During the winter, there’s no such need to rush out the door at the break of dawn. But often overlooked is some outstanding bass fishing, and the places to go are the Santee Cooper lakes and the Cooper River. Smallmouth love the snow, go figure. Removing your PFD to shed layers (and potentially turtle) is a dangerous proposition when hypothermia is a real threat. Ice fishing for crappie is also popular on some lakes, as crappie remain active all winter. 1. If going alone, use extra caution, but ultimately, … In most cases, this warmer water pockets will be on the very bottom of deep wintering holes. Bread. So, as I tend to do, solicited or not, I chime in with why I thought I was fishing more effectively than he was. A 3/0 to 4/0 hook should work well for most white bass fishing situations. During the winter, locating pockets of warmer water will lead you to the fish. Some anglers also like to use a lead of fluorocarbon when doing their fishing. 1. 2. But how can we dissect the rivers during the colder months to convince these bass that they want your lure? If the current on the main river is too strong, concentrate on … These are the common threads and we pursue a united goal. Winter can be a tough time for bass fishermen…physically and mentally. Without touching the rod we both watch my line’s slack get taken up and disappear into the current. The process will definitely take more time than you’re probably used to, so for this reason, it’s most important to be patient. The river steamed like a power plant, the air hung cold with no wind and the cloudless sky began to be illuminated by the sun. If true, fishermen should focus all their effort on locating and fishing those pools. These waters warm quicker, especially rivers lined with rocks and gravel banks. However, don't overlook a slow rolled spinnerbait or an erratic jerkbait for tempting suspended fish, especially if baitfish are nearby. "Fishing (in December) is really, really good if you get a warm spell. Here’s a list of tips and tricks that can make the process less painful: While some hardcore bass fishermen think that using live bait is cheating, we don’t. Jig and pigs are excellent baits for winter river smallies. Stay dry and warm with rain gear when you’re fishing as cold fronts approach. Jigs, soft plastics and spoons are top choices for winter anglers. Days where the temperature drops substantially or rises substantially are indicators of activity changes. The fish will migrate near river banks because they’re much more shallow and a little warmer. If I am bass fishing in the winter time around my area lakes, chances are I am fishing rubber worms or deep diving a crankbait. As I inched my craw up and over the rocks it would get to a point where it was much easier to reel (the peak of the rock) and then the current would almost assist the lure down the backside and all I had to do was keep an eye on my line. During winter, seagulls are an excellent means to detecting the location of baitfish. It'll work just fine … Cold temperatures keep fair-weather anglers home and hunting seasons lead many anglers to trade lakes for the woods. Its silhouette against the lighter background of the sky gives the white bass a target they really like to hit hard. When the water warms to the low 50s in Merrisach, Rook retrieves a chartreuse lipless crankbait slowly over submerged grass. If this is the case, then vice versa, the fish can see you too. Bass will also have this instinctual urge to get out of their hole and get back into a warmer spot. Hook Up . Angling for Virginia’s wintertime river smallmouths is a paradox. So this year, why not take the leap and head out in the snow to try your hand at winter bass fishing. There are several lure options that are a little more effective for the winter months than others. A 4-inch curly tail grub on a 1/4-ounce jig head can be all that is needed to catch your share of bass. Many small northern ponds with fewer than 10 feet of water contain large bass which resist fighting in the cold water. Ensure you’re comfortable in all the layers while sitting in your seat. REVIEW: The Kayak Kushion for Kayak Comfort. To have the best chance at a catch, many talented anglers recommend mirroring the bass’ winter movement patterns. For white bass a 4 to 8-pound test monofilament line will work fine for most situations. Throughout Central Texas our rivers tend to have both a soft, mud bank (inside turn of the river) and rock banks (outside edge of the river). Tubes will also work, if fished, really slow. Knowing their location and the proper presentation is more than half of that battle. As was previously mentioned, regardless of what you might read, a lot of bass like to stick near the bottom of a lake or river no matter the season. The winter brings on tough fishing conditions, not to mention uncomfortable fishing conditions. Don’t be afraid to try a stationary lure if the super slow presentation isn’t working. We talked a little bit about bait in the previous section, but we’ll … I could pull one off the rocky warming bank while a friend hits a small eddy behind rock in the middle of the river. Baits to use are large swim baits, stick baits, crankbaits and flukes. 