Fishing Report: Where to Catch Spawning Bass in the Northeast

Like deer hunters waiting for the best days of the rut, bass anglers around the country look forward to bass spawning season and a chance to catch the biggest largemouths of the year.

Here are our picks for the Northeast:

April 22-28
Our Pick: Presque Isle Bay, Lake Erie, PA
Hot Pattern: Cast a green pumpkin or watermelon weightless stickworm into the thickest grass you can find. Expect 100-plus fish days.

April 29-May 5
Our Pick: Oneida Lake, NY
Hot Pattern: Concentrate on the west end, in the vicinity of Muskrat Bay. Start offshore in depths of 12 to 14 feet looking for small humps of submerged weeds.

May 6-12
Our Pick: Lower Connecticut River, CT
Hot Pattern: Pre-spawn largemouths can be caught in the larger backwaters, coves, and marinas. Spinnerbaits and small crankbaits usually get the job done.

May 13-19
Our Pick: Candlewood Lake, CT
Hot Pattern: Comb gravel and rock banks for both spawning and pre-spawning smallmouth and largemouth bass. Cast spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and jerkbaits for pre-spawners.

May 20-26
Our Pick: New York City Reservoir System, Westchester and Putnam Counties, NY
Hot Pattern: Bass start spawning first in the smaller, shallower reservoirs with local watersheds.

May 27-June 2
Our Pick: Oneida Lake, NY
Hot Pattern: Fish weedy points with lipless crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and jerkbaits for pre-spawn bass. Cast jigs and Texas-rigged soft-plastics in hard-bottom bays for spawners.

June 3-9
Our Pick: Lake Champlain, NY/VT (pictured above)
Hot Pattern: The largemouth spawn starts on the south end of this massive lake. The bays with creeks flowing in tend to draw the most spawners.

June 10-17
Our Pick: Lake Bonaparte, NY
Hot Pattern: Cast red or chartreuse lipless crankbaits for pre-­spawners roaming the flats. Spawners can be caught on green pumpkin or watermelon stickworms, tubes, lizards,
and Beavers.