Fishing for Winter Bass

 

North American Fisherman Magazine
Up until now you have probably been a fair weather angler and most likely have had your fair share of success during the spring and summer season. Pastures new are beckoning and you fancy trying your hand at winter fishing. So armed with all that spring and summer fishing experience you toddle off to your favorite fishing location, cast your usual lure and then you sit. And you sit. And you sit some more. And you may even just do a little more sitting. But sit and wait you might but nothing is biting and eventually the cold and frustration get the better of you so return to your nice warm cozy home with nothing more than a runny nose.

What is happening? Well the runny nose is likely to be due to the inhalation of cold wintry air but the lack of bass sounds a little more complex. Fishing for winter bass all depends on epilimnion and metabolism.

Epilimnion - this hard to pronounce word is simply the term for the depth at which the temperature in the water changes and the depth at which the bass tend to remain at certain times of the year. Typically, in the spring and summer this is around five feet under the surface of the water, however, as the weather cools the bass will hover much deeper to as much as ten feet or more and usually near some structure or other. At this depth they will have a balance of both warmth and oxygen.

Metabolism - a word you are probably more familiar with and much easier to get your tongue around. During the winter months as the water temperature drops the metabolism of the bass changes and they become slower and unenergetic and less likely to go for your lure unless you modify your fishing techniques.

During the winter, the combination of the epilimnion and the metabolism changes of the fish will cause it to remain in one small space for long periods and not venture far for food and will usually just eat passing morsels in their immediate vicinity. They will also be more in tune with their winter environment due to spending such long periods there.

So you need to change your methods to suit the fish’s winter habits. You must modify your casting so that is as slow and unenergetic as the largemouth bass that you are after. Any jerky or rapid movements will alert the fish and it will not be tempted by your bait.

Winter tends to be quite a gloomy, dull and gray part of the year so avoid and bright colors when choosing your lures and baits. Below are some suggestions of what you should be aware of and how you should modify your spring and summer fishing methods for winter sport.

Fishing For Bass At The Beginning Of The Winter Period:

-As the water cools the fish will hover at greater depths around ten feet or more.

-Make your casting and retrieval much slower.

-Do not use any bright colors or neon type lures. Use lures made of soft plastic.

-The best style of split-shot to use during the winter months is jig head style rig.

-If you are lucky enough to have any warmer periods choose these days to fish, you will find bass feeding more actively in warmer temperatures.

 

Fishing For Largemouth Bass During Mid To Late Winter:

-As the water cools even more, large mouth bass will hover at greater depths around ten feet or more and very often around some structure or another.

-Make your casting and retrieval lethargic and much slower, do not use rapid movements.

-Do not use any bright colors or neon type lures, use only dull shades. Use lures made of soft plastic.

-The best style of split-shot to use during the winter months is jig head style rig.

-As with the beginning of winter, if you are lucky enough to have any warmer periods choose these days to fish, you will find bass feeding more actively in warmer temperatures.

By following these simple fishing for winter bass tips you are more likely to have a more successful outing. Remember that the fish will be more sluggish in the winter and will not move too far for food as they want to conserve energy, and as largemouth bass can survive temperatures down to almost freezing they need to keep warm too. So you need to make it look like your lure is just passing by. Any quick reactions and you will be ignored.

Good look with your fishing for winter bass.