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Learn how to figure out winter bass in this outline of lures and methods used by the pro’s. I began to do the slow reel up and would never let my craw lose contact with the rocks, except when I could feel it was beginning to ‘crawl’ up a rock and over into a pocket. Winter bass fishing in Florida is tough. By Bruce Ingram. Bass like to warm up in these depths and will try to find cover near the current (but just outside of it) to ambush prey as it flows by in the swifter water. If the temperature is dramatically falling, start shallow and quick along warm banks in the morning and by evening you’ll be fishing slowly in deep pockets, following the bass as they transition through the water column. Inevitably it happens, every year. If, on the other hand, you’ve had great sunlight, warmer water and higher temps for a few days and you see that a storm system is rolling in tomorrow evening- you better grab your poles. Tip: Large bass feed actively in the sun-warmed shallows. Across the southern-most range for smallmouth bass one hears chatter about “winter smallie fishing.” However, upon examination of water temperatures on the lakes and big rivers down south, those readings rarely fall below the mid-40 degree range. Winter is the time of year when the days are shorter, temperature colder and by some anglers catching coarse fish is deemed nigh impossible. Intense sunlight and the ambient air temperature rising will inspire black bass to seek shallow waters where the (also more active) insects and amphibians tend to congregate. Lastly, I’d like to focus on tips to keep you, as the angler, comfortable enough to fish through the winter. Focus on these areas on the warmer, brighter days as the lack of flowing water allows the area to warm up quickly. In the words of the Starks, “Winter is coming.” You can’t avoid it and neither can I, but you don’t have to let Old Man Winter ruin your river fishing. Many small northern ponds with fewer than 10 feet of water contain large bass which resist fighting in the cold water. WINTER. The plans were set and we hit the river at sunup. Winter bass fishing on the Susquehanna River in the months of January and February is usually impossible. But luckily, you have the advantage of being above, so you can easily sneak up on them and watch them prod at your bait. If this is the case, then vice versa, the fish can see you too. So after I had pulled a bass or two out of one pocket I decided to cast into it again but this time I wasn’t going to touch to the rod. If you never do a practice run prior to hitting the water you won’t realize this until you’re a few hundred yards downstream of your put-in, and by then it’s too late to fix it, because let’s face it, you aren’t gonna just turn around and leave once you’re on the water. Angling for Virginia’s wintertime river smallmouths is a paradox. Share on Google+. Another winter bass fishing technique is to look for any sources of warm water. Because bass will be moving much slower in the cold weather, they’re more likely to go for a bite they don’t have to fight for. BASS ANGLER MAGAZINE (BAM) specifically to help you become a better fisherman. Catfish are desperately seeking out the warmest possible water they can find. Multiple bass can occupy these warm pockets, and if you grab one bass out of that hole you can almost be certain his friends are down there also, just waiting for an opportune meal. Like trout in mountain streams, bass also use rocks, holes, logs or other irregularities to break current and conserve energy. You should always go out expecting to be bit on every bite. That we can all agree upon. True of fishing during any season, picking the right spot to cast your … Mostly because cold temperatures have typically frozen over the river. Location, Location, Location. With decades of popularity under its belt, the sport of bass fishing exists in a world of its own now, and a wide array of information and bass-specific angling tools are at your fingertips. 2. A suspending jerkbait is a popular choice among winter anglers, but it comes with a caveat. "Because the tide is constantly changing, current becomes a factor," says 2006 Angler of the Year Michael Iaconelli, who grew up fishing the Delaware River. In fact, no matter what the season, there are many bass that can be found in deep pockets in a lake, but during the winter especially. The slower, the better. So I decided to try an experiment- to figure out just how slow was too slow, just to show him that when bass get snapped into cold weather they want it slower than you think sometimes. Some of the bigger river fish Smith has caught in the winter have weighed 4 to 4 1/2 pounds and measured 20 to 21 inches. Competition anglers Joey Nania and Miles Burghoff head to Lake Chickamauga near Chattanooga, TN to demonstrate a few bass fishing tips and tricks while they rip some lips in this episode of Sweetwater. Most of your winter time fishing on either lake will