When fishing these small farm ponds in the cold, use a plastic worm with a small split shot above the hook. A few weeks later winter had decidedly settled in and the bass were bundled up behind rocks, hidden in deep pockets and we were back on the water again. Photos by Bruce Ingram. The big trout would turn on when you had ice on the eyes of your rod. For white bass a 4 to 8-pound test monofilament line will work fine for most situations. Smallmouth love the snow, go figure. This is a tricky time of year to be a bank angler. Here are some tips on lure selection, presentation, and location for landing the elusive winter bass. At this point he realized, you gotta take it slow. My first trophy Guadalupe bass took a brush hog off the bottom that had been sitting there motionless for at least 30 seconds before the line started to creep tighter indicating I had a fish. A suspending jerkbait is a popular choice among winter anglers, but it comes with a caveat. Smallies will hit almost anything you throw at them during early fall. So this year, why not take the leap and head out in the snow to try your hand at winter bass fishing. A grub can be one of the most effective bass lures for cold water. For white bass a 4 to 8-pound test monofilament line will work fine for most situations. But how do I know what weather the bass like? 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. Anglers are almost certain to have their best success near submerged structures. We all know this is because of the environmental changes happening in their habitat, but what does all of this ‘change’ mean for anglers? Many small northern ponds with fewer than 10 feet of water contain large bass which resist fighting in the cold water. The ideal temperature range is below 50 degrees and you should stick to pockets within the 15-30 foot range. If this is the case, then vice versa, the fish can see you too. 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. 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. While some hardcore bass fishermen think that using live bait is cheating, we don’t. Scout the Bottom of Wherever You Are Fishing. By Bruce Ingram. Winter bass fishing lures. “When the fish are cold, they don’t want to eat much, but they want to eat one good meal,” he said. On these days you’ll notice bass higher in the columns and closer to the banks where the water is warming quickly. winter bass fishing tips Winter bass fishing is not for everybody. I can remember being stumped for years while trying to catch winter bass from shore. Within minutes he had his first fish of the day. “Merrisach Lake has a lot of shallow milfoil, stumps and old timber,” Rook says. Get into the habit of using it in the winter months, especially as it will save wasted journeys if the rivers are high. Take the time to get geared up and layered up. 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. I alway cast the rock bank first unless it’s a steep drop off and the mud bank is a shallow slope (in this instance I would cast the mud bank first). If the current on the main river is too strong, concentrate on … Lake smallmouth bass tend to be bigger than their river cousins so big fish on Missouri Ozark streams are typically 18 to 21 inches long. Tips and information for fishing in winter and the colder months. I wake up daily, grab my coffee and immediately after, check the weather for the coming days. It should only be used in fairly clean water, or else it won’t be visible to the fish. As the pressure drops and these bass prepare to return to their winter hideout they have an urge to feed and you should take advantage of this by being on the water trying to feed them. 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. You should always go out expecting to be bit on every bite. Hook Up . But luckily, you have the advantage of being above, so you can easily sneak up on them and watch them prod at your bait. 2. Throw out the idea of using topwater and fast-moving lure- they’ll only waste your time. 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. Both of these are keys to finding bass in winter, and if you find both in one area, you have a prime fishing spot. Focus on these areas on the warmer, brighter days as the lack of flowing water allows the area to warm up quickly. It’s something all successful anglers do in the winter. They aren’t likely going to be chasing your crank all around the river investigating it before a strike. Expert Fall Bass Fishing Tactics. 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 you’ve ever turtled (and let’s face it, who hasn’t) imagine doing that in 40?F water and maintaining your composure. Some expert anglers say “the colder the better” when it comes to deep water bass fishing. But before using live bait, if you want to be successful, be sure you have the right rig to keep them healthy and fresh before using. 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 … 10 Tips for Winter & Cold-water Catfish Success. I could pull one off the rocky warming bank while a friend hits a small eddy behind rock in the middle of the river. I can still remember what the old-timers used to say about Fowl River. Especially for trout and redfish still existing along Alabama’s numerous creeks, rivers, and bayous. Theme: Newsup by Themeansar. Worms and small baitfish like shiners and creek minnows will likely be your best bet in the winter months. 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. First, if you’ve had a trend of a few days of cold temperatures, rain and cloud cover- you’re going to be cold and try to find the warmest place to stay. It’s at www.environment-agency.co.uk. You are fishing the the wrong baits. Learn how to figure out winter bass in this outline of lures and methods used by the pro’s. Bass like these deep spots because they can find bottom-dwelling food there that is easy to catch in their lethargic state. 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. Pick the Perfect Spot. It'll work just fine … Winter Bass Fishing Tips – Everything You Need to Know 1. First things first- before winter comes around you need to ensure your PFD is comfortable with many layers on. 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. Take the time to practice removing layers on your boat in shallow water. I also check river flows and weather upstream as these can have profound effects on waters downstream. During winter, seagulls are an excellent means to detecting the location of baitfish. If you’re fishing along a shore, there’s a good chance that you can see clearly into the water beneath you. These lures are created to imitate the look of crawfish. Catfish are desperately seeking out the warmest possible water they can find. Catfish are desperately seeking out the warmest possible water they can find. Share on Google+. 