Cold Water Bass Fishing Tipsby: theangler
Cold water bass fishing isn’t the easiest fishing in the world, but there are many anglers that actually prefer it because of the landscape serenity and lack of competition with other people on the water during the winter. Crowded waters are unheard of in the winter. You'll be hard-pressed to have someone elbow you out of the way. There are no jet skis or motorboats to spoil the fishing experience. You know how it is in the summer. After 10:00 AM, you might as well go home.
Bass school in the winter, so they can be hard to find. You should work many spots until you hit fish, and then expect to get more than one. Now is when slow-moving lures are a must. No one need hurry, not the fish, not the anglers.
Success with cold water bass fishing often depends on many factors. Choosing the best lures are critical, but also take into consideration the barometer, the depth of the water, the temperature of the water, the color of the water and even the slant of the banks along the water.
There are actually lakes that are great fisheries when the water’s cold only to shut down when the middle of May rolls around. There are lakes that don't stand out until they get as warm as the Jacuzzi at the Holiday Inn. With lower metabolism, fish will not travel very far or very fast to feed. It is crucial to present them something that will require little effort to strike.
Jeff Carpenter who fishes for San Diego Bass masters recommends these tips:
- Fish deep and s-l-o-w-l-y
- Small profile baits and light weight
- Target 30 - 60 feet water
- Carolina rig's fished slowly in 45 to 60 feet are also producers. A Carolina rig is a set up. It’s a different position of weights and hooks.
Jeff makes his own cold water fishing lures by heating up liquid plastics. He then adds color and glitter, then pours the solution into a mold and allows it to cool. You can find the materials at a number of online fishing tackle retailers. Or visit the BigFishTackle.Com Retailers Showcase "Freshwater" section.
Cable television angler Roland Martin says he has used the 3-inch avocado Sting Ray lures on cold-water bass for more than 30 years.
Other favorite lures from some of the pros are: a half-ounce or heavier spinnerbait on shallow flats in a lake that come up off a creek or river channel. This can work well if you find a concentration of fish in one of these areas. Many cold water bass fishermen use a half-ounce Rippler jig with a plastic trailer. Swim it on the flats and pitch it to every piece of cover you find. If the wind is blowing, start looking at windy banks and pockets for baitfish. When you find baitfish, the No. 1 choice is a half-ounce Rat-L-Trap in a chrome finish or bone color. The only modification to make is to replace the hooks with Mustard Triple Grip hooks. Another popular bait is a Texas-rigged worm with a six-inch or eight-inch ribbon-tail. Two favorite lures for cool weather or wintertime fishing are small-to-medium-size crankbaits or 4-inch Finesse worms.
A large number of cold water anglers prefer to use a spinnerbait and a Carolina rig with a plastic worm.
Fish slowly. Bass slow down as the water cools. They are less likely to hit fast moving bait, so slow your presentation down and give them time to eat your bait.
Fish steeper banks. Fisherman Magazine recommends fishing banks that have at least a 30 percent drop and 45 is better. Bass like to move vertically in a short distance during the winter so bluff banks are good.
Choose bait you can keep in one place on the bottom. A jig and pig is classic bait for cold water. Crawl it slowly along and make it stop and twitch when you bump cover. A jigging spoon moved up and down in one place works well. Slow moving crankbaits and spinnerbaits slow rolled, or crawled, on the bottom are also good.
Fish Deeper. Bass tend to hold deep in the winter, so look for the ends of long points, steep bluff banks and creek channels. They hold there until there are several warm days, and then they move up into more shallow water.
Be patient. Don't expect a lot of bites, but the ones you get may be big bass. Take your time and wait on that one big bite.
Dress for the weather. You can't catch bass if you are miserable or if you can't stay out there. Get warm clothes and layer so you can adjust. Be sure you have something with you that will protect from rain and stop the wind, too.
Added: Sun Jan 04 2009
Last Modified: Sun Nov 01 2015