So when do bass spawn in Illinois, anyway?
You may be wondering why there are times when the water bodies are packed with bass and at other times, there is a significant decrease in these fish in the waters. What gives?
The spawning season impacts the bass’ behavior, so it is best to know exactly when they spawn. Typically, they are common in weedy and shallow lakes, as well as backwaters. They may also exist in ponds and small lakes.
As long as there are structures including lily pads or some brush in the water, they may hang around for feeding, some time after dawn. Once the water cools down, they go into deeper waters.
However, it is not common for them to go in much deeper water. These fish prefer rooted vegetation and even higher temperatures, although their preference is the cooler water.
But the big question is, when do bass spawn in Illinois? Know more about the answer to this question below!
When Do Bass Spawn In Illinois?
In Illinois, the Largemouth Bass reach their sexual maturity somewhere around 2 to 4 years. This may vary, however, depending on their specific location in the state.
When the water temperature is at 60 degrees Fahrenheit, male bass will start to swim inshore. There, they choose the ideal nest site and build the nest usually around 2 to 3 feet of water.
At this point, male courtship then begins. They attract female bass and flock over her to the nest, so they can begin spawning. The spawning pair of bass will remain active for hours, and it ends with the female releasing a couple of thousand or up to 7000 eggs, depending on her body weight.
Then, the eggs will drop into the nest. They stay there until ready to hatch, which should be in 2 to 4 days.
White Bass Spawning Season In Illinois
As for the White Bass, the spawning season may vary a little more than with the Largemouth Bass.
The White Bass, also called the Morone chrysops, is found widely in Illinois’ water bodies. These fish are about 10 inches long and weigh up to 4 lbs. They are best caught using lures such as small jigs with catchy twister tails, minnows, and small spinners.
These fish are typical in larger rivers including the backwaters of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, as well as adjoining major tributaries and bottomland lakes.
Moreover, they are common in the Northeastern Illinois’ natural lakes. The Fox Chain O’Lakes also boast of a teeming number of White bass, as well as in the Great Lakes.
Unlike the Largemouth Bass, the White Bass prefer to stay in deeper waters. However, they swim to the surface during feeding time. Their preferred food includes minnows and shad.
The spawning season for the White Bass starts in May or the early weeks of June. At this time, the water temperature should be about 61 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the optimal temperature for spawning.
The female White Bass then drops half a million eggs over sand, gravel bars and rocks near the shore. This is a much different spawning habit than the Largemouth Bass.
During spawning season, the White Bass swim upstream in larger lakes and then go to shallow moving waters. They begin to spawn once they reach maturity at age 2 or 3, or once they are about 10 to 12 inches long.
Overall, bass spawn in Illinois during the later months of spring or when the water temperature is about 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, different bass species behave a certain way when they spawn. So, depending on the species of bass you plan on catching, it is best to understand more about their behavior during spawning season. This way, you can increase your chances of catching them during this time of the year.