Best Time of Day to Fish for Bass

Bass is a very particular type of fish; its eyes have flexible round lenses that protrude through each pupil, allowing it a wide field of view. This means they can predict the danger of the predator and escape easily. This makes knowing the best time of the day to fish for bass extremely crucial.

Seasonal Comparison

As far as the season is concerned, the best season to catch bass is between spring and summer when water temperatures are between 50 and 80 degrees and before they begin with their spawning activities. Let’s go through all the seasons so you know what to expect when you go out fishing:

Winter

In colder climates, bass fishing may slow down, because around this time, the fish starts saving up its energy and going deeper underwater. You can only expect a good fishing time once the temperature rises to about 40 degrees or higher. If you are still out in winters to try your luck, the best time to catch bass is in the midday when the air and water temperatures are at their peak.

winter bass fishing

Spring

In this season, the number of fish starts to increase because the rain supplies warmer water. Avoid going fishing on cold fronts because bass dives deeper underwater in colder weather conditions. Use crankbaits and spinnerbaits to attract them out. Once the temperature stabilizes, and is between 55 and 65 degrees, you can use larger lures to catch bass.

Summer

As spawning ends, the thick of summer comes and prompts every bass to start feeding at high levels. At such a time, they will have the highest energy levels and will be found at all shallow and deep waters. The hotter and sunnier the day, the more likely the fish are deeper, avoiding the intense sunlight.

Most lures and bait will work during the summer, including top water baits, plastic worms, jigs and swimbaits. Open up your tackle box, have some fun and expect most lures to work as bass lures.

Fall

The fall season is a decent time for bass fishing, with slowing activity but a major feeding before they head into the winter. They will be looking for bait fish, including shads and shiners. Spinnerbaits and swimbaits work well in the fall wind, with jerkbaits and crankbaits also attracting attention. This season is the best time to catch striped bass, usually during peak or slack tide.

Spawn

This is when the bass would change their behavior and energy by slowing down in order to protect their nest. Often anglers like to locate the bait at the center of the nest in order to create a disturbance and catch the attention of the female bass. To know the beginning of this season, look out for the local fauna and land animals.

Now that you are aware of the best season to fish for bass, you can focus on the best time of the day to be successful on your fishing spree. We can divide the 2-hour period into three best time recommendations to fish for bass based on focusing on the lowest light hours of the day for the most catches;

Early Morning

Early morning hours are one of the best times to go fishing for any fish, especially bass. Baitfish activity often shows a good increase around sunrise when the light conditions are still low. The best bait to use early morning is usually a shiner or minnow; however, if you are more interested in using artificial lures, it is advised to keep in mind that plugs or poppers should be used when working around shorelines or vegetation.

Afternoon

Usually, the late afternoon period is preferable to fish for bass, when the sun starts to set. In such conditions, bass will again try to take advantage of lower light conditions to feed. Very much like early mornings, late afternoons often create a prime condition for a good lure, especially during the summer months, since they create a perfect environment and a high chance for you to be successful in your catch. Late afternoons in summer also allow you to experiment with retrieving speed to see if the fish are attracted more to a slow or fast retrieve.

Night

Without a doubt, the best time to fish for bass is the night time. It is, however, not as comfortable as morning or afternoon, but the bass is known to feed heavily at night than any other time of the day. Not only are they more active at night, but there are relatively fewer anglers and less water commotion during those hours, allowing you to have a good chance at succeeding.

night bass fishing

Bass are known to take advantage of cool water temperatures at night and low night conditions. If you want to catch some bass, then pack your night gear and head straight to it.

Differences Between Bass Species (Best Time to Fish Them)

There are many types of bass fish available, and it is difficult to cover all of them in this article, so we will discuss in detail the three common types of bass species you are most likely to come across.

Largemouth Bass

The largemouth bass is one of the most complicated fish out there to catch, and there’s a saying that says you can’t fool a largemouth twice. These fish attack fishes, insects, and sometimes even small birds and are incredibly aggressive. They make for a great game fish and are quite intelligent compared to other species.

The largemouth bass is mostly deep water fish and tends to stick near the edges of cliffs. They can be found at depths ranging from 10 to 12 feet, depending on the season. These fishes are also found in slightly warmer waters, so you have a better chance of catching them based on your location and these conditions.

Largemouth bass uses low light conditions to their advantage when hunting for prey and tend to be more active during dusk and dawn. They can be easily provoked by just striking at baits, even if they aren’t hungry. The best time to catch largemouth is during, and immediately after the spawning, as at those times, they are actively feeding themselves to reproduce.

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass has much smaller mouths than largemouth bass, as the name itself states; however they can be around the same size as largemouth bass. They, too, are aggressive and fierce fishes and can be caught in all seasons.

smallmouth bass

Smallmouth bass is found in deeper waters than largemouth bass ranging from about 15-30 feet below the surface level. Having the same keen vision and tactics as largemouth bass, these fishes are more active during the summer season, when the water temperature is highest, and metabolism rates are increasing.

So in summers, if the water temperature is right, you might have a good chance at hauling in a ton of smallmouths. The main difference between largemouth and smallmouth is mainly the size and habitat; smallmouth like colder waters and stronger current while largemouth is usually into a bit warmer waters and slightly more dominant.

Striped Bass

Striped bass are much less common and mostly overlooked by many anglers and mistaken for largemouth due to the similarity in color. One of the best ways to tell these two apart is with the upper jaw; unlike largemouth bass, the spotted or striped base’s jaw doesn’t extend past its eyes.

These fishes like water with a high current like the smallmouth but in murky and lukewarm waters like the largemouth.

Striped bass is one of the most popular and valuable fish in North America. They are deep water fishes and spend most of their life in the sea and head inland just to spawn. These fishes migrate into one place, which makes them vulnerable to overfishing. Stripers feed hard after dark, which makes it great to fish for them in summers, at nighttime.

Conclusion

If you haven’t had any luck at luring in the bass in the past, then it’s time to change your approach. Keeping these simple tips in mind will definitely help you in catching different types of bass. Make sure you have all the equipment you need and have chosen the right time of the day, and most of all, enjoy the thrill of the chase.

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