Nest building occurs within 150 … The preparation of the nest may take a few hours to several days. When water temperatures reach and sustain 59 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the male bass prepares the nest by fanning the bottom vigorously with his tail. The male may abandon his new nest. After the “rest period”, and if the water temperature rises to the smallmouth bass’s preferred temperature range of 68 to 80 degrees, the fish begin eating everything they can find. Smallmouth bass move from their winter depths to shallower water when the water temperature reaches 50 degrees. Range and Distribution, Smallmouth Bass Where to Catch Early Season Smallmouth Bass. The nest is usually a large, perfectly circular, clean gravel structure. DIET: Young smallmouth bass feed on plankton and immature aquatic insects. If the water temperature continues to rise slightly from 60’F., the smallmouth bass is ready for spawning. Smallmouth bass have also been introduced into England, Europe, Japan, Russia and into Africa. Smallmouth Bass spawn in the spring and may lay their eggs in rivers, lakes or even tributaries (Webster 1954). Adult smallmouth bass may feed on crayfish, fish and aquatic and terrestrial insects. McCLINTOCK: Smallmouth are much more susceptible to having their spawn trashed by bad weather and water problems than largemouth. The remaining male will stay and guard the nest until the eggs hatch which is usually within four to seven days and will remain on the nest until the young fry are ready to leave the nest. Following the scattering of the young, the male is free to leave. There are 13-15 soft rays in the dorsal fin, and the upper jaw never extends beyond the eye. For example, they won't spawn in high, muddy water. After completing this ritual the female will leave the nest and might spawn with another male smallmouth bass. I have fond memories of catching numbers of big smallmouth bass during pre-spawn. The smallmouth bass is found in clearer water than the largemouth, especially streams, rivers, and the rocky areas and stumps … When water temperatures approach 60°F males move into spawning areas. There are 13-15 soft rays in the dorsal fin, and the upper jaw never extends beyond the eye. Male fish protect the nest from predators and fan the eggs free of silt until the sac fry emerge in 3 to 5 days, depending on water temperature. If you catch a large, overweight fish when the water is cold, return her quickly to the water. They also live in cool flowing streams and reservoirs fed by these types of streams. They are also present in the drainages of the Mississippi river basins. That fish is most likely a pre-spawn female, full of eggs. Generally, male smallmouth bass are smaller than female smallmouth bass. So remember, smallies move into shallower water when the water temperature reaches 50 degrees. The male bass protects the nest … Photo by author. … Fish and Wildlife Service assist the States in managing America’s smallmouth bass resources. It sounds simple and productive doesn’t it? Sometimes this may just take a few hours. Habitat[edit] Lighter colored variety holding on typical sandy bottom habitat. In the spring, it’s essential that anglers look for flat water that is 5 to 10 feet deep. The oldest reported age for smallmouth bass is 26 years. Smallmouth bass spawn in the Spring. And, unless you fish several days a week during the Spring, it is hard to predict the stage your stream, river or lake is in unless you are there to take the water temperature. Water temperatures and the effects on spawning behavior vary but the numbers mentioned above are close. Most articles report maturity is... Pre-Spawn Activities. They are shown in Black, Chartreuse and Yellow. 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