. Water temperatures, sunlight, and many other factors are going to influence the bass’s behavior, so it is important to keep these in consideration when fishing—this is exactly what the Fishbox App is meant to do. So, pay attention to the article when reading this section because it can be very helpful. We then move into a tiny section about when we should be fishing for largemouth with regard to the time of day. I personally love to fish the dusk and evening bite, especially during the summer when it stays light for a few hours later. The article continues with another brief section about tips for bass fishing during the different seasons. Again, like I just mentioned, bass’s behavior can change on a dime so understanding these seasons better by reading this article fully will only help you become a better angler. The last section the article closes with before we get to the conclusion is some notable locations where one can fish for largemouth bass. These locations are spaced out all over the country highlighting something I said a little earlier. Bass are one of the most widespread species in the United States so almost everyone should have access to this fishery in some capacity. These spots are by no means the only places you can catch bass, but they do give a good start. In order to start finding places near you, don’t be afraid to do further research online as that can always be helpful. Additionally, locals can also be a super helpful resource in pointing you to where the fish are. However, at the end of the day, your success in bass fishing is going to come down to the amount of time you spend on the water and the experience and knowledge you will gain from that. I always emphasize this, but time on the water is the single most important thing you can do to become a better angler—I promise. This being said, go get out there! I hope you have enjoyed reading this article and as always, good luck and tight lines!”

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Understanding Largemouth Bass Seasons 

Like all other fish, Largemouth Bass are active in all seasons, including spring, summer, fall, and winter, but undeniably, their peak spawning season is when most of the best action happens.  

Spring Bass Fishing

After the winter ice has started to thaw, Largemouth Bass will move from the deeper areas of the lakes or rivers where they’re hanging out and start moving into the warmer, shallow waters around the edges. However, it’s important to note that weather and water temperatures can be finicky and fluctuate during this period.

Bass will frequently move back and forth from the shallow water as the temperatures go up and down, so be prepared to work a little harder to find them, and don’t assume that they’ll always be in the same location.

Along with the weather, the early spawn starts to come into play, which can affect where the Bass are and how actively they’re feeding. 

Pre-Spawn 

After the cold winter months, Bass will be searching for food to regain the weight they lost in winter. Channels leading from deep water into shallow water will be productive in the pre-spawn season. On their way into the spawning beds and areas, Bass like to hang around structures, holding up until the ideal temperature to move onto their beds. Larger females will wait for the males to make the beds, then move in to lay their eggs, leaving the males to fertilize and guard the eggs.

Spawn

Once the ideal temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit has been reached, the spawn will kick into full effect. It’s important to note that if the temperature drops, Bass may stop spawning and then start again once the temperature is in the ideal range. If you are catching male Bass from the spawning beds, it’s essential that you return male fish back into the water so that they can continue guarding their young. After they lay their eggs, the more prominent female fish will move back into the shelter of deeper water.

Post-Spawn

After the Bass spawn is done, a lot of Bluegill will move into the spawning area to start their spawning, and it’s a great time to capitalize on the Bass feeding on them. Bass like to wait near ambush points, and any lures or jigs resembling a Bluegill will pay dividends for patient anglers. The fishing pressure on Bass during this time of the year can be intense, so you’re going to get there early, stay later, and fish where other anglers aren’t fishing.

Summer Bass Fishing

It’s no easy task summer fishing for Bass, but it’s not impossible either. Because of the longer days and warmer temperatures, Bass move away from the shallow shorelines and instead prefer to hang out in the darker and cooler areas of the lake. Your best bet for catching fish over the hot summer months is going to be to head out on the water during the early morning or late evening. As the weed beds start to grow at the end of summer, thanks to the warmer water temperatures, the Bass will start moving closer to shore to feed.

Fall Bass Fishing

Once fall rolls in and the waters begin to cool, Largemouth Bass with transition out of deeper water and into the shallows. With slightly warmer water in the shallows, Bass will be doing their best to put on a lot of water to help them survive during the leaner winter months. This means that once the water temperatures hit the 55-degree Fahrenheit range, the fish will bite and get really active.

One of the best things about fall fishing for Bass is that angling pressure is almost going to be at its lowest point for the year, and if you’re dedicated enough to be out fishing in less-than-ideal temperatures, you’ll have much more of the fishing to yourself, and it shouldn’t be an issue fishing the best spots. If you dress warmly, bring wet weather gear, and plenty of hot coffee and something to eat to warm you up, like some homemade soup, you’ll be in a prime position to take advantage of some excellent fishing. 

