As soon as it gets cold, many fishermen are ready to throw in the towel and wait for spring. However, fishing in during the winter months can be just as fun as fishing in the summer. Here are some tips on how to catch bass in the winter.
Just how cold is cold?
What is considered to be winter in the south is very different from what is winter in the north. So before we begin, let’s define how cold is cold. We are talking about fishing for bass in weather where the temperature of the water is frequently below 40 degrees. This is still cold, but not cold enough for ice fishing.
What can you expect fishing during the wintertime?
Fishing slows down in the winter so keep your expectations low. Many fishermen have been able to catch some very large fish, yet the majority won’t be that fortunate. So if you keep your expectations low you won’t leave disappointed.
Another important tip to remember is, it is winter, so it is going to be cold, sometimes really, really cold. Prepare yourself accordingly by dressing warmly. Nothing ruins a fishing trip more then being cold.
Where can bass be found?
During the winter months bass will gravitate toward warm water. Not only will they feel more comfortable in warmer waters, but that is also where their meal can be found.
What are some sources of warm waters?
Small lakes: If you are looking to catch largemouth bass in cold water, small lakes are a great place to start. Yes, because of their smaller size they are quicker to freeze over, but at the same time when things begin to warm up they are the first to thaw. So if you have some good warm days, small lakes can prove to be great places to catch bass.
Deeper waters: During the summer time the surface of the lake is much warmer than deeper waters. However, in the winter things change. The surface becomes much colder and the deeper waters are much warmer. Sometimes the perfect spot maybe the deepest part of the lake. This is especially true in a featureless lake. If there isn’t much structure or rocks on the bottom of the lake, go to the deepest point and generally there is where you will find fish.
Cover: During the summer months bass love to hide out in the weeds. However, because of the frigid weather conditions many of these weeds have disappeared, but they still will prefer cover. This offers them protection and also gives them easy access to their meal. This doesn’t change during the winter. Bass will still be found where they can stay tight to cover.
Structure and rocks can also offer another benefit, they absorb and give off heat. This can warm up the surrounding warm and thus attract baitfish and in turn, larger fish. So, if you are fishing for bass and you are not getting any bites in the deep water try fishing close to rocks, pilings, logs, or any other structures.
Look for sources of water: Another place where water warm can be found is from outside sources. Outside sources such as natural underground springs, or creeks flowing into a larger lakes are great sources of warm water. Take advantage of these places and you may just land yourself a huge fish.
Always carry a temperature gauge: As we had mentioned during the winter months bass will be found in warmer water. By always carrying a temperature gauge with you, you will have no problem finding where exactly where is the warmest water. Fish these areas thoroughly and you efforts will be rewarded.
Consider the location: Just a few degrees can make a big difference on whether or not you will get any bites. For example, often times the northern shore can be much warmer than other parts of the lake as the cold northern winds tend to blow right over it. Make sure you are always fishing in the warmest parts of the lake.
How to fish for bass in winter?
Choose bigger lures: Since the cold weather has slowed down the metabolism of bass this will cause them to eat less often. However when they do, they will be looking for a big meal. That is exactly what you want you want to offer them. Big swimbaits, big spinnerbaits, and large jerkbaits work great when fishing in the winter.
Slow down: Bass in the winter are not as aggressive as they are in the summer. They will not be as apt to come up and get it. That being said you need to slow down your presentation. This is especially true when fishing with jerkbaits. Allowing long pauses, sometimes up to a minute, can be deadly in generating a big strike.
When to fish for bass?
Sunlight: During the summer we tend to avoid fishing on sunny days as bass will tend to be hidden in much cooler and deeper waters. However, during winter bright sunny days are just what we are looking for. Not only does it make things much more comfortable for the angler, but it also can heat things up and get fish biting.
Warm Rain: A nice long warm rain can definitely warm things up and get fish moving. Keep in mind that while a nice warm rain shower can warm things up it also can turn things into a murky mess. Follow these tips when fishing in murky water.
Fishing for bass in the winter can actually prove to be very effective. Think about it. The average fisherman hangs up his rod and reel for the winter say somewhere between October and November just when things are beginning to get cold.
So in theory some of these bass haven’t see a lure in months. Just the right opportunity for you to begin fishing.
Also, since the vast majority of bass fishermen have either hung up their rod for the season or turned to ice fishing there will be fewer boats on the water. Fewer fishermen on the water means more of opportunities for you to catch yourself a big bass.
So instead of throwing in the towel this season, give winter bass fishing a try.
Now it’s your turn. How do you can bass in the winter? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.