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TonkaBass

Spawning

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I was just wondering if anyone knows which species spawns first, smallmouths or largemouths. In my experience I have noticed that the largemouths will come to the bank before the smallies will start their spawning. I'm sure this is just because the shallow dark bottomed areas warm up so much faster than the rubble areas where smallies like to spawn. I have also noticed that smallies seem to stay on their beds longer than largemouths. Does anyone know if its the same in rivers as I don't fish the mississippi that often.

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Also I forgot to add... What's your fav bed fish lure. Mine would have to be the tube. I also like brush hogs and jigs for largemouths, and I will sometimes use a reaper on smallies.

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I am pretty sure that smallmouth will spawn at slightly cooler water temps than largemouth do. I fish pool 2 for prespawn fish every year, and the smallies move in the backwaters and start feeding a week or so before the largemouths and then they stop biting and the largemouth sort of take over. I always believed this was because the smallies were hitting their beds, but with the muddy water I dont know for certain.

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Smallies spawn in cooler water but like Tonka said they spawn in deeper lighter bottomed areas which take longer to warm up. And I do think they hang out on the beds longer. Not sure if that's because the temps or just their defensive nature. Should be the same on rivers, but the brown ones seem to spawn in places you might not think to look for them in rivers.

Favorite lure would be a tube. Color, weight and presentation varies.

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Hiya -

Cecil and Oly are right on. Smallies can start spawning with water temps in the high 50s. There's some evidence that larger males can start building nests even earlier, and that the largest males spawn first. LMB seem to spawn from the mid to high 60s on up. Smallies can also spawn a lot deeper than LMB. In clear bodies of water, smallmouth beds in 15 feet isn't uncommon.

As far as fishing beds...this is such a controversial topic, and it really is a personal choice, but... Personally, I won't fish for bass I can see on a bed. To me there's just too much research out there indicating that it adversely affects nesting success and brood survival, for both largemouth and smallmouth bass. In one study with smallmouths, 70% of nesting males were caught, and the largest males, with the largest broods to protect, were the most easily caught. With smallies only 1/3 of the males actually spawn, plus you have non nest-guarding females... Plenty of fish to fish for without fishing beds...

I'm a little more zealous about this than most, and I won't criticize anyone for doing it - it's perfectly legal - but... I won't do it. Just sayin...

Cheers,

Rob Kimm

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So Cecil, where do you look for smallie beds on the river??? I want waypoints!! No, but really, what is the prime overlooked habitat if you don't mind me asking.

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I don't look for beds as much as I do on a lake due to the water clarity, but I have had the most success in marina's, rock walls with no or little current and sand breaks with rock or wood mix. Pretty typical lake stuff, but you aren't able to see them deeper than 1.5-2 feet. A lot of people think they need to be right off the main river channel, but if you find this kind of area a couple miles back in the stuff, it can be lights out.

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right on, I'm kinda green when it comes to river fishing, but since my job has me working in rochester, I think I am going to have to tap into some of the current! Thanks for the tips.

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This is mainly based on theory drawn from a couple experiences I had last year and may be completely wrong, but I beleive it depends on what part of the lake you are talking about in terms of what species spawns first. Tonka mentioned this in his first post a little bit too.

If both species, largemouth and smallmouth are in the same lake I've found that the shallow back bays that warm up to the low to mid 60's the fastest will attract the first wave of largemouth to spawn. Since the main lake takes longer to warm up the smallmouth seem to spawn after the first wave of largemouth once the main lake reaches the high 50's. After the main lake warms up even more into the low to mid 60's the largemouth that are still on the main lake begin to spawn.

So for me I guess it depends on what area of the lake you are talking about. You could have largemouth spawn first, then smallies, then largemouth again.

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So true, its not a matter of if, its a matter of when and how much is it going to cost.. and how wet am I going to get pushing myself off of it.

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exactly. Its always kinda fun to watch guys come down to the river in the spring and run all over when the waters high and then watch them try to make some of the same runs during the summer when the river is at normal depths. It happens every year. I dont consider myself a true "riverrat" but it is my home waters and I spend at least 3 days a week fishing it and I've paid for my fair share of repairs.

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Tonka, let me know what area of the river you are going to fish and when and I can put you on some areas...

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3 days a week fishing

i thought only guys in the ministry got to fish that much - guess construction guys do too.

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Originally Posted By: champion198elite
3 days a week fishing

i thought only guys in the ministry got to fish that much - guess construction guys do too.

Guys in ministry only work 1 day a week so you should be fishing 5-6 days?? whats up with that ike?

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I'm with carmike on this one... JUNE+JULY+AUGUST= FISH AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. A couple summers ago I made it out 83 days in a row. It was tough, but someone had to do it...

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

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    • I don't have near the birds featherslayer has. My groups were one gobbler with three or four  hens. There was zero gobbling on the roost both mornings. When they hit the ground there was a lot of gobbling and strutting for a couple of hours. The one I shot this morning answered my calls a  couple of times but was out of sight the whole while. He stopped gobbling for a hour and a half when suddenly there was a gobble and close. I called a little bit and he popped out of the trees about eighty yards away and stood there in full strut and just checked things out. Did some soft calling and here he came in full strut and went right to my jake decoy and gave him a beat down. That was all it wrote for him. Classic case of him losing his hens and coming to check out that hen he had answered after flydown. This is a little area I'm hunting and I had let a jake go last year and I'm hoping this was him. Good luck to the rest of our teammates.
    • On my first sit right now. 40 birds in the field, at least 5 shooters, 2 of those are very nice. Think they have to come by me to roost. Fingers crossed.
    • Good job buddy. Glad to see you wiped that skunk off the new bow.
    • Way to close the deal guys!
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