Best Water Temperatures for Bass Fishing: Detailed Chart

Knowing the best water temperatures for bass fishing can make the difference between a successful fishing outing and an unsuccessful one. Water temperatures can often be the number one deciding …

Knowing the best water temperatures for bass fishing can make the difference between a successful fishing outing and an unsuccessful one. Water temperatures can often be the number one deciding factor in where bass are located and how willing they are to take your bait.

Understanding the temperature ranges that largemouth bass prefer can also help you decide which bait to use, what techniques will be best, and what time of day to hit the lake. With this knowledge at hand, you can increase your chances of a successful bass fishing adventure!

Bass Fishing Water Temperature Chart

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A bass fishing water temperature chart is a useful tool for anglers to determine the best techniques and bait to use when trying to catch bass. It provides information on the optimal water temperature range for various stages of bass behavior, allowing anglers to adjust their fishing strategy based on the current temperature to increase their chances of success.

A bass fishing water temperature chart is an essential tool for any angler looking to maximize their success when out on the water. 

Knowing the ideal water temperature for bass fishing can help anglers determine when and where to fish, as well as what type of lures and techniques to use for the best results. 

With this bass fishing water temperature chart, you’ll have the information you need on temperature ranges right at your fingertips in order to make the most out of your next fishing trip and help you catch fish.

Water Temperature (degrees Fahrenheit)Bass BehaviourQuality of Fishing (out of five)
Below 40°Bass become lethargic and slow down their feeding1
41-50°Bass move slowly and feed at a slow and timid pace2
51-60°Activity increases and bass move toward shallow water4
61 to 65°Bass will school in shallow areas searching for prey5
66-70°Bass are extremely active and aggressive with feeding5
71-75°Bass move slightly deeper, looking for cover and food4
76-80°Bass will still feed, but stay in much deeper water3
Above 80°Bass may feed but can be easily stressed due to low oxygen2

Largemouth Bass Fishing by Water Temperature 

Temperature Below 40°

When water temperatures drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, bass behavior changes drastically. Bass become lethargic and slow down, often seeking out deeper water and structure where they can find shelter from the cold. 

During this extremely cold water temperature range, anglers must change their approach when fishing for bass, often switching to slower presentations, such as jigs or soft plastics, in order to entice a strike. 

Since largemouth bass in this water temperature will feed at much slower rates, you will need to be very patient and willing to work for your catch. With the right approach, however, many anglers can still be successful in cold water through the winter months.

41-50°

At this temperature, bass will still feed, but they will do so less frequently and at a slower pace. In the 41 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit temperature range, bass will move around more slowly and usually stay in deeper waters where it is slightly warmer. 

Bass will be extremely lethargic and apathetic in this temperature, so anglers may have to use more finesse and a few tricks in order to catch them. For example, you may need to use slower presentations or larger lures that mimic the natural movements of the bass’s prey without being too intimidating.

51-60°

Bass can often provide a great day of fishing when the water temperature is between 51 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. During this temperature range, largemouth bass tend to be more active as the water temperature is still cool enough to provide them with the ample amounts of oxygen they need. 

They are also more likely to be near the surface of the water, making them more visible and easier to target when sight fishing. Bass will start to feed much more actively, and anglers can use a variety of different lures and techniques to entice them to bite.

61 to 65°

During this temperature range, bass will congregate in shallower water in order to hunt for food. It’s not uncommon to see them schooling as well, especially in the daylight hours when the water is the warmest. 

During the night, bass will often move back towards deeper water, where the temperature is somewhat cooler. Largemouth bass may also search out and move towards areas with greater current, where their food sources are more abundant.

66-70°

During these temperatures, bass tend to be more active and can be seen more often. They will start to become more aggressive when hunting for food at this temperature range making it extremely easy to get them to strike at your bait or lure. 

This is also a water temperature range where bass will begin to move into shallow water with the intention to spawn. They will become much more territorial and aggressive, swiftly striking at almost any lures and baits that are presented to them.

71-75°

At these water temperatures, bass are very likely to be found in mid-depth areas with plenty of cover and structure, such as weed beds, rock beds, and around thick aquatic vegetation. 

They are also likely to be feeding more during this water temperature range, so anglers should be able to use a variety of different lures successfully making this the best time to experiment with new lures or bait presentations.

76-80°

Bass will feed more actively but will usually stay in deeper and cooler water. This is a great time for anglers to take advantage of the increased activity and try their luck in catching some deep-water bass. 

As the temperatures increase and the water warms, largemouth bass will become more aggressive and can be caught using various sinking lures and bait. Overall, largemouth bass are very active in water temperatures between 76 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, so this is a great time to get out on the water and try your luck with a deep-water presentation.

Above 80°

When water temperatures rise above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, bass will rarely come out of their deep water haunts. Instead, they will search for cooler pockets of water or areas with currents that increase the amount of oxygen in the lake.

Since the metabolism of largemouth bass will still be in full swing in these warm temperatures, anglers may have the best success if they use deep water lures that mimic the natural food sources that bass are actively seeking out.

Is Water Temperature a Big Factor in Bass Fishing?

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Understanding the impact of water temperature on bass behavior is crucial for successful bass fishing. Using a water temperature chart can help anglers adjust their approach to optimize their chances of catching bass.