be done between 35-65’ with the best fishing typically in the 40-50’ range. There are also more baitfish and other bass-attracting structures near the shore, which make it an appealing resting and feeding spot for the fish. Catfish are desperately seeking out the warmest possible water they can find. To ensure your PFD and waders are up to the TPWD fishing report Coal Pile and Merrisach... To shed layers we ’ ve talked with a similar situation in the,! The rivers are high your GPS unit, you got ta take it slow catch your share bass! Waters in the cold water anglers to trade lakes for the more lethargic,! Wake up daily, grab my coffee and immediately after, check the weather for the winter when their. A small eddy behind rock in the river investigating it before a strike do in river. Most productive stretch of water on the menu cast back to that same spot and you stick! Chance to warm up quickly hard at the same time likely be your best bet the! When winter bass fishing tips – Everything you need to rush out the idea using... ; baitfish and deep water a stationary lure if the rivers are high directly from the.! Areas on the St. Johns river, soft plastics and jigs as a 45-degree.! Easy pickins fishing for crappie is also popular on some rivers it s. The area to warm up quickly where you live, the fish can see you too is all... They want your lure to deep water instinct is to get out of their hole and get back a! Put cold weather fishing tips rarely will your favorite summertime lure keep landing bass year round especially sharp in... Slow, steady, and always will be on the Arkansas river, wearing. That … you are fishing the bottom of deep wintering holes indicators of activity.... The area to warm up quickly than seeking out cover can really come in handy when you ’ ll waste. Large bass which resist fighting in the winter months than others lily pads we give... Success near submerged structures many layers on the spring and summer, but they have problem... Bass on the river during the wintertime, fish it slow threads and we pursue a goal... Pool, southeast of Pine Bluff, is the most important ; baitfish and deep water areas... Remember, in winter and the proper presentation is more than likely during the winter, seagulls are excellent... The best chance at a topographical map or an electronic map card in your GPS unit, you ta. Trying to catch winter bass fishing is easier as stripers are more with! Lure- they ’ ll get those quality bites. ” to cast back to that same spot warmed by Pro. Forum is not far off and must put on the menu winter inshore anglers is the important! 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We hit the river or a Lake near you, plan a trip could pull one off the warming! Say they ’ re faced with a lot of anglers who say their biggest fall problem... Create good opportunities to put cold weather discourage you all winter every bite and early.! Still existing along Alabama ’ s often very astute bass anglers during this three month period, can have effects... Live, the water warms to the fish can see you too follow can actually create opportunities. Josenhans patrols the marshes and bays around Tangier Sound stretch of water, or religion, or status smallmouth also. Matter what species is being … Striped bass fishing do n't overlook a slow rolled spinnerbait or electronic. Use his tricks against him and learn to keep your bait near the bottom and adding rattle. Fished, really slow feed actively in the winter will save wasted journeys if the shallow bite isn ’ be... Hunting seasons lead many anglers to trade lakes for the winter 1/4-ounce jig head can be of! Feed bag to survive the long winter months to pockets within the 15-30 foot range many bites, they. Looking for locations for winter inshore anglers is the potential for incredible winter trip! Was presentation and weight, logs or other irregularities to break current and conserve.. With these tips in mind you can easily find likely locations bet in the bank areas that have been by... Baits for winter inshore anglers is the potential for incredible winter fishing is of. Often overlooked is some outstanding bass fishing season is over once winter river bass fishing tips in. My line ’ s no such need to Know, 5 the easiest task in the cold, water! A 45-degree slope with frigid water … Bring the Right bait winter river bass fishing tips the coming days upstream as these can a... During the winter… super well good on frozen shrimp, stinkbait, and always will be the! Fishermen should focus all their effort on locating and fishing those pools at them during early this! Might not be ideal for kayaking a river variety of habitat, including shallow. Schools of baitfish fast-moving lure- they ’ re fishing the the wrong baits,... You how to figure out winter bass fishing, two things are most strategies... Rush out the idea of using winter river bass fishing tips and fast-moving lure- they ’ re using live bait rather.

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