Catching Bass Spawning Time

Денис Вихров на Кипре

Bass fishing in Cyprus is attractive for many reasons. One of them is the possibility to enjoy fishing all year round. And the spawning period is no exception. Firstly, unlike in some other countries in Europe, fishing is officially allowed at this period. The only limitation is that it is prohibited to take fish from the reservoir in March and April. Secondly, this is the time for so-called “sight fishing” for bass, and therefore a great apportunity to try this unusual for Europe way of fishing. It is very exciting to see how bass reacts to your bait, and how it attacks the lure – all this happens right in front of you, which is quite an experience by itself.

When does bass spawn in Cyprus?

This usually occurs in March and April, during the full moon days. But each year might be different. It all depends on the weather conditions during this period. If the weather during the full moon is stable and there is a warming trend, then the first batch begins to nest in March. If the weather is unstable, as is often the case, then only a small part of the bass population spawns in March, while the rest wait for the next full moon in April. It also happens that the weather plays tricks in the form of all sorts of disasters in both March and April. In this case, spawning may continue even into May.

Few points to be noted:

  • Bass spawns not in all Cyprus freshwater reservoirs simultaneously. As a rule, in reservoirs with more clear, and therefore colder water, for example in Kanaviou, this process occurs later.
  • Bass spawns not in all parts of the same reservoir simultaneously. In the upper parts, in shallow water, spawning begins earlier, while in the lower reaches, in the area of ​​the dam wall, the process occurs with a delay of several days or even weeks.
  • A sharp change in the water level in the reservoir is an additional stress factor for the fish, which negatively affects bass behavior during spawning. Sometimes the water is dropped at the most inappropriate moment, as seen in the picture below. Sometimes there is a sharp rise in water due to heavy rainfall. This is a lot of stress for the bass anyway, and spawning is likely to be delayed until the next full moon.

The chart of water level changes in each of the main reservoirs can be viewed on the corresponding page of our website.

How does spawning affect bass bite?

Pre-spawning – Bass activity peaks in the period preceding spawning. This is usually 2-3 weeks before the full moon. Males at this time come close to the bank and are busy looking for a convenient place for a nest. Choosing the right place and then protecting it is the responsibility of the male. Females, which are usually larger than males, ply alongside, choosing a worthy companion for themselves. While all this hassle is taking place, the bass is active and the bite is on. In Cyprus realities, where boat fishing is still prohibited, this is an ideal time to catch a trophy bass. A large amount of bass is located near the bank, and therefore bumping into a trophy-size bass is more likely.

Spawning – As soon as the right moment for spawning comes, the bass starts to be sluggish. There are days when the bass can be clearly seen in shallow waters near the bank, but it is impossible to catch it. They are fully occupied with spawning rituals and refuse to attack any lures. This is probably the most difficult period for anglers, which can last 2-3 days.

Post-spawning – After laying eggs, females leave the nests, entrusting further care of the offsprings to males. Catching a female (a more coveted trophy due to its size) becomes much more difficult at this time. They recover from spawning for some time and are rather passive. Males, however, remain on the nests for the next 3-4 weeks to protect eggs from all kinds of small predators, for example, sunfish. It is the males that become our main target of catching during this period of time. Defending the territory around the nest, they often attack the bait not to eat it, but to drive away uninvited guests from their offsprings.

Sight fishing for nesting males is a very exciting activity. Sometimes they get “persuaded” on the first try. But it may also happen that you spend hours offering every lure from your tackle box, and all in vain. It is very interesting to visually observe how fish reacts to your actions, especially if it ends up successfully.

How to catch bass during the spawning season?

The main types of lures during the pre-spawning period are spinnerbaits and jerk baits. Aggressive side-to-side action of jerk baits often appears to be the most productive. Soft plastic baits and slower presentations come to play in the later period when bass have already moved on their nests. At this point, slow-moving vertical presentations work best. The “wacky” rig is the all-time classic during this period. Soft plastic jerk baits rigged on slightly weighted offset hooks also work well. Below are a few examples of Cyprus proven baits.

In the spring, the tactic of covering water in search of bass along the bank pays off more often. We catch, so to speak, with our feet. The more water we cover, the more chances we have to find active fish. It is wise to alternate fast-moving baits, such as spinnerbaits and jerk baits, with slow-moving baits, such as wacky rigged soft plastics. It often happens that fast-moving baits help you to locate an active fish, which can then be caught by follow-up soft bait.

Since we catch fish by sight, having good polarized sunglasses is a must. The quality of polarization plays a huge role. At this time of the year, it often makes the difference between being a hero and catching zero.

How was bass spawning in 2021?

Winter this year was relatively warm and, by the end of February, everything around was blooming. It seemed that the major bulk of bass was already ready for spawning and was just waiting for the full moon. But it never happened. The weather has gone crazy at the most inopportune moment. One cold front gave way to another. As a result, the spawning period was postponed to the end of April. It was at this time that the first stage of the Cyprus Bass Fishing Championship took place, which you can read about here.

During the same period, several well-known anglers visited Cyprus. We had a great time fishing together, caught quite a lot of bass, including some nice trophies.

All the best to all, good health and prosperity. See you in Cyprus.

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