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. Most people, especially novice fishermen, think that bass fishing season is over once winter sets in. Target steep, chunk-rock banks with as much as a 45-degree slope. Winter bass. Another one of the best fall fishing tips is to consider the impact that a cold front will have on the activity level of bass during this time of year. Location, Location, Location. By Bruce Ingram. In the winter, you’re much more likely to find bass hanging out near the shore for a couple of different reasons. 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. If you can’t keep comfortably warm your angling prowess will diminish and you’ll get frustrated easier leading to all sorts of other potential mishaps, the least concerning of which is getting skunked, the most disconcerting being ending up in the frosty drink, potentially threatening your safety. Find Warmer (Relative) Water. You’ll have some work cut out for you… on the days of substantial change the bass aren’t always sure what they want or how they want it- but you can convince them. Don’t hesitate to cast back to that same spot. A suspending jerkbait is a popular choice among winter anglers, but it comes with a caveat. This eliminates the annoyance of trying to keep your watercraft steady in the face of wind, waves, and current. It'd be miserable weather and I'd often go weeks without getting a bite. Most of us stash gear, snacks and lures in our PFDs, so wearing them under other layers is impractical. It’s something all successful anglers do in the winter. It means you need to change your techniques because rarely will your favorite summertime lure keep landing bass year round. Huge bass are still lurking in the depths and need to be fed- so if you aren’t going to get out there and catch them, I sure as heck am. 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. Catfish are desperately seeking out the warmest possible water they can find. However, they will still eat at opportune times and it’s our job to give them that opportunity. Theme: Newsup by Themeansar. As a whole, the population of bass in your local lake or river will probably be less active, but in some bass, there is little noticeable change from summer to winter. 10 Tips for Winter & Cold-water Catfish Success. The consensus among successful smallmouth fishermen is that the optimum winter bass fishing conditions for catching smallmouth are: Air temperature upper 30's to mid 40's; Overcast skies; Threat of rain or snow. When the winter months arrive and engulf your favorite fishery with frigid air, don’t overlook the effectiveness of shallow bass fishing.For years we’ve been told to seek deep, wintertime hangouts in order to catch coldwater bass but going against the grain can result in some unforgettable fishing days. How To Catch Smallmouth Bass Winter Bass Fishing. The best winter bass fishing times that I have found from experience and talking to others, is first thing in the morning or when the day is at its warmest point. In this bass fishing tips video I show you how to catch more bass this winter. Specifically, we love bass fishing. Slow Your Bait’s Movement. BASS ANGLER MAGAZINE (BAM) specifically to help you become a better fisherman. There are some years, however, when the weather is unreasonably warm and the river is fishable. More recent fisheries research reveals much more variation in winter river bass habitat. Expert Fall Bass Fishing Tactics. The Mills Pool, southeast of Pine Bluff, is the most productive stretch of water on the Arkansas River, Rook claims. If the shallow bite isn’t … As is his summertime modus operandi, my buddy began pounding the banks with his Texas-rigged brush hog, knowing that this would be my first lure of choice as well. Here are a couple of lure options that should do the trick: As you’ve probably noticed from reading through this tip list, fishing for winter bass isn’t easy. Scout the Bottom of Wherever You Are Fishing. Winter bass fishing in Florida is tough. In winter most of the fishing can rest because of the cold icy waters in the rivers. Rather than instinctively grabbing your shotgun or deer rifle, grab your rods and let’s put some time in…, Once the first cold snap comes around, which thankfully in Texas can be as late as December or as early as September in the northern states, the bass begin a transition period. White Bass Fishing Tips. Winter fishing is easier as stripers are more concerned with staying close to their baitfish rather than seeking out cover. Take the time to practice removing layers on your boat in shallow water. I like fishing almost as much as I like teaching my friends and family to fish and as the first cold front of the season blew in I couldn’t resist the urge to get a line wet. 10 Tips for Winter & Cold-water Catfish Success. Smallmouth love the snow, go figure. Winter is also the time of year when most freshwater species group up. Target clear water during winter months. First things first- before winter comes around you need to ensure your PFD is comfortable with many layers on. On some rivers it’s practical to paddle to a bank and do this all on solid ground. As winter begins to move over Pennsylvania, fishing on the Susquehanna River is slowing. For the winter time anglers finding the best success will require a boat to reach the fish as the smallmouth bass will move far offshore into the deeper water to follow the food. If you’re lucky enough to have natural springs along your rivers, this is a great place to find bass hanging around the warm water escaping from Earth’s thermally insulating crust. That we can all agree upon. You should always go out expecting to be bit on every bite. A grub can be one of the most effective bass lures for cold water. It also puts you directly on top of the bass that are probably chilling along the banks, which makes it much easier to sneak up on them without a commotion. Fishing By Season nc smokies. Both of these are keys to finding bass in winter, and if you find both in one area, you have a prime fishing spot. When the water temperature drops into the 50s, he turns to creek fishing, beating the banks with jigs and flies in search of cold-water rockfish. 