When is the Best Time to Fish for Bass

Bass fish has gained popularity as it is one of the most delicious and nutrient-dense fish packed with proteins and vitamins. They are also a great choice for weight loss diets. Luckily, you don’t have to spend money to buy this fish as you can easily fish it from lakes or nearby fish ponds. Anglers love catching bass as they are large fish and are quite challenging to catch. You can find bass anywhere but you can only hunt during specific times of a day or year. It also depends on what type of bass you want to catch. So, it’s difficult to say when is the best time to fish bass as it relies on several factors. Let’s find out through this article!

Best Time of Day to Fish for Bass

Early Morning

Morning time is indeed the perfect time for catching bass. However, specifically early in the morning is the perfect time. There are significant reasons why you should wake up at dawn to go fishing for bass. If you ask every experienced fisher or fish enthusiast when is the best time to fish bass, they would say it’s 5:30 to 8:30 am.

To understand why dawn is the best time in the morning to catch bass, we must know about bass’s visual abilities. Their capability to perceive an object and detect colors varies with light arriving in the water. In bright light, the bass has a photopic vision. What it means is, bass in daylight can detect colors better and also have increased depth perception. However, in very low light, bass fish try to absorb as much light as they can to spot bait.

During dawn, the light is neither too bright nor low; the bass fish use both of the modes. They are hyper-aware at that time and catch baits easily. This is why dawn is the best time for fishing. Use baits like minnows to catch fish during this time.

Late Afternoon

As the day rolls and reaches late in the afternoon, the daylight also starts to deplete. From 6 to 7:30 pm, bass fish starts to come at the water’s top surface levels for food. It is the best time during the late-night to catch bass fish. The time window is the dusk time which has a similar atmosphere as the dawn. As mentioned before, during this low light, bass fish are more active and easy to catch.

Remember that most bass fish are near the upper portion of the water, so using topwater lures is recommended. However, if the temperature falls during the winter season, you may have to use deepwater lures as well.


Nighttime can be the best time to fish for bass. You can fish at any time at night. There is no restriction or a better window for fishing during the night. During this time, the key factor that governs the movement of fish is moonlight. During the full moon, bass fish can venture into deep water due to the ample light. In half-moon, bass fish act as they do in low-level brightness, traveling mostly topwater. Summer nights are better for catching bass than winter nights. Hence, seasons temperature of the atmosphere matters a lot too.

Best Time to Fish for Bass By Season


Winter can be a tricky time to catch bass. Although light sensitivity has been an important factor to consider when it comes to deciding the best time of the day, in this case, the main constraint is temperature. Due to low temperature, fish activity dims down. In some states, lakes freeze down, making it more difficult to locate the fish.

Lakes do not freeze in the southern states, so you can catch bass all year round in these places. Midday is the best time for fishing until 4 pm when the temperature is the highest. Bass fish are concerned to find a warmer place in the water; light sensitivity becomes a secondary factor. Try to find the warmest spot in the water where you can find the bass fish and baits most.

On the other hand, the northern states are very cold, and most times, the lake water becomes frozen. Ice in the water greatly hinders the ease of fishing. The visibility reduces by half, and bass fish tend to be in the deep water. The activity also slows down a bit. Suppose, you are wondering when is the best time to fish for bass at the north during wintertime, it would be around noon to 3 pm when bass activity rises. It is the best time to fish in ice water. However, night time is not preferred and neither much effective for fishing during the wintertime.


During the springtime, the behavior of bass fish is a mix of summer and winter. As the season progresses and inches towards the summer, the bass starts to transition from a hideout phase to a more active state. Water temperature and light sensitivity-both play a role in spring.

In early spring, the weather is still slightly colder. Hence the bass fish remain at rest during the early morning to midday. Around late afternoon, the water temperature starts to rise after absorbing heat all day. Bass fish are comfortable in water temperature of 55 to 60 degrees F. From later afternoon to dusk, the water reaches this temperature. This is when you should gear up and start catching bass.

Aside from the temperature, light visibility is also in favor during the dusk. Insufficient light makes bass hyperactive, and they reach a dual-mode. So, during the early spring, dusk time makes the perfect time to catch some bass fish. However, sometimes cold fronts may occur, and it is unlikely to find fish in topwater. During those days, try to use chatter baits, spinnerbaits, swimbaits-the deepwater lures.

