Winter Bass Fishing
If you live in an area where the lakes don’t freeze over in winter, you still have the opportunity to fish for big bass, and I envy you for that. While I enjoy winter fly fishing on a tail water or ice fishing on a frozen lake, sometimes I miss going after a big bass, or just fishing without wearing gloves and a ton of clothes. When I was in the Air Force I spent some time in the southern states and was lucky enough to get the chance to fish lakes in the winter time, which I never did growing up in Kansas or since I have been in Colorado. It was quite an experience, so over the years I continued to read about winter bass fishing in hopes that I will have that chance again. If I were to wake up tomorrow morning in Texas with all my fishing gear, I would be ready to go!
As with all fish, a bass’ metabolism slows down in the winter time, so what worked during the summer and the fall feeding frenzy doesn’t work in the winter time. When the days are shorter, with the vegetation in the water dead, and leaves gone from the trees to provide shade, it’s a very different approach to catch a big bass, but you certainly have the opportunity to catch one in the winter. The most important thing is to slow down your retrieve, and I mean really slow it down, like ten times slower than you would retrieve a lure in the warmer months. A bass won’t expend the energy to chase after something, especially something small and fast. For this reason, very large (even 10” – 12”), slow moving lures work the best. The second most important thing is patience.
This time of year, a large jig and pig is the number one producer of trophy bass. For your jig trailer, use a pork trailer instead of plastic as pork will consistently produce more bites than a plastic trailer. In cold water conditions, black and blue, pumpkin, gourd green, and solid white are some of the best colors. Big deep-diving crankbaits in perch and chartreuse will also produce big fish. Lipless crankbaits also work well if you can get them near the fish. Jigging spoons work well once you locate bass and can work your way over the fish without spooking them.
As with other seasons, look for structure in the water, like sunken brush, logs, and stumps. Where feeder creeks enter a lake is a good place to look for bass; slow moving creek water entering a lake is often warmer and attracts bass. Don’t pass up on shallow water during this time of year, especially in an area that is on the leeward side of the wind, is near deep water, and is in the sun. These areas will hold warmer water and provide a comfortable environment for bass.
If you get out and catch some big bass this summer, I’d like to hear about it. Leave me a comment or a post on FaceBook. Tight lines!