Best Fishing Times For Lunker Largemouth Bass

If your goal is to catch a lunker largemouth bass, the first thing you should do is plan to fish in waters that have plenty of them. The second thing you should do is go during the best fishing times or peak periods to boost your chances. Not sure when the best fishing times for largemouth bass will be? Learn about two of the best periods, and increase your chances of catching a big bucketmouth!

Pre-Spawn Period

Female largemouth bass are usually at their maximum weight during this period because they are feeding aggressively in preparation for spawning activity. The pre-spawn period generally occurs around February or March, but when the pre-spawn period takes place also depends on the temperatures where you live. When largemouth bass go into the pre-spawn period, it has less to do with a precise month or time of year, but more to do with water temperature. When the water temperature rises from the 40s up to the 55 to 60-degree range, big bass typically begin moving toward the shallows and feed more actively.

One key point that anglers should consider when fishing around spawning periods; however, is that proper release practices are incredibly important. Because female bass are starting to develop eggs during this time, every fish should be handled very carefully and returned to the water as quickly as possible. In addition, always check the fishing regulations for your state and the waterway you plan to fish. Some states may limit or close the season during spawning periods.

Post-Spawn Period

While some anglers dismiss the post-spawn and consider it to be challenging, it can also be one of the best fishing times because female bass will often go on a feeding binge after losing a significant amount of their pre-spawn weight. The key to fishing the post-spawn is to focus on slightly deeper water using shad-imitating baits or topwater lures. You can experiment with a variety of retrieves, but it's best to start off working your baits or lures slowly.

Another helpful tip for fishing the post-spawn period is to monitor the water temperature where you plan to fish. Once the water temperature warms up to about 70 degrees, the shad start to spawn and become a prey of choice for hungry largemouth bass. Keep your eyes open for schools of shad that appear to be hanging out near structure -- chances are pretty good that a hungry largemouth bass won't be too far away.

Take Someone New Bass Fishing

Now that you know about two of the best fishing times for largemouth bass, check to make sure your fishing license is up-to-date and invite someone new to go along on your next trip. Fishing for largemouth bass using artificial lures or baits is always fun, but it's even better when you have a friend or family member along to share in the experience.
Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.