Largemouth Bass Spawn Guide: South, East & Central United States

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Lily pads in the lake where big bass love to swim.

Throughout the United States, the largemouth bass spawn happens in the spring. Depending on water temperatures, it could happen as early as December or as late as June. Bass look for water around 65 degrees before it officially starts. Once conditions align, the spawn gets underway. 

For anglers, the largemouth bass spawn is on the same level as Christmas and Thanksgiving. It’s a time of hungry, aggressive, and accessible fish. Plus, it’s the kick-off of warmer weather and prime summer fishing. Once the spawn hits, life becomes more exciting.

Largemouth Bass Spawning and Conditions 

Regardless of where you’re fishing for largemouth, they all wait for similar conditions before they start the spawn. Largemouths want to spawn in shallower water that’s somewhere between 58 and 65 degrees.

Largemouths usually spawn in two to six feet of water. The water must be clear with a sandy bottom and near cover and structure. Bass spawn in coves near vegetation or around docks or submerged logs. 

Before spawning begins, males move to the shallow water and dig the beds. Beds are 20- to 30-inch holes in the sand for females to drop eggs. Once females are ready to lay their eggs, they’ll swim around the beds and choose a few that suit their needs. 

They’ll drop their eggs, and the males fertilize them. Once fertilized, males protect the eggs from predators. After a few days, the eggs hatch, and males enter the post-spawn phase. 

Largemouth Bass Spawn in Florida

Since water temperatures don’t fluctuate to extreme levels in Florida, the largemouth bass spawn gets going early in the year. Depending on the year, the spawn could get going as early as December.

The Florida bass spawn usually starts in February or March during a regular year. Conditions are ideal, and the spawn finishes before the water gets too far above 70 degrees. 

Largemouth Bass Spawn in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, the largemouth bass spawn gets going somewhere between April and June. Massachusetts experiences long winters and cold water temperatures.

Bass move toward the warmest parts of the lake and wait for the temperatures to get above 55 degrees for the pre-spawn to get going.

Once the water nears 65 degrees, females start laying eggs. Massachusetts anglers can expect to see the spawn begin in May. 

Big bass gets caught in clear water with pretty leaves!

Largemouth Bass Spawn in Illinois

Like Massachusetts, Illinois experiences long, cold winters. Ice doesn’t move off the lakes until March or April, depending on the harshness of the winter. So, the largemouth spawn occurs at some point in May or June. 

Water temperatures take a while to warm after winter, so Illinois anglers get to fish the spawn later than most southern states. 

Largemouth Bass Spawn in Arkansas

Arkansas experiences colder weather, but not enough to push the spawn into early summer. Usually, the Arkansas spawn happens in April. In warmer years, it gets going in March and bleeds into May during the cold years. 

Largemouth Bass Spawn in Texas

February, March, April, and May are the prime spawn months for largemouth bass in Texas. March is usually the prime month for spawning Texas largemouth bass. Since the state is so large, water temperatures aren’t the same in the northern and southern parts. 

Depending on where you’re fishing, do some scouting before the spawn. Your electronics on your boat should tell you the current water temperatures. Remember, shoot for temperatures between 60 and 65 degrees. 

Two buddies race to the best fishing spot in a cool boat as the sun rises.

Largemouth Bass Spawn in Ohio

Ohio is a cold-weather state. As a result, the spawn happens sometime between mid-April and mid-June. 

Largemouth Bass Spawn in Michigan

Michigan sees a large temperature fluctuation throughout the state. In the southern and central portions of the state, the spawn usually gets going at some point in May. Some years, it could be in April. In cold years, it gets going in June. 

In northern parts of Michigan, the largemouth bass spawn doesn’t start until June or July. Ice doesn’t leave the lakes until April or May, so the temperatures take a while to warm. 

Largemouth Bass Spawn in Missouri

The Missouri largemouth bass spawn happens at some point between mid-April and late May. The southern part of the state sees the largemouth bass spawn start in April, and the spawn begins in June or July up north. 

Largemouth Bass Spawn in Kentucky

The Kentucky largemouth bass spawn usually starts in late April or May. Most of the state has similar temperatures, so wherever you’re fishing in Kentucky, expect an April or May spawn. 


One of the most predictable things about largemouth bass is when they start spawning. When the water reaches 60 to 65 degrees, you can count on male bass sitting on beds and protecting their eggs. 

In the northern states, expect the spawn to start in May, June, and July. In the central United States, the spawn goes in February, March, April, or May. In the south, the largemouth bass spawn happens as early as December and as late as April.

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