February 13

How a “Locked” Bass Behaves


Watch how this bass behaves when locked onto its bed.

Every springtime largemouth bass across the nation begin their spawning season. They don't spawn in the same way speckled trout and redfish do (both technically drum). Specks and reds will spawn en masse in a large pass with salty, moving water. Bass are a little different.

Bass are much more selective and even intimate, in a way.

Bass know it's time to spawn once the photoperiod (or length of day) becomes longer and the water temperature warms up to the low 60s. Male bass will shift from feeding to nest preparation.

A bass bed (or nest) looks like a small, round patch of cleared out debris. It's usually lighter in color and may be bordered on either side by a log or grass. This limits avenues of approach to the nest, making it easier to defend. Bluegill love eating bass eggs!

Once the male bass has a nest ready to rock and roll, he'll go court a nearby female through movements and color changes (think of it as disco dancing). He'll nip, push and lightly bump her to the nest where he positions her to lay her eggs. Once she is done she may stick around before leaving, but it's ultimately up to the male to guard the nest. He will do so until the basslings hatch and grow large enough to venture on their own, usually a few inches in length.

Anyways, seeing bass locked on their bed is exciting! They are said to be "locked" because they won't risk leaving their young. They won't fully commit to a lure that lands on it, either. Not even live bait. If anything they will nip at it in an attempt to get it to leave. To get the bass to commit you have to make it really mad.

I could tell you about it or you could watch it for yourself! You just may learn something.

Do you want to fish bass locked on their beds? There's plenty in the inshore marshes of Louisiana, as largemouth bass are found right alongside redfish and speckled trout. Now you know what to look for, get at it!



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