How do you approach winter bass fishing where you live? The further north you are and the colder the winter gets, the fewer chances you have to bass fish. The more south you are, the more chances you have to do it, given that air and water temperatures are relatively mild. If you live in-between, you seldom have to fight frozen water or colder water temperatures.
As a rule, winter bass fishing action will likely be better where it’s warm and bass is more active. It varies from tough to good depending on where you live, largely due to weather conditions. Late winter bass fishing prospects improve everywhere as the waters warm.
Wherever you pursue winter, there are certain lure types and methods to use them. Here is my rundown of those, with a focus on artificial lures and fishing open water in mid-winter before the spawn.
These are best in open water. Some models suspend, which makes a pull-pause retrieve work very well. Others sink and should generally be fished on a slow retrieve in cold water, although at times a fast retrieve may trigger a strike. Also, try a yo-yo motion over a clean bottom.
A cross between a spinnerbait and a jig. this lure style creates a lot of vibration, which is especially good in dirty water. Depending on size and trailer it may be fished slower than a spinnerbait, and with a yo-yo retrieve. It’s generally a shallow to mid-depth lure but can be worked deep
A host of jigs styles catch largemouth bass, year-round in Southeast Georgia. Large-bodied versions with rubber or soft plastic bodies are good around stumps and woody covers. Grub and curl-tail jigs are excellent for smaller fish. These are generally all worked on or close to the bottom with a slow retrieve.
WINTER BASS FISHING TIPS
- Don’t waste time throwing topwater plugs or buzzbaits, even on warm days, if the water is cold.
- Try shallow and backwater areas late on calm, sunny days, because it’s likely to be several degrees warmer there.
- Frontal systems seriously impact winter bass fishing, so pick your times if you can.
- Try to fish during or at the end of a warm stable weather period.
- Bass are often sluggish and strike lightly in cold water.
- A slow retrieve is a must in colder water.
- Use a light (thin-diameter) line for unaggressive fish, especially if the water is clear.
- Late winter is a prime time for catching large bass, especially her in Southeast Georgia locations.