As winter approaches, anglers often put the boat cover on and put all their tackle and rods away for storage. Not so fast! A common misconception among fisherman is that winter is not a good time for fishing. That is just not true. Now, the bite can be slower on some days and you do have to fish using a slower presentation but there are still fish to be had and BIG ones. Winter is one of the best times to catch a giant bass. In this post, I will talk about a few of the baits I prefer in the winter as well as what types of lakes and structure to look for to help you have a successful season of winter bass fishing!
When choosing a lake in the winter it is important to understand what the fish are doing in these cold water conditions. Dirty or stained water cools down very quick and fish are not a fan. Shallow water cools down quicker than the deeper water does. So when choosing a lake in the winter I am often looking for a predominately clear water lake that has good depth. Some of the best lakes in the winter offer clear water with deep ledges, channel swings, bluff walls, chunk rock, and other pieces of cover like that. Avoid the dirty and stained lakes in the winter and fish the lakes that have more depth in clarity.
Another kind of lake to look for is power plant lakes. Power plant lakes are bodies of water located near a power plant and the plant uses the water to help cool equipment and other things. The benefit for the fisherman is because of this the water going back into the lake from the power plants is warm! Very warm. I know of multiple lakes where the water will be 75 degrees in December when it’s snowing around the discharge. Catching fish on a buzzbait in the winter is an awesome sight I promise! Keep an eye out for these in your neck of the woods!
The main key of winter fishing is SLOW DOWN! The Bass are not wanting to move or feed so be patient and work your bait slow. If you aren’t getting any bites then fish slower.
*When in doubt of bass fishing in the winter, just go trout fishing.
3 Lures I Always Have in the Winter
- Suspending Jerkbait: The suspending jerkbait/stickbait is a staple when it comes to winter fishing. The bait imitates a dying shad and can be worked very slowly so lethargic bass have ample time to react.
- Jig: A finesse jig or a football jig can both be used to lure lethargic bass into feeding. Let’s face it, in the winter bass do not want to move much and the jig can be worked at sloth-like speeds.
- Ned Rig: The Ned Rig is one of the most simple baits you will see and that is why it works in the winter time and all year long. When fish don’t want to bite, the last thing you want to do is throw something complicated. Keep it simple. This finesse rig can be worked slow on the bottom and imitates a crawfish.