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. Tough metal baits like spoons and blades hold up well to cold water. As a rule of thumb, it is best to slow down your presentation during the winter months. As I asked him why he was burning a creature along the banks in shallow water and asking what weather trends we’ve noticed lately, he began to realize that the bass weren’t even seeing his lure (because they weren’t near the banks at all) so he had to change it up, and I urged him to try it slow off the bottom. bullet weight and started burning it near the banks I chose a 3/8 oz. I allowed my brush hog to settle on the bottom, placed my rod in the holder and I kept stationary over that hole by slowly paddling against the current. | Take the time to get geared up and layered up. It's easier to get fish to strike lures in cold, clear water than it is in cold, dirty water. There is a prevalent myth surrounding cold weather bass fishing: You’ve got no chance at a catch if it’s past autumn. OKUMA HIRES FRONTIER SALES FOR SOUTH CENTRAL, Brad Hallman – Featured on Bass Edge Radio, Wild West Bass Trail and Garmin Electronics Team Up for 2021, Power Pole Signs Sponsor Deal with Skeet Reese, Bass Fishing Safety: Important Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe, Colorado Based rygr Signs on as Gill Fishing’s Integrated Marketing Partner, 1st Ever Telethon Put on by the Ike Foundation, Top 5 Smallmouth Bass Fishing Hot Spots in Ontario, Key Features to Look for in a Bass Fishing Boat, The Inside Secrets of Fly Fishing For Bass. Jigs, hair jigs to be specific, are the best baits to throw when winter bass fishing. Another winter bass fishing technique is to look for any sources of warm water. Both of them look extremely natural and are easy to manipulate action-wise. The cold weather period is perhaps both the best time to catch trophy bronzebacks and the most likely time for fishermen not to even receive one bite. Bread is a long-time winner amongst the top winter fishing baits. So if you’re using live bait, rather than hooking up a crustacean, put something a little smaller on the menu. Color, style, location and presentation all varied, but the depth didn’t. If you’re fishing along a shore, there’s a good chance that you can see clearly into the water beneath you. 3 Tips for Shore Fishing Winter River Bass by Sean McNally Winter spells a long, agonizing vacation off the water for many fishermen, but for intrepid anglers, this time of year might mean braving the cold for the chance of filling a cooler with fish pulled through the ice. If after your few days of cold snap, the sun decides to come out in full force and the mercury climbs 20, 30 or 40? Make a plan of where you want to fish and be sure to let someone know where you are going and what part of the lake you will be fishing. "Fishing (in December) is … Lures are definitely a more popular choice for winter bass fishing, and we’ll go over those in tip six, but live bait might just be the way to attract a lazy fish during cold weather. Keep Moving. With bass fishing especially good during the Fall cool down period (and even as early Winter arrives), some trophy-sized smallmouth bass and big largemouth bass are taken. During winter, seagulls are an excellent means to detecting the location of baitfish. White Bass Fishing Tips. With almost imperceptibly slow reeling I’d drag the craw through their hole and feel my jig get taken up, sometimes to watch the bass decide to flit off into current. The colder days that follow can actually create good opportunities to put cold weather fishing tips for largemouth bass into practice. It’s worth reiterating the fact that we’re all here for one reason: we love fishing. If the temperature shows a sharp increase, start slow off the bottom in pockets and work your way to shallow water as the bass transition there later in the day. Winter fishing is easier as stripers are more concerned with staying close to their baitfish rather than seeking out cover. Remember, in winter bass fishing PATIENCE makes perfect. Rocky areas tend to warm quicker than mud or clay and bass now this. In true educator fashion, I tried to push him to realizing the answer without me giving it away. But how do I know what weather the bass like? I can remember being stumped for years while trying to catch winter bass from shore. 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. But often overlooked is some outstanding bass fishing, and the places to go are the Santee Cooper lakes and the Cooper River. When fishing for smallmouth bass this winter in any body of water, look for hard, underwater structure because the bass will orient towards that. Well, for starters I like to think of the weather I like during the winter…. Winter River Smallmouth With Pete Cartwright. 