Winter Bass Fishing Tips, Tactics, and Lures
It’s winter time, and there is a chillin the air, the water is cold and anglers need to slow down lures and baits to get bass to bite.
If you’ve done any winter fishing for bass, you know that the tactics you use in the Spring and Summer just don’t work in the Winter. Let’s face it, bass just aren’t as active in the winter. You must slow down your presentation if you ant to attract a good bite.
If you talk to any experience angler, or a biologist, they will tell you that as the water cools, bass activity will slow. When the water gets lower than 50 degrees, bass will typically not change a lure through the water. Unless you get a few warm days, or a nice warm shower, with bass moving into shallower water, you need to make sure you slow down your presentation during winter months.
During colder winter months, I like to use a 4-inch curly tail grub. Put it on a 1/4-ounce jig head and you can see how effective the grub can be. Try to find steep rock banks and abrupt depth changes. Bass can easily move up and down without expending too much energy.
Set yourself out in the deeper water and cast to the shallow shallow edge of the bank. Allow the grub to sink, while raising the rod tip as it reaches the bottom. This will raise the grub up into the water column. Repeat this tactic, slowing bringing the grub back to the boat. Be ready, as bass will often it he grub on the fall.
To be a successful bass angler, you need to understand the weather, just as much as you understand the fish. Barometric pressure changes cause bass to feed while bait fish are moving to warmer water. You would be amazed at what just a degree or two can do fish. Try fishing a jig and trailer along the shaded banks. You may end up with the trophy bass you’ve been waiting for.
Try fishing brush piles, deep cover, and standing cover like bridge pilings, timber and weed edges. Take something like a spinner, and add a grub or fluke as a trailer. The added action can entice those big fish to bite. As the water temperature drops into the low 50s, you can use a spinner setup with a trailer to jig wooden cover. Let it bounce off libs and cover, but be sure to keep the line tight and be ready to set the hook.
The cold weather will slow down their metabolism. If you catch the timing correctly, this can be a great time to catch a lot of bass as they feed heavily in preparation for the slow down. Focus on water in the 4-10 foot range close to docks, and any grass or broken maps.
As you settle into the colder weather, trying fishing deeper water using a swim boat that has been waiting. Focus on rock piles, or drop-offs. Slowly crawl or hop the baits across the structure. Remember that as the weather drops, slow down your presentation. Sometimes, just letting a worm lie motionless with an occasional “twitch” can trigger the bite you’ve been waiting for.
With the right tactics, winter time bass fishing can be just as productive as spring and summer. Don’t be afraid to get out and try something new. Remember that a bad day on the water is better than a good day in the house.
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