Q & A

When do fish start spawning? (Bigger fish spawn first!)

Bass - March when water reaches 60o.

Crappie - March when water reaches 65o.

Redear (chinquapin/shellcracker)- April when water reaches 70o.

Bluegill - May when water gets 75o

Catfish - May-June.

How many times a year do they spawn?

Bass - once; eggs may be present at other times of the year as they reabsorb unspawned eggs or develop new ones.

Bluegill - up to 5 times.

Redear - twice;that's why they aren't as numerous as bluegill.

Crappie & Catfish - once.

 What size do fish spawn?

Bass - females about 9" and males 8".

Bluegill - 4-5".           

Redear - 5-6".

Crappie - 6".

Channel Catfish - 12".

How long do they live?

Bass - males 5-7 yrs, females 10 yrs, Florida bass up to 12 yrs.

Bluegill - generally not beyond 5 yrs.

Redear - 5-6 yrs, some up to 9.

Crappie - usually 5-6 yrs.

Catfish - Channel catfish normally live 6-10 yrs.

How big do they get?

Bass - 18.15 lb state record from Natchez State Park. 22.25 world record is from Georgia.

Bluegill - 3.45 lb state record from a pond near Blue Mountain.

Redear - 3.33 lb state record from Tippah Co. Lake. 4.86 lb world record is from Florida.

Crappie - 5.2 lb state/world record white crappie from Enid Res.

Catfish - 51.75 lb state record from L. Tom Bailey near Meridian.

Is the spawn the best time to fish?

Bass - very good; especially during pre-spawn (Jan.-Mar.) for trophy bass. Summer and fall also good.

Bluegill - Yes; unlike some sunfishes, male bluegill feed while defending their territory.

Redear - Yes; easier to find but males may be hard to catch while courting and defending the nest.

Crappie - Definitely; easier to find and they cooperate best.

Catfish - Good, but summer and fall are also good.

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