The spawn is on—and we’re talking full-blown on in some regions of the United States. We recently spent some time breaking down what that looked like in the extreme south, starting in mid-February and really ramping up around March 1.

But now we’re two weeks further into the spring, and the bass spawning activity is quickly creeping up the states and sending the shallows into a frenzy across much of the country south of the Mason-Dixon line. If you live and fish anywhere in, let’s say, the southern half of the South—or thereabouts—you need to get out on the water and on the prowl, because the best of the bass spawn is either happening right now or is about to happen.

Now, if we’re going to talk southern bass fishing, we have to look to the state of Texas. Maybe not everything is bigger there, but the old saw definitely holds true when it comes to bass fishing, and what’s happening in Texas now applies to a large degree across that whole swath of the country.

The Region: Southern California, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana 

The Expert: Tyler Anderson 

Texas angler Tyler Anderson hefts a giant largemouth bass with lake in background
Anderson admires a huge Texas largemouth. Tyler Anderson

Tyler Anderson, who hails from Texas, has more than 328,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel, another 112K followers on Instagram, and a quarter million more on TikTok—all under the handle of @TylersReelFishing. Anderson’s massive following has come by way of posting fishing content, and lots of it. All this time on water has given him a ton of insight into how bass behave around the spawn. So, we put a few questions to him, including: When does bass spawning activity start ramping up in his neck of the woods? What are the conditions like? And if he could only fish one day, what would it be? Here’s what he had to say.

Typical Regional Spawning Conditions for March 22nd 

“In north Dallas where I live, I think late March to early April is when we start to catch fish that are spawning. We catch most of them by dragging baits in dirtier water, so I’m not actually sight-fishing. But just based on seeing bloody tails and the fact that I’m catching them in 2 feet of water on hard bottom, makes me believe they’re spawning.”

It’s safe to say that most of the spawning activity for those a little farther south of Dallas will come in that late March period. Though Anderson isn’t a big believer in the impact of the moon, he has learned over time that the biggest fish seem to spawn first.

Two anglers in a boat each hold up two big largemouth bass they've caught
This is what a good day can look like if you hit it right this month. Tyler Anderson

“I’ve seen those big fish come up before the full moon than actually on it. On the full moon, I’ve seen a lot more males on beds than females, and I’ve caught bigger ones beforehand. So, whenever that first full moon is in April, or the end of March, I would go a few days before that.” There’s a full moon on March 25 this year, so you’ll want to be on the water on the 22nd or 23rd.

As for why Anderson thinks bigger bass spawn first, he suspects it simply boils down to experience. Older bass that have been through the spawning ritual a number of times are more in tune with indicators like water temperature and the length of the days.  “They sense the time is coming and are less confused. I don’t know if it’s necessarily a territorial thing, but where I live, there’s just not a lot of hard bottom. It’s mostly riprap rocks on bridges, stump fields, and that sort of thing. But there’s not a whole lot of it.” 

Anderson believes that bigger bass know they need to claim that limited prime real estate first when it’s time to spawn. He also suggest targeting early spawners in lakes that are on the dirtier side. “Clearer bodies of water are usually deeper, and, because of that, colder. I don’t see a whole lot of early spawning on clear lakes. It’s usually the dirtier lakes that are a tiny bit earlier.”

Top Spawn Baits and Tactics for March 22nd 

“If it’s spawn time, I want to go with something a little larger,” says Anderson. But keep in mind that “larger” is a relative term for him, with a 5-inch Strike King Ocho being one of his go-to baits around the spawn. Though this isn’t a giant lure, like the oversized swimbaits some use for targeting bedders in Texas, it’s still twice the size of the Ned rigs and other finesse baits that many think are needed to get bit by a bedded bass. 

“I’m never dragging around a craw either. It’s always a bigger creature bait. My little sneaky one is the (Strike King) Space Monkey. I feel like nobody even knows that bait exists. Everybody’s heard of a Brush Hog or a Game Hog or a lizard. But the Space Monkey is like a skinner Rage Craw with a few extra claws. I think it’s great.” 

A soft-plastic worm, creature bait, and lure dye on white background
Anderson’s go-to spawn baits are a 5-inch Strike King KVD Ocho (left) and Space Monkey; he dips both in J.J.’s Magic lure dye.

Anderson likes to Texas-rig both of these baits, using the duo to pick apart isolated cover in shallow water that has minimal visibility. Even in the muddier water though, the Texan prefers green pumpkin or watermelon red over the traditional black-and-blues that most anglers would select given these conditions. 

“And I don’t know if this is just a placebo or a confidence thing, but I dip all of my spawn soft plastics in methylate JJ’s Magic. I don’t think it’s a smell thing; I think it’s more of a look thing. In that slightly tinged water, they key in on that reddish-orange on the claws.”

Whether you fish in the Dallas area, or you land somewhere to the east or further to the west along this longitudinal line, expect the spawn to be on fire around March 22nd and into the weekend. The water may be clear enough in your area to see the bass actively making and guarding their beds. But don’t lose hope if you can’t see the bottom in a foot of water. Pickup a Texas-rig and start dragging it around isolated cover. That’s what Anderson will be doing, and he’s proven that this pattern produces giant bass.