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Fish Spawning and How It Affects Fishing

You may have heard the term spawn, but do you know what it means? Spawn is a word used to describe the fish form of reproduction. Spawning is essentially fish mating and producing offspring.

What Does Spawn Mean?

Spawn is used to describe the process of how fish mate and reproduce. It is very different from the usual ways of reproduction that mammals have.

How Do Fish Mate?

Fish can reproduce in one of three ways. They can reproduce by livebearing, spawning, or by themselves. Livebearing is similar to the way mammals reproduce. Some fish can even switch their gender which means they are capable doing everything on their own.

The most common way for fish to reproduce is by spawning. Spawning is when the female lays her eggs in the water. The male will then come and fertilize as many eggs as he can.

Do Fish Lay Eggs?

Whether or not a fish lays eggs depends on the type of fish. Some fish birth live fish, while others do indeed lay eggs. Females laying their eggs for the males to fertilize is the most common form of reproduction among fish. The female fish can leave anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of eggs.

How Spawning Affects Fishing

If you’re an avid fisher, you may or may not know about fish spawning. If you don’t know, you should learn more: fish’s behavior changes when they’re spawning. Knowing when your target fish spawns and how it changes their behavior can help you adapt your techniques to catch more fish.

Most fish follow certain spawning patterns, although that pattern changes for each specific type of fish. Many change location to lay their eggs or give birth in specific places or by certain underwater terrain for protection. Some fish, like salmon, are almost always caught during their spawning season.

Learning when fish spawn will make you a better angler, as you can either anticipate and avoid spawning season, or use your knowledge to catch spawning fish when they change habitat.

When Is Spawning Season?

Although the concept for spawning is the same for all the fish, there are some differences for different types of fish. Those differences include the time of the year, the age of the fish participating, and their behaviors when spawning. Different types of fish have different strategies when it comes time to spawn and they have to worry about different threats.

Catfish Spawning

Catfish tend to spawn during the spring and summer months. They wait for the water to warm to an optimal 70-84 degrees. Catfish are also considered the most difficult fish to catch while they are spawning. Part of that is due to the fact that they are nesters. They lay their eggs in dark, secluded cavities they find. These cavities can be found between rocks, in hollow logs, or burrows in banks.

After the female picks a nesting location, she lays her eggs. A male will then come and fertilize the eggs. After he fertilizes the eggs, the females leave and let the males protect them. The male fish keeps predators away and fans the eggs so they do not get buried by sediments. After about a week the eggs will hatch.

Bass Spawning

When bass are ready to spawn, it only happens in the spring. They wait for the waters to be anywhere between 70-80 degrees. Even though bass spawning season only take place in the spring, they have three phases that they go through.

The pre-spawn is when bass begin eating much more. They increase the amount of food they eat because they know they will not eat while they are actually spawning.

While bass are spawning they become very aggressive. Species that they used to feed on will now be the ones they attack just to keep their eggs safe.

During the post-spawn the eggs have hatched. The males will guard the newly hatched fish while the females leave to rest in deeper water.

Salmon Spawning

If you’ve ever seen footage of salmon hopping upstream, you’ve seen them on their way to spawn. Salmon migrate upstream to lay their eggs. They swim back to the same area where they hatched to spawn, and many die during or after the process.

Salmon’s journey upstream to spawn is called the salmon run, and it’s important to know because it is the best time to catch salmon. Salmon are born in freshwater rivers and streams and return there to spawn, but they spend most of their life in the ocean. They can change habitat, and even change colors when spawning – many turn a bright red. Most anglers catch salmon during their migration on the way to spawn.

Salmon usually spawn in the Spring through the Summer, and there are resources that track salmon runs by specific area or even body of water.

Betta Fish Spawning

Spawning bettas can be very difficult. The breeding pair needs to carefully matched because the males tend to be aggressive. The best time for bettas to spawn is when they are young. Since they are fish that are typically pets, the time of year does not matter. For an ideal offspring, the male and female should spawn before they are older than a year old.

The females tend to be the picky ones when selected a male to fertilize the eggs. Some things they look for in a suitable male are his energy levels, coloration, and fins.

The male will start to build a bubble nest while also showing off for the female. Once he is done building the nest the female will make sure it meets her standards or else she will destroy it. After they begin to mate, it will be a couple hours of them chasing after each other and biting.

After some time, she will begin to release her eggs. The male will then collect the eggs and put them into the bubble nest one at a time. The male will then be in charge of protecting the nest and he will attack anything he sees as a threat.

Goldfish Spawning

Goldfish are able to spawn when they are one or two years old. They usually spawn once a month through spring and summer months. They prefer the water to be 70 degrees while spawning during the day. While spawning, the male will chase the female until she releases her eggs so he can fertilize them.

Anticipate Fish Spawning Seasons

Research your fish before you get out on the water to learn about their spawning season. The more you know, the more fish you can catch. Since spawning can drastically affect a fish’s behavior, learning about when and how they spawn can improve your success while fishing.

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