Yes, the water temperature can have a very big impact on bass fishing. Bass will normally become highly active and willing to stay in shallow water during the summer months while they feed on small prey. During the winter, they tend to move to deeper, slightly warmer water where they may still feed, but at a much slower rate.

Understanding the seasonal patterns of bass in different water temperatures can help you identify the best areas to drop a line in the water. Additionally, the water temperature can also influence the type of bait or lures you should use in order to be successful with small minnows being popular in the summer, and larger and slower presentations being taken in the winter.

Seasonal Water Temperature Guide for Largemouth Bass

Winter

In the winter, bass will reduce their overall physical activity and feed less frequently due to the cold water. They will typically congregate in deeper, warmer areas of the lake and feed when the sun is out and the water is slightly warmer. 

Bass will feed on a variety of food sources including insects, small fish, and crustaceans. Being opportunistic feeders, they will also scavenge for food that has died off in the cold water including other fish, birds, and mammals. 

Spring

As water temperatures start to warm up in the springtime, bass move into shallow waters to feed and start their spawning behavior, which makes them more vulnerable to fishing. 

Their diet also changes in the springtime, to include more insect larvae and aquatic insects, as well as small fish, crayfish, and frogs. Anglers can have excellent results using leeches, grubs, and crayfish baits and lures.

Summer

During the summer months, bass become much more active in warmer temperatures and with increased daylight. They can be found in shallow waters near heavy vegetation, man-made structures, or other thick covers. 

During the summer months, bass are feeding aggressively and heavily with their diet typically consisting of small fish, insects, and crustaceans. Bass tend to feed around dawn and dusk, as well as during the middle of the day when the sun is at its highest. 

You’ll be able to locate bass in deeper waters during the summer months since they are more comfortable in slightly cooler water. During this time, bass can be caught with a wide variety of different techniques, styles, lures, and baits.

Fall

During the autumn months, bass will change their feeding habits as the water temperature starts to decrease. The cooler water temperature causes their metabolism to increase, leading to an increase in hunger and more aggressive feeding as they pack on nutrients for the winter ahead. 

Bass will be ravenously feeding on a variety of prey items, and they will gather in areas of the lake that are shallow and have an abundance of food available. They will typically feed on smaller baitfish, insects, and even frogs during this time. 

Bass will also become more active around various structures as they look for cover and ambush opportunities. With the abundance of food sources and cooler water temperatures, the autumn season is an ideal time for bass fishing.

Does Air Temperature Impact Bass Fishing? 

Air temperature often plummets after a cold front and anglers may think this is the perfect time to fish for bass, but water temperature, not air temperature, affects these fish. After a storm, the air pressure is more important than the air temperature when it comes to how active bass are.

How Cold Is Too Cold for Bass Fishing?

Bass fishing can be done in some pretty cold water temperatures, but the optimum water temperature range is between 64 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Fishing in water temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit can be very challenging and is not usually recommended, especially for beginning anglers.

When the water temperature drops below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, bass become much less active and will not feed as much making it a lesson in patience for any anglers setting out onto the lake to try their luck.

How Hot Is Too Hot for Bass Fishing?

Bass can become stressed in water temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit due to the severely reduced amount of oxygen in the water, so it is important to monitor the water temperature carefully and avoid fishing when it is too hot.

These fish are relatively hearty, but the combination of a low oxygen concentration plus the stress of being caught and fighting against the line can potentially kill many bass before they are able to be released. 

While bass will still actively strike at deep water lures, most anglers agree, it’s just best to avoid fishing when temperatures are above 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Is Wind Good for Bass Fishing?

Bass Fishing After Storm
Wind can be advantageous for bass fishing as it can create ripples on the surface of the water, which can help bass locate and catch their prey. It is important to adapt fishing techniques to the weather conditions to ensure safety and success.

Wind can be beneficial for bass fishing, as it can help create turbulence in the water which moves bait fish around. Since these small fish are one of the top prey items for bass, wind can absolutely attract bass and make catching bass easier. 

However, it can also be difficult to cast in windy conditions. It is best to use light tackle and lures that easily move with the wind when fishing in windy conditions. This way, you can use the wind to your advantage by casting and allowing the breeze to move your lure into an area where live bait fish may have also been moved.

How About Storms?

Many anglers agree that storms can be a great boost for bass fishing. Storms can bring a lot of rain, which increases the water and oxygen levels in the lake or river. This can cause the bass to move into shallower waters, making them easier to catch. 

Storms can also stir up the water providing potential cover for bait fish and other prey items, as well as knocking insects, small birds, frogs, and lizards out of trees and into the lake where bass can actively feed on them. This kind of weather can provide a chance to get a big bass.

Sources:

https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/the-effects-of-cold-fronts-on-bass/154617
https://www.easternoutdoorsmedia.com/as-fall-temperatures-cool-down-fall-bass-fishing-heats-up/
https://www.orlandobass.com/2017/01/weather-affects-fishing/
https://majorleaguefishing.com/angler-columns/kevin-vandam-the-truths-about-water-temperature/

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Jeff Knapp is an expert fisherman, guide and outdoor writer whose work is widely published across a range of sites including Tackle Village. Jeff is based in Pennsylvania and loves exploring the waterways of that state in pursuit of smallmouth bass, largemouth, panfish and trout.
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