Small to medium spinner baits always perform well in the cooler fall months, along with square-billed crankbait, but it’s the jerk baits that should really pay some excellent dividends. Try fishing the points around the edges leading from deep water into shallow water and any underwater structure that affords the Bass some cover as they hunt the shallows for baitfish and crustaceans.

As the lakes and rivers go through the fall cycle, Bass will start moving from the steeper drop-offs and ledges, trying to find the last of the weed beds for the year. Once the weed beds die off, the Bass will move out of the area.

Winter Bass Fishing

As water temperatures hit the low 30s and 40s, there’s no denying that, like most fish species, Largemouth Bass are going to be more challenging to catch. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re off the table completely. We said harder to catch, not impossible to catch!

Like most fish, in the depths of winter, their metabolism will slow down to a crawl. So, if you’re using baits or lures in winter, you’ll need to ensure that your presentation is perfect along with your placement. You’ll find Bass hanging around sharp drop-offs close to the bottom where the baitfish are.

Winter ice fishing is also a possibility for some of the colder states where lakes freeze completely over, but make sure that you’re certain about the thickness of the ice before you venture out, particularly if you’re ice fishing in an unfamiliar area.

Timing and Duration of Largemouth Bass Seasons 

While we would like to be able to set specific calendar periods to fish seasons, just like we do, Mother Nature and the fish themselves have very different ways of determining when seasons start and finish. However, most seasons tend to be fairly close to one another, so once you work out your local area, you’ll have a close idea of when fish activity will transition from one season to another.

Largemouth Bass have their own habits, and these habits depend not only on the season but the geographical location, and also the weather, temperature, and time of day.

The Best Time to Fish for Largemouth Bass

The best time of day to fish for Largemouth is going to be dusk and dawn. So, forget about those sleep-ins if you want to catch some big fish. However, if it’s a rainy or overcast day, you’ll be able to fish throughout the day in most locations.

When it comes to which season is the best fishing, early spring, and summer, including the Bass spawn, is the best time to be on the water. When water temperatures are between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit, Bass will be at their most active. However, which is better, spawn fishing in spring or summer fishing, is highly debated amongst the Bass fishing community. A lot will depend on your personal preferences, location, angling pressure, and fishing style.

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Best Baits and Lures for Largemouth Bass

Fishing for Largemouth Bass during different seasons is going to require you to be flexible in your choice of lures, baits, and locations. As Bass move around their habitat, you need to be prepared to move around with them and change up your fishing tackle, presentation, and techniques, including retrieval speeds and movements.

In this section, we’ll look at some tips for chasing Largemouth Bass during summer, fall, and winter, and the best lures and techniques to catch them. Remember, if something isn’t working, don’t be scared to change it up. It pays to be flexible, and it’s no use fishing where the fish aren’t or using lures and jigs that they’re not responding to.

Summer Largemouth Bass Fishing Tips

If there’s a low-pressure system rolling in, get your wet weather gear on and get out on the water as long as it’s safe to do so. If there’s lightning, play it safe and leave the fishing for another day. Once it starts raining, head to the premium spot in the lake, and those big Bass will start feeding soon after the rains are done. Crank baits, spinner baits, and jigs close into weed beds early in the morning or late in the evening will be your best chance of catching a fish during the hot summer months.

Fall Largemouth Bass Fishing Tips

During fall, when the water is dirty, Bass likes holding close to structures in the shallow water. When the water is clear, the Bass will move back into deeper water where they feel safer. While they’ll still feed in clear water, they can be a lot fussier, so your presentation will need to be perfect if you want to ensure the best chance of success.

Small or medium-sized spinner baits and square-billed crankbaits perform well in the cooler fall months along with spoons and jerk baits.

Winter Largemouth Bass Fishing Tips

During the depths of winter, Bass fishing can be tough, but one sure-fire method for landing some decent fish is with lipless crankbaits. Let your lure hit the bottom, then give it an aggressive jerk back off the bottom by jigging your rod, and then letting it descend back to the bottom again. Bass will typically hit the lure as it falls back down to the bottom.

