Bedding Bass — do you really fish them?
It is getting close to that time when the lakes and rivers hit the right temperature and there is just the right amount of daylight. This triggers the bass in these local waters to start making their spawning beds and getting ready to do the dance of life.
It is crazy to think that just a few weeks ago I was down at Lake Fork in Texas and there were already bass up on their spawning beds getting ready for their little dance. The difference in the seasons certainly changes the timing of these fish.
The one thing, in my mind, that comes up this time of year is the topic of fishing these bedding bass. There has been debate over debate on whether these fish should be targeted.
Personally, I vacillate back and forth and find that it seems to all come down to environment and habitat. You need to think about what impact you can have on the spawning of these fish if you do pull them off the beds.
On Lake Michigan, you run the risk of pulling a fish off the bed and having the round goby come in and eat the eggs. It can take less than 5 minutes for a goby to locate and destroy a nest that is empty. Is this something that the fishery can handle?
We need to think about the answer.
Personally, I have never targeted bedding bass while fishing for fun. However, during a tournament once, I did come upon several nice largemouth on beds in the river and did all I could to put a couple in the boat for weigh-in — unsuccessful, I might add.
It is easy to pick sides in this debate, but not very often do people have solid facts about the issues with fishing these bedding bass. It is usually just an opinion that isn’t based on anything besides what they may have heard through biased websites and anglers.
I don’t typically take sides. However, I do know that it is not in my nature to fish for bedding bass. The threat of injuring the fish or the nest being destroyed by invasive species is always in the back of my mind.
Bedding fish have won many a tournament for anglers and it is not uncommon down south to see anglers standing up high in their boats, scanning the shallows for the big females up on their nests. However, as an angler, only you can decide if this is an ethical practice and what are the consequences of your actions.