When Do Fish Spawn And When Do They Eat?

Reproduction is a crucial part of life. Just like wild animals fish also reproduce and not just randomly but during specific climates. If they do not effectively reproduce they may be extinct and we won’t be able to enjoy delicious fish dishes.

For your fish to successfully spawn, you need to know some biology and the spawning patterns. For this most important universal rule, I thought it would be best if you had a guide on when fish spawn and when they eat.

When Do Fish Spawn Depending On Their Species?


The walleye is a unique fish species that spawns between March and April. The water is usually 43 to 48 degrees because that is when they are comfortable. In such times if you visits rocky stretches of the lake or ocean you will see this since this where there is moderate to heavy water current.

The broadcasting technique is what makes them unique because, with them, there is no parental care. The males come first, then the females follow later to broadcast their eggs.

Northern Pikes

The northern pikes have the capability to spine under ice! Their best time is from late February to end of March. If it’s around marshes, rushes, cattails and then you notice the water temperature ranges between 38 to 48 degree, then its spawning time for the northern pikes.

When the northern pikes spawn, the males will come together in shallow waters even when there is still ice and make spawning groups. Then they will go after the ladies as they slap them with their tails. As the males bump on the females, the males remove milt that fertilizes the eggs released by the females. Just like walleyes, kids grow on their own.

Largemouth Base

The largemouth are very different from walleyes and northern spikes. They spawn late when the temperatures of the waters are a bit high like from 64 to 70. This is usually between April and May. They also like shallow waters but with a hard ground. The hard ground could be of either sand or gravel.

When you look closely at this time, you will notice the male come in groups and create wide nests on the lower sediment. They also prefer cover for instance dock pilling, rock or laydown. After that, the females will crawl in the nests, rest there while doing their thing. So that after some time you may enjoy catching them.

Smallmouth Base

The smallmouths just like the big mouths also come in late. When it’s April or May, and the shallow waters around gravel, rocks, and shelves is 60 to 64 degrees, then you will know they are about to play.

Their males also assemble around shallow parts of the river and make nests. The nests are also covered with leaves or rocks. One trait that makes smallmouth bass different from largemouth bass when it comes to spawning is the fact that, they guard the eggs until they hatch. Their females are just indebted to be attracted to the nests rest and lay eggs.


The blue gill is one of the hardest fish to master tier spawning trends because they spawn late. When the temperatures of the water have shot up, like from 66 to 80, that’s when it the best time for them. It is usually between June and August.

The bluegill males also gather around shallow, hard, flat areas and create bed like nests which are used to attract females. These males also protect the layers from predators also for the trapped females. Once the eggs have been a layer, the bluegills scatter and leave the nests well covered for development.

The Perch

As the other fish species look for shallow surfaces, the perch when they spawn they look for deeper surfaces. I mean not shallow and not deep. Their spawning grounds are usually well covered with water vegetation like a brush or any other plants with wide leaves.

When it April up to May, you know the perch are about to play. The water is usually 26 to 54 degrees. Very calm indeed. Unlike the above species, the females are the first ones to visit the four to eight feet deep ends and lay eggs. Once they are done, the males now come in to spread milt over the eggs.


The crappie fish does not go against the spawning techniques but rather does what the rest do. When it is May or June, 34 to 60 degrees is the range of temperatures where the water dances. During this time, the male crappie seeks shelter under logs, brushes, debris or any other cover located around shallow ends to create a bowl like nests. The females are then attracted to the nests and lay eggs in there. The males later fertilize the eggs then vacate. As much as the ladies leave immediately, gents hang around to take care of the fertilized eggs for some time before leaving.

How They Eat

When fish are spawning, they tend to eat differently. The fish eat what is in the area of spawning. This also another reason why they like shallow places other than deep ends because this is where more food is.

Shallow ends of rivers and lakes tend to be calm, warm and there are no strong waves. Just picking out a few examples;

The walleye eat live bait presentation and small plastics. The same applies to crappies, blue gills, and perch. That is why when a professional fisherman deeps his thermometer into the waters during spawning times he smiles. This is as a result of the fish being easy to catch bait.


It is just perfect to know the spawning trends of fish if you are a pro in fishing. You do not want to be embarrassed before friends on a fishing trip. Make a plan, each time of the year when you visit the lake or the river have a thermometer with you. You will be able to know when the fish are out to eat and catch them smoothly.

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David Valle

I started this blog to provide advanced material, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable fishing experience. I deliver more than fishing gear guides, and motivate people to hit the water!