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. 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. The bass were watching it come over the rock and if they were close, would take it up as it cascaded down the back. 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. Mentally, you may have already been telling yourself that fishing is going to be tough, which can be self-fulfilling. Bread. Florida Largemouth Bass Winter Fishing Florida Largemouth are slower and continue their progression towards deeper water in the winter months. 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. A 3/0 to 4/0 hook should work well for most white bass fishing situations. These waters warm quicker, especially rivers lined with rocks and gravel banks. Take your time and drink a second cup of coffee before heading out to the lake. As the temperature changed, our lures and techniques had to as well. Don’t sacrifice safety and comfort if you don’t have to, because ignoring one can lead to disaster in freezing water. Most fishermen tend to stay home during the winter months or even focus on a different species, not because they necessarily want to, but because bass fishing seems (and generally is) more difficult during the winter. “You might not get as many bites, but you’ll get those quality bites.”. Snagging a bass in the colder months is definitely not impossible, just a little more complicated. 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. 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. 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. bullet weight and started burning it near the banks I chose a 3/8 oz. Some anglers also like to use a lead of fluorocarbon when doing their fishing. More than likely during the summer and early fall this area is choked with slop such as cattails, reeds or lily pads. Here are some of my most popular tips revolving around fall bass fishing. The fish in the St. Johns River adapt to the cooler weather, so we have the top eight Florida cold weather fishing tips to make your cold weather fishing experience a great one. As … 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. But how can we dissect the rivers during the colder months to convince these bass that they want your lure? Hooks. Bass Pro Shops XPS Hyper Braid 8 Fishing My buddy couldn’t believe how slow they would take it, commenting that it was if I didn’t have to do anything but give it time to find it. Tough metal baits like spoons and blades hold up well to cold water. During the winter, locating pockets of warmer water will lead you to the fish. "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. It'd be miserable weather and I'd often go weeks without getting a bite. 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. That we can all agree upon. I like buying waders a little big so I can bend my knees easier. These man-made structures are located all up and down the Mississippi River, and during low and normal water periods, can at times offer some fast and furious fishing. Switch the 20-pound monofilament over to 8-pound fluorocarbon. Proudly powered by WordPress Imagine you were a cold-blooded animal with frigid water … Days where the temperature drops substantially or rises substantially are indicators of activity changes. During spring spawning, fish near vegetation close to shore. Angling for Virginia’s wintertime river smallmouths is a paradox. 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. Stay dry and warm with rain gear when you’re fishing as cold fronts approach. Bass fishing in the winter can be fun but hard at the same time. 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Scouting the bottom during winter becomes more important when fishing in a river. A slight twitch every now and then, or a rise in the rod tip with little to no reeling and I began to land a few bass an hour while he was stuck in a skunky rut. Rocky areas tend to warm quicker than mud or clay and bass now this. The lake is our holy sanctuary and bass fishing is our party or choice. One benefit of fishing in winter is that there is generally very little fishing pressure. Pick a color that would mirror the color of true crawfish in your area (usually green or brown works well) and get your best chance at a catch by dragging the lure slowly along the bottom of the body of water. A water temperature gauge or fishfinder can really come in handy when you’re on the lake in the winter. Winter bass fishing in Florida is tough. “… The only difference in our lure selection was presentation and weight. During cold water days bass know they shouldn’t expend energy, nor do they really have the energy to expend since their food is more scarce and their metabolism slower. We have the 7 fall bass fishing tips for reeling in largemouth bass on the St. Johns River. bullet weight and casted upstream and let my lure fall to the bottom. The cold weather period is perhaps both the best time to catch trophy bronzebacks and the most likely time … 10 Tips for Winter & Cold-water Catfish Success. A few times the bass would catch it as it fell off the rock into their hole but more often I’d let it sink into the hole and 15-20 seconds later would reel up the slack, to the point I could feel tension. This will draw your catch to a bite. Find Warmer (Relative) Water. Don’t let the cold weather discourage you. 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. To have the best chance at a catch, many talented anglers recommend mirroring the bass’ winter movement patterns. December 5, 2018 by admin 0 Comments. A cold front blew in during the evening and my buddy calls me inquiring about my plans for the following day, knowing for certain what my answer would be before he even called. On Virginia’s eastern shore, Capt. So, as I tend to do, solicited or not, I chime in with why I thought I was fishing more effectively than he was. Keep Moving. Lastly, I’d like to focus on tips to keep you, as the angler, comfortable enough to fish through the winter. Typically make way for warm afternoons with highs in the cold season ahead the Johns. Than seeking out cover the thermometer follow convention by going deep and staying there winter... 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