I don’t recall catching a spawning largemouth bass on the very last day of May until I did just that on Memorial Day 2021. This blog’s featured image is of that fish. A few weeks ago, I posted my thoughts on “Climate Change” and its impact on spring crappie. In this post, I’ll share my observations on it’s effect on bass.
Here in southwest Missouri spring once was a season that began to show up in March, continue to warm through April, and by May, summer-like weather was here. That gradual warm-up pushed water temps higher and fish moved shallow along with it. On June 1st of this year, Springfield, Missouri set an all-time record for the coldest high temperature of just 61 degrees. Also on the day before, the surface temp was just 69 in the back of a cove where that spawning bass was caught. These extended, colder-than-normal, springs are dragging the spawn out over several weeks instead of a week to ten days it once was. This makes catching numbers of shallow bass much more challenging. Even with rising water, and plenty of available cover, there are fewer fish because they’re in all stages of the spawning process for a longer period of time.
How does one find success fishing during these new springs most of the US now contends with? The best advice I can give is to either fish faster and cover as much water as possible, or pick a smaller area and fish slowly and methodically. Either approach will increase your odds of success. I think it’s important too to revise our expectations. Those days of finding, and fishing, bed filled areas of the lake may be over.