How Long Do Bass Eggs Take to Hatch: A Comprehensive Guide 

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Cichlid moms lay eggs.

Typically, bass eggs take one to 10 days to hatch. The timeline depends on the water temperature. If the water is between 65 and 75 degrees, the eggs only take a few days to hatch. While preparing to hatch, predators await the opportunity to attack the bed and feast on the eggs.

The bass spawning process is amazing. All the factors that must align for the spawn to occur are extensive. Even if female bass lay their eggs and the males fertilize them, they aren’t guaranteed to hatch. Bass eggs have the odds stacked against them from the beginning.

How Long It Takes for Largemouth Bass Eggs to Hatch

Largemouth bass eggs hatch in two to five days with consistent warm water. Water temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for a 5- to 10-day incubation period. With colder temperatures comes a more extended incubation period and more chance for the eggs to get eaten by nearby predators. 

The male bass will guard the eggs until they hatch, but the longer he sits near them, the weaker he becomes. As he gets weaker, protecting the eggs becomes more of a challenge. 

How Long It Takes for Smallmouth Bass Eggs to Hatch

Smallmouth bass eggs can hatch if conditions align in two to five days. 

If the water is in the mid to upper 70s, they’ll hatch in two to five days. If the water is in the 50s or low 60s, the eggs can take over ten days to hatch. 

Like largemouth bass, the male will protect the eggs until they can hatch. 

Michigan Lake: An Empty Fish Nest. Clear Pic

Bass Spawning 

Bass are particular in how and when they’ll spawn. The spawn will not go smoothly without the proper conditions, and thousands of bass eggs can be destroyed. A bass’s environment must stay reasonably consistent each spring for everything to go well. 

Clear Water 

Water clarity often changes as the air and water temperatures warm in the spring. Snow melt and consistent rains can often cloud the water.

Bass need clear, shallow water to spawn – they want to spawn in two to four feet of water. If the water is muddy, bass wait to spawn until the clarity improves. Bass are also hard to catch in muddy water.

Water Temperature

The temperature necessary for bass to spawn is 55 to 65 degrees. When water temperatures reach this point, male bass will begin creating beds and wait for sexually mature females to arrive. The females are filled with eggs and are looking for places to lay them.

Once the females lay the eggs, the male fertilizes them. Once fertilized, the eggs have to incubate before they can hatch. As mentioned, water temperatures in the low 70s make for ideal hatching conditions. Eggs will continue to incubate for two weeks if the water temperatures aren’t quite warm enough.

Expectant mom bass. Fishing at the lake, close-up with lure.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Percentage of Bass Eggs Survive?

A female bass lays around 5,000 eggs during the spawn, but only one to two percent will survive until adulthood. Other bass, panfish, and crustaceans feast on bass eggs and fry. Most bass will die before they become sexually mature. 

Do Bass Stay With Their Eggs? 

As soon as a female lays her eggs, she leaves the nest. Males fertilize the eggs, stay with them until they hatch, and leave after a few weeks. Males are known to eat the bass fry that are in their beds. Since the male bass nearly starve during spawning, their fry makes for an easy meal. 


Bass eggs take little time to hatch in the proper conditions. Males create the bed, females lay the eggs, and then males fertilize and protect them. The faster they can hatch, the less chance they have of being eaten by local predators. Even though the survival rate is small, the bass population thrives all over North America.

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