Read also: The Best Bait and Lures for Largemouth Bass Fishing

Notable Locations for Largemouth Bass Fishing

Finding the best Largemouth Bass locations in the USA isn’t easy, as there are so many, but the locations mentioned below are considered by many Bass anglers to be the best of the best. If you’re new to Bass angling, finding a great spot to learn the art of catching this fish can be difficult but not impossible. 

In the following section, we’ll cover some of the best locations to give you the best chance of catching a trophy-sized Largemouth Bass for yourself!

  • Lake Champlain, NY-VT-QUE. Lake Champlain contains both Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass in plentiful numbers, along with a variety of other excellent fish species. Bring your family along with you as it’s a great place for a vacation and you can get plenty of fishing in at the same time. Fishing pressure for Bass is light, so there’s plenty of angling action to be had by all anglers.
  • Sam Rayburn, TX. Known locally as Big Sam, Sam Rayburn offers a variety of different fishing opportunities across its massive 114,000 acres of water. Some excellent fish have come out of this pristine water, including many over 15 lbs. During March, the larger female Bass will move out of the deep water and into the shallows to start their spawn. Crankbaits work well here, along with jigs and Carolina Rigs. 
  • Clear Lake, CA. Easily, California’s largest lake, Clear Lake, covers over 44,000 acres of water and is packed with Largemouth Bass over 12 lbs. The peak spawns for Bass in Clear Lake are between April and May, so set the date in your calendar if you want to take advantage of that hot spawn action. Swimbaits are popular here, along with reliable crankbaits.
  • Lake Guntersville, AL. The action starts in Lake Guntersville around February with large Bass moving from the deeper water and into the shallows for the spawn. Carolina Rigs work well on deep fish, while spinner baits, crank baits, and jerk bait all perform well on shallow fish. In the warmer summer months, plastic and heavy jigs work well. 
  • Mille Lacs, MN. Minnesota is well-known for its excellent bass fishing, and the massive Mille Lacs is easily the hottest Largemouth Bass location in the state. Once upon a time, a 4lb fish was considered excellent. Now, fish in the 5-8lbs range are consistently caught on this body of water. Because of the popularity of Walleye in Minnesota, the Bass pressure is relatively low. 
  • Lake Okeechobee, FL. Located in central Florida, Lake Okeechobee covers over 730 square miles and is packed full of giant Largemouth Bass just waiting to be caught! Lake Okeechobee is famous for its early-morning bite, so be prepared to get up early and get out on the water. Slow rolling using a spinner bait is always a go-to move and punch baits are extremely effective to lure Bass out of deep cover and vegetation where casting a lure is difficult.
  • Lake Erie, OH-ON-PA-NY-MI. While it may be the smallest of the Great Lakes, Lake Erie contains an excellent and healthy population of Largemouth Bass, along with Smallmouth and Steelhead, so there’s something there for every angler.
  • Lake Fork, TX. The chances of catching trophy-sized Largemouth Bass are high in this exciting waterway thanks to the diverse range of structures and weed beds. February and March are the peak spawn months, but the fall fishing is excellent also.

Largemouth Bass Seasons: A Comprehensive Guide – Conclusion

We hope that by reading the information above, including Largemouth Bass seasons, timing and duration of seasons, the best baits and lures, and top Largemouth Bass fishing spots, you’ll be ready to take your Bass fishing to the next level and mix it up with one of America’s favorite fish.

Easily one of the most popular fish in the United States, Largemouth Bass fishing continues to be one of the most fun fish to catch and a great way to introduce new people to fishing.

If we want the Largemouth Bass fishery to remain as strong and stable as it is now, well into the future, we all need to do our part as responsible anglers. Being a responsible angler isn’t hard and only involves following bag, size, and season limits, taking only what fish you need, releasing any unwanted fish safely, and leaving your fishing areas as clean, if not cleaner than before you arrived.

Being a responsible angler will ensure that our fisheries remain pristine and healthy for future generations of anglers to enjoy just like we do.

Thanks to the advanced forecasting technology featured within the Fishbox App, you’ll be able to accurately track weather conditions while also predicting the optimal times to go Bass fishing. Fishbox App combines weather, lunar, and tidal conditions in conjunction with predictive fish behavior to deliver optimal fishing opportunities for anglers worldwide.

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If you would like to share any tricks or tips that you’ve perfected for catching Largemouth Bass, drop a comment below! We’re sure that new Bass anglers will appreciate it, and we look forward to reading your comments and feedback.

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