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. One of the most useful websites ever for river anglers is the one that is provided by the Environment Agency, which gives regularly updated river levels for rivers all over the country. When you’re fishing the bottom, a drop shot rig or a shaky head rig can work really well. The biggest tip we can give you is ‘all about seagulls’. “Merrisach Lake has a lot of shallow milfoil, stumps and old timber,” Rook says. If you’re a seasoned angler, you know how tough it can be to stay inside during the winter with hundreds of potential catches just out of reach. Another area now active for white bass is wing dams. Kevin Josenhans patrols the marshes and bays around Tangier Sound. Scouting the bottom during winter becomes more important when fishing in a river. After a short struggle, an adult Smallie surfaced to have his photo op with me. The slower, the better. It especially scores on the rivers where chub and … Fish will push up shallow at night to try to feed on crayfish or any baitfish. Here’s a few things to consider before the weather and slower bites discourage you from grabbing your waders…, During the summer, temperatures can be pretty consistent for weeks, if not months at a time and weather is less of a factor than it is during the winter. 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. Like trout in mountain streams, bass also use rocks, holes, logs or other irregularities to break current and conserve energy. So get out there, be bold, brave the cold. During the winter you should be focusing on weather trends and weather changes, especially sharp changes in temperature or sunlight. Share on Pinterest. Learn how to figure out winter bass in this outline of lures and methods used by the pro’s. WINTER. The lake is our holy sanctuary and bass fishing is our party or choice. “… Take your time and drink a second cup of coffee before heading out to the lake. Casting upstream, I’d allow my jig to fall through the column and come to a rest on the solid limestone depths. It is rather, and always will be, solely focused on bass fishing. The only difference in our lure selection was presentation and weight. Fishing Line. Once you’re on the water, a great technique that does require a good amount of patience is a “jerk, jerk, pause” cadence. Photos by Bruce Ingram. Bass Pro Shops XPS Hyper Braid 8 Fishing We’ve all heard of layering up, but there is more to it then throwing a jacket over your hoodie and t-shirt. 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 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. Fishing Tips and Tricks. By looking at a topographical map or an electronic map card in your GPS unit, you can easily find likely locations. Hooks. A 3/0 to 4/0 hook should work well for most white bass fishing situations. In the last few years we’ve seen the birth of the most stable kayaks ever and elevated seats, so it’s less of a problem to squirm around on a yak. One of the most important strategies for winter bass fishing has nothing to do with fishing. Depending on where you live, the water can be anywhere from cold to dangerously frigid. Warm water can be found in shallow areas warmed by the sun, areas where small streams enter a lake or large river and near power plant discharges on many large rivers. In the bank areas that have been warmed by the sun, try out a drop shot rig. The cold weather period is perhaps both the best time to catch trophy bronzebacks and the most likely time … 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. No, you won’t get as many bites as you would during the summer or spring, but there’s a good chance that the bites you do get during the winter will be much more rewarding. 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. The chilly mornings typically make way for warm afternoons with highs in the 60s and 70s. “When the fish are cold, they don’t want to eat much, but they want to eat one good meal,” he said. Winter fishing in cold water means slowing down your approach, taking more time to cover an area and slowing down the presentation of your baits. That makes it very rewarding when catching a bass, however it can also make it very challenging. The map is also valuable for showing you key potential winter striper hangouts such as bridges across feeder arms, river channel edges, the backs of feeder creeks, mud flats, submerged islands, deep points, and power plant discharge areas, if there are any. Winter River Smallmouth With Pete Cartwright 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. Small PVA bags of pure salt are perfect to use with any hook bait and are a little-used but devastatingly effective edge with your winter fishing baits. It’s easier to find bass on a river than it is on a big lake, because the current and the river level dictate where the fish are. One of the most widely sought out fish species in the angling world, bass are tough fighters that can be found all over the earth. When fishing these small farm ponds in the cold, use a plastic worm with a small split shot above the hook. During the winter, locating pockets of warmer water will lead you to the fish. Winter bass fishing lures. Smallies will hit almost anything you throw at them during early fall. Winter is the time of year when the days are shorter, temperature colder and by some anglers catching coarse fish is deemed nigh impossible. Don’t let the cold weather discourage you. In lakes and ponds, when the weather takes a frigid turn, many bass will make their way to the deepest part of the body of water. 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