Most of us fishermen will go bass fishing any day of the year. They are just an extremely fun fish to catch. They are the perfect mix of aggressive, challenging, and rewarding.
But if you try bass fishing in the middle of August, you might have a sour taste left in your mouth. They don’t bite as well, you just get burnt in the sun, and you might not catch anything bigger than a pound or two.
More than any other fish, bass are very seasonal. They act completely differently one month from the next based on their spawning habits, weather, and many other factors.
So if you want to catch the bass of a lifetime, what month should you fish? This can change depending on your region and climate but all over the country you will find that April is the best month for bass fishing.
Bass are the biggest they’ll be all year in April
If you go fishing you want to catch the biggest fish you possibly can. Bass are great species to fish for not just because you can catch a lot of them, but you can catch some up to 10 or 12 pounds!
But what makes April so great is that some bass will be a few pounds bigger in April than they will be months later into the year. This is because April and May are known to be times when many bass begin spawning. Spawning is a term fishermen use to describe the bass reproductive cycle.
Simply put, bass reproduce by the female creating eggs in their stomachs. Males will find what are called “beds”, or areas free of debris where the female can lay the eggs. When the time is right, the female will lay the eggs into the bed made by the male. The male will germinate them, sit on the bed, guarding it from predators like other fish or birds. Then the fish will hatch, and the reproduction cycle is complete for that year.
But what does that have to do with bass being bigger during spawn? Well those females have a ton of eggs in their stomachs and develop them weeks before time to actually spawn. The have so many eggs in fact that if you catch a female right before she lays them, she can be 2 or 3 pounds bigger than she would be at any other point in the year.
So bass fishing is great in April because you have the chance to catch these bass when they are at their biggest. Most people looking for personal bests will be out everyday in APril hoping to find the right bass with a belly full of eggs. Just remember if you do catch one with a very large stomach to return it to the water as soon as possible. She has more bass to make so we can catch more fish in the years to come!
Bass are shallow in April
There is another advantage to bass spawning just besides the females getting larger. When bass want to spawn, they begin heading to areas that fishermen call “spawning flats”.
Spawning flats are long areas of shallow water with little depth change that are ideal places for bass to lay their eggs. Bass want shallow water because they’re easier areas to protect from predators, and flats are great because they can see a great distance to protect their babies as well.
Because bass do not usually change quickly, the process of them getting to the spawning flats is usually a long, drawn out process. As soon as the weather begins to warm steadily you will find bass moving from their deep water hangouts and heading shallower.
This means throughout March, April, and into May you will find bass in lots of shallow water. Not all bass even spawn at the same time, so some may just be starting to move shallow. Others may be in the process of spawning and in the shallowest of water already.
For a fisherman, this means that bass can be easily targeted and reached. If you have a boat, you can fish at any depth. But for bank fisherman it’s a whole lot easier to catch bass when they are only a few feet off the bank. It also allows for the use of many different lures instead of the select few that can reach great depths.
April is right in the middle of most bass spawning seasons, meaning you will find bass from 1 foot of depth to 10 feet. This is a great range that almost every fisherman feels comfortable in and you can pick a variety of techniques to catch them because they are in shallow water. It’s just another reason why April is great for bass fishing.
Bass are hungry in April
So we know that bass are big in April, which makes it great to catch the fish of a lifetime. We know that bass are shallow too so they are easy to reach. What could be better?
Well next is the best of all – Bass are hungry in April.
Why bass are so hungry
Nothing makes fishing quite as easy as a fish that are starving for food. A bass can look at many baits throughout the year and decide they just don’t want to eat it. But in April, bass are feeding heavily and often are biting almost anything that even looks like food.
This is for a few reasons. First, the water temperature is just starting to rise in April which brings most bass (which are cold blooded) out of their winter periods where they have low energy. This means they’re more likely to chase fish, crayfish, or other prey. And they also haven’t done that for many months, meaning they’re hungry to do so.
But also they know that spawn is just around the corner. Females are spent after laying eggs and often won’t feed for a few weeks afterwards. Males will be guarding the beds for weeks as well, with no chance to scour for food. To prepare for this, both will feed heavily leading up to spawn so they are prepared.
For fishermen, this means you can catch fish much easier than any other time of the year. In April, you can cover water quickly and use a lot of quick moving baits that help you fish faster. Because bass won’t be extremely picky, this gives you a much better chance to fish more places and get your lure in front of more fish. And the fish you do get in front of, are more likely to bite.
So not only can you catch a giant bass in April, you can also catch a ton of them. It’s a great win win!
The weather is best in April (for the bass and the fisherman!)
I think by now you see why I love bass fishing in April so much. The fish are easy to catch, nice and big, and easy to reach. But just to add a little cherry on top, the weather in April is great for fishing. For both the bass, and the angler!
I don’t know about you, but by February I’m done with winter. And it’s just hitting it’s coldest part. Snow, freezing rain, and the like are great at first. But eventually I just want to go back outside again without 3 layers and a beanie.
April is when it just starts getting warm enough you feel like you can come out from hibernation. And there is nothing more enjoyable than going out to a lake in April. The trees are just starting to get their leaves. Maybe some flowers or bushes are blooming. It’s picturesque after a lonely, cold winter.
Bass must feel the same way about April too. The warmer weather rejuvenates them because, as cold blooded creatures, the outside temperature affects their internal temperature. Bass love water around 70 degrees fahrenheit. April is when the water temps are just starting to get near that mark and they get into the shallows wanting to sunbathe and get that warm water in their gills.
So it’s not just that bass fishing is at it’s best in April. It’s just a great time to get out and be fishing. It’s the beginning of a new year and a return to nature in its most beautiful moment. You won’t just have great fishing success, you will just be happy to be outside even if you don’t catch a damn thing.
April is the best month to fish for bass. Depending on your region, bass may just be starting to come out from their winter depths or already well into spawn. But it really doesn’t matter. They’re still hungry. They’re still in shallower water than most of the year. And they will be big. But most importantly, it is the best time to just be outside and go fishing. So this April, go out and bass fish. You won’t regret it!
If you’ve enjoyed this article and want to learn more about bass fishing, check out this article which has 7 tips and tricks that will help you become a better bass angler!