Find A Guide
24 February 2021
The cold, chilly weather might stop others from doing their usual outdoor activities, but not for anglers like you.
There’s something exciting and challenging in fishing during the winter. Aside from the weather condition, catching specific fish species might be challenging. It’s either their migrating to other seas or spawning and protecting their young.
One of the available species all year round is bass. They’re still abundant in the water even during this cold weather, but it just takes more effort to catch them this season.
Here are a few tips on how you can catch bass even with the cold weather.
Search for the best location to catch bass during the cold weather. They’re most likely in underwater islands, long points, and humps. They tend to retreat to their habitat rather than swimming in the deep.
You can fish by a pier that has a nearby bass habitat. It might take some time to lure one in, but there’s some hungry bass who’ll take the bait.
If you’re planning to go boat fishing, take your boat to deep water that’s near a spawning area. Don’t go too far deep, though. Make sure that you’re also near the shallow water. While there might be lurking at the bottom, other basses can surface from time to time.
Speaking of boat fishing, consider going to deeper depths in the area. That doesn’t mean you have to look for waters with a depth of 50 feet or so. By that, it means searching for the deepest point relative to the body of water.
You can try bottom fishing in that area. Bass are most likely to lurk there, just waiting for prey to feed on. It is best to use the right lures and jigs to attract them out from where they’re hiding.
GPS is your friend during cold-weather fishing, especially in detecting the prime fishing locations. Once your device detects a fish nearby, drop your line vertically towards the fish or under your boat. When there’s one in there, there’s probably more of them within that same spot.
It’s best to fish when the sun is up, especially if you’re pier fishing. The sun warms the water, and bass would most likely swim in that area.
Look for that spot in the water where the sun’s heat is directed. If not, look for water bottoms, consisting of clay, gravel, or rocks – anything that absorbs heat. Bass are surely swimming in those areas.
If there’s no sun and you’re fishing by the pier or on shallower waters, you can cast your line in adjacent deep water.
Since we mentioned the sun, a warmer water temperature attracts more bass during this cold weather.
Bass like to swim in waters 50 – 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s easier to lure them in these temperatures, and they would most likely take the bait. When the water’s temperature drops to 40 – 49 degrees, their metabolism slows down, so they’re most likely slow to approach any bait presented to them. If this is the case, focus more on casting your line in deeper waters.
You can still fish in water with temperatures lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It can be challenging, and you will need slower-moving baits for that.
Aside from fishing location, a great catch entails using specific lures and baits. The cold weather changes the metabolism of bass. It also limits where they swim. Hence, it takes an enticing lure and bait to get them out and bite in.
It’s best to use slow-moving lures. You can use a drop-shot jug, hair jig, or football head jig since they imitate a crawfish. Make sure to use one that’s close to a crawfish’s color. You can also use a jigging spoon for deep water fishing.
For lures, it’s best to use bottom-hugging ones or those that stay at the bottom longer since it might take a while for bass to bite into it. You can use a metal or blade bait because it does not only imitate an injured baitfish.
There is no use using lures that mimic a baitfish's appearance when it doesn't act one.
While bottom-hugging lures and heavy, metal jigs can do the trick, your very movement can also help make it more enticing for a bass to bite them.
As you would expect of fishes during the cold season, they tend to swim slower. They move a bit more sluggish - just like you when it's cold. So slow down your movements to also mimic that of a baitfish.
As slow as its bait, a bass would tend to go after slower baitfish where they feel like they won't have to chase and fight them.
As mentioned earlier, the cold weather adds up to the challenge in fishing for bass. Patience is the key.
Throw your line in multiple times. At first, you might not catch a single fish yet, even if you cast your line with your choice of lure or bait. This is because it takes some time for the bass to react.
If you cast your line again and again and again, it does not mean the bass did not see it. It may have seen it but just isn’t interested in it. But be persistent. The more you present it to them, they’ll soon get either curious or annoyed that they’ll give in to it.
Once you get to catch one, it’ll be pretty easy to catch the next and another. Again, just be patient, and you’ll be rewarded with a great catch.
With these tips in mind, fishing for bass in this cold weather can be a breeze. Weather is the main element you want to take note of. So, it’s better if you keep this in mind when you’re out winter fishing, not only for bass but for other fishes as well.
Black Sea Bass