Winter Fishing Tips

During the winter season, the water temperature tends to be very cold. Because bass are cold blooded creatures, their body temperatures decrease and they become very lethargic in cold water. This can pose several challenges to fisherman because in cold water, bass don't eat as much or move as much.


The key to bait selection during this season is to slow down and downsize. Because bass are not very active during this season, a smaller bait that moves rather slow tends to most effectively appeal to cold-water fish. Three of my favorite fishing lures during the winter are a jerkbait, a crankbait, and a jig.


I prefer to use a suspending jerkbait and will use a very slow stop and go retrieve. I will allow the bait to remain motionless for several seconds to give lethargic bass a chance to target the bait. A baitfish colored jerkbait is usually a good color choice for winter bass targeting shad and minnows. If I want to try covering water a little bit faster, I may try slow rolling a crankbait. Bass eat a lot of crayfish during this season so a dark red colored crankbait may be effective. My favorite winter lure is a 1/4 oz Black and Blue colored Original Menace Jig. I can fish this bait very slow along the bottom and the bait has a very compact presentation that is appealing to lethargic fish.


It's important to remember that lethargic winter bass will probably strike your lure very subtly because they're not energetic. Use a sensitive rod to feel for any subtle bites and be patient while fishing slow.


When fishing during the winter, I target areas with vertical structure and drop offs. Fish will use these areas to feed most. I especially target rocks when the water is cold. Because rocks are usually dark, they absorb the sun's radiation effectively and will often offer fish and forage some warmth.


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