Knowing some solid winter bass fishing techniques is so important during the slowest producing part of the year for fishing. Though anglers may argue about when is the best time of the year to catch fish, few will argue that winter is not necessarily the best time to be on the water.
While winter may not be the best time to catch bass, it is possible to catch these and other bass in the cold. In fact, as largemouth bulk up for the winter, you may even catch surprisingly large bass during the cold weather months. Here are five winter bass fishing techniques that you can use to catch more bass this winter.
As the weather cools, largemouth bass become less active. When fishing for cold weather largemouth, you need to slow your presentation to allow the fish more time to react to your lures. You do not have to exclusively use plastic worms and other slowly fished lures, just slow down the retrieve of whatever you use. In addition to presenting the lure slowly, you should also slowdown your hook set. Waiting too long can mean a missed fish, just pause for a moment after feeling the bass hit the lure before setting the hook.
Winter largemouth bass can be picky about what they strike. There are two theories about winter lure selection: go big or go small. The theory behind larger lures is that winter bass won’t waste energy trying to eat small fish. Conversely, those that support small lures say that bass strike small fish as it takes little energy to catch and swallow the small fish. A good rule of thumb is to simply change between large and small lures when winter largemouth bass fishing and see which works best. Winter water is often clear, so regardless of size you should use lures in natural colors with realistic patterns.
One benefit of fishing in winter is that there is generally very little fishing pressure. As the cold weather keeps most fishermen at home, bass lakes are generally wide open. This allows you to move around from place to place to find where the bass are located. However, you need to spend enough time at each spot to give any bass present the opportunity to strike, as winter bass will rarely move long distances. But if you aren’t having any luck move to the next area and see if the fishing is better.
Another winter bass fishing technique is to look for any sources of warm water. Warm water can be found in shallow areas warmed by the sun, areas where small streams enter a lake or large river and near power plant discharges on many large rivers. If the water is icing over, the open areas of water will indicate where the water is warmer, fish the areas away from the ice. Keep an eye out for baitfish as well. If you find baitfish in a particular area it is a sign that water is warmer. The baitfish will also draw the largemouth to the area.
Though many fishermen do not like using bait, bait can turn a slow bass fishing day into a productive day. Minnows and night crawlers will work as well for catching bass in the winter as in the spring. Keep your bait warm and lively before use. You should also switch your bait as often as possible as the cold water will make the bait less lively.
These are just a few but important winter bass fishing techniques to help get you get started in the right direction. Don't let the cold weather fool you, as stated above, some of the biggest bass can be taken in the winter. So get up, dress warm and hit the water. When you done make sure you come back and tell us about your fishing day. Good luck and stay warm.
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