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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