Select Page

The Cosmic Clock and Bass Behavior by Tom Young

The Cosmic Clock and Bass Behavior by Tom Young

(for full size version of Cosmic Clock click here)


A cycle is usually thought of as a measure of time in which something starts and stops. For example, the sun rising to its next rising is one cycle called a 24 hour period. This circular movement of revolving objects

always having a starting point only to return to start again is the basic law of the cosmic clock.

The Cosmic Clock law tells us that bass will return to exactly the same locations every year of their life cycle. Their rhythm will also return to the same condition within each feeding cycle. When environmental conditions are exactly the same, bass react exactly the same no matter where they are. Bass search out conditions favorable to their survival.

The pace which bass live is called rhythm. This rhythm is broken into five basic categories: Very active, active, neutral, negative and very negative. These break down into percentages like this: 70% neutral, 5% very negative, 5% very active, 10% active and 10% negative. The life cycle of bass is also broken into seven basic categories: Pre-spawn, spawn, post- spawn, Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. The basses’ habitat, surrounding environment, totally governs the calendar periods. Water temperature is the most important factor, controlling most activity. The water condition, including weed growth, clarity, chemistry, oxygen, etc., determines their location.

Basic bass behavior is very simple, they are usually the prime predators within their environment, their prime concern is survival; seek prey, eat, rest.

How do you recognize the basses’ rhythm? Or calendar periods? First, to recognize rhythm we must observe water conditions. Are bait fish active chasing insects, or are they located suspended under boat docks and around weed breaks. Are birds grouped and feeding on schooled bait fish or scattered along the shoreline feeding on insects? Active bait fish indicate active bass; neutral bait, neutral bass, etc.

Calendar periods vary but basically water temperature is the prime factor: 58° – 62° indicates pre-spawn, 62° – 65° is spawn, 63° – 65° is post-spawn, 65° – 73° is Spring, 68° – 80° is Summer, 65° – 73° is Fall, and 48° – 61° is Winter. (Note: The Thermocline only regulates location, not calendar periods). Bass school during pre-spawn, post-spawn, Fall and Winter period and scatter into small groups and singles during spawn, Spring, Fall and Winter; and horizontally migrate during post-spawn and Summer periods. These are behavior factors which are important keys determining calendar periods.

General Instructions:

  1. Start at the center color dot and first surrounding ring, which represents’ monthly moon phase and rhythm. The six day periods of the new and full moon are active periods, because they coincide with daily tidal affluence and active sun phases. Daily lunar gravity affects are not shown because of many variances, see tide or solunar charts for high and low or major and minor times. Gravity has a minimum effect on daily rhythm during mid-day, unless there is an overcast weather condition present or extremely light fishing pressure.
  2. The second ring and color band represents daily solar phase and rhythm. Activity peaks when the sun is positioned near the horizon. This is based on light penetration into the water. As the sun rises, light intensity increases and shadows disappear, causing an abrupt change in (Weather conditions will have an affect on solar rhythm by changing light intensity.) The sun’s location is measured in angular position by degrees from the horizon, not by time of day. Time is man’s invention and is based on location zones. By pointing your middle finger parallel to the water surface, then raising your index finger upward the movement will be approximately 30 degrees, the position solar activity changes. Observe the sun’s position.
  3. The second color band and remaining rings represent the calendar periods, rhythm, prey and location. Calendar periods are based on basic bass habits and water temperature. Water chemistry has a minor effect on calendar periods, but will affect prey and location. The data shown is based on the average bass lake, reservoir or pond, having a balanced ph of 7 or below and acid/nutrients at normal levels. Hard water will tend to lower the temperatures shown, soft water having the opposite effect. Hard water is clear, depth of visual light over ten feet and a ph greater than 7. Soft water is murky, depth of visual light less than two feet and high acid nutrient levels accompanied by weed choked conditions.

The locations and prime prey shown are based on largemouth bass being the prime predator in the lake. If other fish are prime predators, seeking the same prey, bass will become secondary predators and rarely use major points or mid-lake locations.

Migration habits are used to determine subtle changes in calendar periods. It is not necessary to be a biologist to understand basic bass behavior.

Water temperature controls bass behavior, thus controlling the calendar periods. The lower the water temperature, the lower the basses’ metabolic rate, need for food decreases and sizes of food decreases. As water warms, food need increases, food sources increase and bass move into shallower water to seek abundant prey available during warm water periods. Bass first follow schools of small bait fish into bays, spawn, regroup at inside bay points, then scatter along the weed-line, shoreline until Fall when the water begins to cool, Bass then move onto major points, begin to school and feed on bait fish schools, following the thermocline out into mid-lake for the winter cold water period.

Bass are most wary during the summer period when they are in shallow- water. Unfortunately, man is most active with water sports during. the same warm water period, making conditions difficult. Night fishing can be good during the summer period, because of reduced traffic and light.

Because of the pecking order, large adult bass are first to move into different calendar periods, locations and feeding zones. They stay very close to cover and seldom roam seeking prey, instead locate near prey during all periods. Do not chase small bass roaming the shore lines. Instead, observe the calendar periods and concentrate on large adult bass.

To Summarize:

Very active bass will chase and strike anything that they think will fit into their mouths. Active bass will strike almost anything, but rarely chase it more than a few feet. Neutral bass must be teased into striking using a presentation with out-of-sync (rhythm) bait motion. Negative bass must also be teased into striking using a slow, quiet presentation slightly out-of-sync. Very negative bass will rarely strike anything.

Observe your environment and fish locations that have active bait movements.


Discuss this on our fishing forums




About The Author

Leave a reply



May 2021

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This