Nothing is random in the underwater world, especially when it comes to fish behavior.
Fish are either responding to instincts like the need to spawn, feed, or seek safety — or environmental stimuli like seasonal changes, weather, moon phase, or water temperature.
Most times, fish are responding to it all: instinct and ecology — Yes, it can be a tough nut to crack.
As anglers, the tendency is to “fish on a memory,” working the same spots and with same baits year after year.
But that’s like throwing darts with a blindfold on.
Fact is, fish respond to changing seasonal conditions, not dates on a calendar.
Instead, successful anglers have learned to recognize seasonal transitions and peaks and know how those affect fish location, behavior, and presentation choice.
The best way to do that? Get into the habit of watching the weather every single day—and monitor events that can affect water temperature, seasonal arrivals, duration, and peaks.
Also learn to recognize the annual periods of fish response.
For example, let’s consider what’s going on right now:
Depending on your latitude – and the target species – you could be in what the Fish Response System calls the Prespawn, Spawn, Postspawn, or Presummer period.
Let’s assume the largemouth bass in your area have spawned. Male bass may still be shallow guarding nests, while females have moved deeper, signaling the Postspawn Period.
Or maybe males have also vacated the nests, regrouping with females to form larger schools – what the Fish Response System calls the Presummer Period.
Recovering from the metabolic drain of the spawn, bass soon begin to feed aggressively, a hallmark of the Prime Summer Period – a Seasonal Peak not to be missed.
In the case of walleyes, the spawn is over in the Midwest, although many fish can still be found shallow hunting food, not far from spawning grounds. Others may be along first main break, or near-shore humps and points. These fish have one thing on their minds: FOOD.
Indeed, the Postspawn to Prime Summer period offers some of the best bass and walleye fishing of the entire year … and in many parts of the AnglingBuzz region, that’s right now.