Suwannee Bass Reproduction
As the largest Suwannee Bass on record is three pounds 14 ounces, and most caught are around one pound, light tackle offers the best odds at sensing strikes and provides the best experience.
Like all fish species, the Suwannee Bass spawn in the spring in the months from February to June. The actual time is dependant on the water temperature and their ability to find a mate. Usually Florida waters are very warm but the upper portion of the Suwannee river is littered with freshwater springs which poor out cold water all year around. In order to spawn, the water must reach 65°F/18°C.
Reproduction is similar to the Largemouth Bass. The male clears a nest close to the protection of sunken logs, around weeds and on a gravel bottom. Once the nest is constructed, he attracts the females to lay eggs.
Once she has laid the eggs, she is chased off and the male guards until the fry hatch, which he then protects until they are several weeks old. Water depth over nests ranges from one to eight feet and is usually built in a sheltered shoal.
>The eggs, which may vary from 1,000 to 12,000 in each nest, hatch in three to six days depending upon water temperature, the warmer the water, the shorter the duration.
Once the eggs have hatched, the male Suwannee Bass stays around the fry defending them from predators. They sense of hunger is second to their instinct to defend their territory.
During the time of spawning, the male Suwannee Bass is more likely to strike out of the need to defend its territory rather than enjoy a meal. Lures and baits that come close to it’s young are more likely to get a strike tan a well placed popper on the surface seven feet away.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission found through a series of surveys and research that the largest concentrations of Suwannee were found near steep banks by shallow, silt covered bottoms with lily pads when they move into spawning.
Rod & Reel
The Suwannee Bass is a small fish, one of the smallest bass next to the Roanoke Bass and the Rock Bass. Heavy tackle is not only overkill, but most strike will go unnoticed. We recommend going with traditional baits in small portions so as not to attract the larger fish in the same habitat. A 12 pound Largemouth Bass can be very difficult to land on 8 pound test and may even strip the gears in a cheap rod and reel combination found at your local department store.