In late spring, bass fish are aggressive about catching prey, as they had to run on low food during the winter. The spawn time starts to near, and you are likely to find many bass fish crowding during the dusk and dawn.


Amid spring and summer, bass fish start spawning. The spawning time ends in mid-summer when the temperature reaches the highest. Evening is the best time for bass fish to feed, so they end up roaming around a lot. They avoid mid-morning or noontime as the daylight is too intense at that moment. If you decide to fish during this time, make sure to take deep water lures as the bass fish would be near the deeper surface.

Any baits work during the summer; topwater baits, jigs, swimbaits, summer baits, etc. Summertime leads to an increasing amount of vegetation to develop in the water, so they often hide in between these. Try using deep water baits like a heavy jig to catch bass without hassle.


Fall is the transitional season between summer and winter, which means that the temperature starts to drop off in this season. As the winter season starts to appear nearer, the bass fish are now in lack of food. They come out of the deep water and near the upper surfaces, especially the shallow parts. Since they need to store energy to survive the upcoming cold winter, bass fish act a bit aggressive again like spring.

The fishing time is best at midday as the water starts to heat up and reach an optimum temperature.

The mid-fall is a bit difficult to fish bass, and the only thing to blame is water’s strange behavior when it comes to density and temperature. In large water sources, such as lakes, rivers, or big ponds, water temperature is normalized due to turnover. The surface water reaches 50 degrees and becomes denser than the water layer below. This turnover can reduce fishing opportunities to a great deal.

It is best to fish at dawn when spawn time begins during the fall. If the weather seems colder during the late fall, then midday would be the best time for fishing.


Pre-spawn time is known as the duration during which bass fish start to move up the bed to lay eggs or, as we say, spawn. An important point to be noted, pre-spawn and spawn time varies depending on location, as they are just a ‘state’ of fish’s life cycle, not a fixed schedule. An experienced angler knows when the pre-spawn time should be, but it can be bewildering for newcomers. Luckily, there are several helpful guides on this, and practice makes perfect anyway.

If we have to pick when is the best time to fish for bass, we would say it’s the pre-spawn time. Why? Well, the fish are extremely hungry at that time. The big bass fish desperately look for prey, so tend to come to the upper surface too often. You will encounter them during any time, though the dusk and dawn time remains the best time of day to catch bass.


Bass fish tend to slow down a bit during their spawning time. At this time, they try to rest and stay protected at their nest, avoiding going out and looking for food.  So, it is quite a challenge to try to catch bass traditionally. You may have to apply other tricks, such as disturbing their nest to get them out. Placing bait in the nest can coax out female bass fish.


Usually, post-spawn time occurs during the summer. The bass fish start to come out of their nests to catch prey. There are mixed feelings about the post-spawn time. Some anglers love it, while others find it difficult to get the hang of it. Their behaviors change, and they might change their habitat or food spots too. So, it would be best if you learned some important tactics to catch bass during the post-spawn time. Post spawn duration is longer than the pre-spawn and spawn duration. Hence, it is a great opportunity to furnish your fishing skills.

Best Time to Fish for Different Types of Bass

Largemouth Bass

when is the best time to fish for bass

The season and time of the day mentioned applies for largemouth bass as well. However, to become a skilled angler, knowledge about the type of fish helps greatly.  Largemouth fish can be found at 2 to 12 feet deep into the water. They tend to roam around the northwest of a lake as it is warmer there. Largemouth bass tends to roam around during dusk and dawn when the light is deemed. The pre-spawn time is the best time to catch this type of fish as they are at the surface searching for food.

Smallmouth Bass

best time to fish for smallmouth bass

The name tells it all – smallmouth have a lot smaller mouth compared to the largemouth bass. However, that does not make it any less skilled. They are similar in length and very fierce, often strikes suddenly and sharply. They roam around 20 to 30 feet below the water, so you can consider them more accustomed to deep water. They are most active during the summer season, though you can find them at any season and anywhere in the country.

Final Words

Catching bass can be a tricky task. However, knowing when is the best time to fish for bass can help you in successfully catching one. Also, you can maximize your chance of catching fish by using proper bass rod and bass reel. According to our experience, pre-spawn is the best season to fish for bass!

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