Did you know that Bass are cold blooded fish just like lizards and other reptiles? And this has a big effect on their behavior!
Bass will do different things at different times of year depending on the water temperature. When the water is cold, they slow right down into an almost state of hibernation. And this is due to their cold blooded nature.
I always check the water temperatures before I head out bass fishing, and below is the bass fishing water temperature chart that I use to determine what lures and techniques to use to match the water conditions.
When the temperatures warm up so do the activity of the bass. The heat gets their blood flowing! Higher temperatures mean that bass will start feeding more often, which means you are more likely to get one onto the end of your hook.
Water temperature is definitely something worth paying attention to, it makes a big difference to what you take home at the end of the day.
The Bass Fishing Water Temperature Chart
Here is the bass fishing water temperature chart that I refer to whenever I am heading out to chase some bass.
Use it wisely!
Best Water Temperature for Bass Fishing
Because of their cold blooded nature, the best water temperature for bass fishing is when the water is 60 degrees or higher.
These warmer water conditions get the blood flowing in the bass causing them to want to feed. You will see more activity in the water as they come out of their slumber and try to find something to put in their bellies.
When the water temperature gets up over 80 degrees you will see some fatigue set in though. The hot conditions get a little too hot for what they are used to, and the bass will go into a state of rest. The same way that you and I do when the weather gets over 100!
But remember, we are talking about water temperatures here not the weather. It can be 80 degrees outside but the water temps can be much lower, closer to 50 depending on the time of year.
It’s the water temperature that will determine the best bass fishing conditions for you, not the air temperature.
Bass Fishing in 40 Degree Water or Less
Die hard anglers only need apply. When it’s this cold the bass are hunkered down and won’t be chasing much at all. You need to pretty much drop something on their heads to get a bite.
If you can get your lure to dart right in front of the bass then you might get a reaction. Try small blades and Carolina rigs, but be patient and know that this is not the best water temperature for bass fishing.
Bass Fishing in 40-50 Degree Water
It’s still slow going at these water temperatures but at least there’s a chance. Again, putting something right in front of the bass is the only way to guarantee a bite when it’s this cold.
Try a lipless crankbait, let it drop to the bottom, then rip it up fast to try and get a reaction out of the sluggish bass. If this doesn’t work then the action of a jerkbait might entice a bass onto the end of your line. Remember, they are still waking up (or going to sleep) at these temperatures.
Bass Fishing in 50-60 Degree Water
In the words of Dr Frankenstein:
At these water temperatures you can start to expect some regular action when you head out bass fishing. The bass are starting to get interested now, and their blood is warm enough that they can dart out and go after anything that goes in front of them.
Swimbaits can start to tempt the occasional hit, and drop shots will work for those fish who are still feeling a bit lazy and are stuck in deep holes. But if you manage to land it near them, you will get a bite in these water conditions.
Bass Fishing in 60-70 Degree Water
Now we’re talking, it’s action time. The sun is shining and the bass are biting. Lures that move will definitely see some action out of the bass now that they are moving into full swing feeding temperatures.
Crankbaits and spinnerbaits are your friends in these conditions as they stir up the water and make enough noise to attract the bass to your line. If there is cover, try pitching and flipping to coax them into striking.
The bass are definitely there, you just need to find them.
Bass Fishing in 70-80+ Degree Water
Warm waters mean active bass. The fish are at their maximum movement and feeding levels at these water temperatures so make the most of it.
On clear days topwater baits are going to bring you the most success, but as the temperatures get up towards the 80’s you will find some bass diving into holes to stay a bit cooler. You’ll need to go to the trusty drop shot on days where the mercury is super high to find bass a bit deeper down.
The Last Cast
Bass movements are driven by the seasons and the water temperatures due to their cold blooded nature. In cooler waters you are going to have trouble finding bites and the key to success is a combination of patience and luck in landing a cast right in front of the face of a bass.
The best water temperatures for bass fishing really kick in once waters get up over 60 degrees and up until about 80 degrees. The bass are actively feeding and will chase whatever you put in the water. A lure with a bit of noise and action should do the trick most of the time, with dropshotting reserved for the hotter days.
Keep a copy of our Bass Fishing Water Temperature Chart close by so you know what techniques to apply depending on the water conditions.
Go get ’em!