Fishing tip of the week

Finding Bedding Areas
by Mike Gerry

As the bass progress to the spawning grounds, it becomes important to understand the movement and the type of areas they spawn in.
Just as the spawn approaches, bass generally move to the deeper water outside of the spawning grounds. They find protection in bays and scattered vegetation outside the spawning grounds. After they have progressed to the bays and flats on the edges of the spawning grounds they move into the shallower water as they prepare to spawn.
Depth at this point depends on many things like water temperature and water clarity. Cover needs to be spotty not extremely thick with hard bottom areas where they can clean the bottom and build their nest.

The depth ranges from one to six feet as all the spawning factors determine the depth they spawn in. Look for lay downs and bank scattered vegetation for them to attach their nests to and lay their eggs. As all these factors offer protection for them to lay out in.

The bottom ground in the spawning grounds also has a lot to do with where they choose to layout. Gravelly bottoms, sandy areas, areas with structure like stumps and tree debris like brush piles, all make suitable spawning locations and become preferred areas for them to spawn on. These types of locations are ideal as they provide protection and attract bait for them to easily feed on. Scattered grass with holes in the grass are also highly used by bass as they can easily protect their fry from predators after they layout.

Remember that the spawning process may take up to a couple of weeks to complete as water temperature seems to be a key to the length of time and in lakes like Guntersville in North Alabama where we get an enormous amount of weather changes as the water temperature swing can be 5 to 7 degrees with each weather front. The bass will move on and off the beds as the temperature changes forcing them to take longer, making the process a two-week process. Be prepared for the movement and check the flats and entrances to the creeks as the bass move through their spawning process and the weather changes force them in and out of the bedding areas.
Captain Mike

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