8 Tips for Catching Cold-Weather Bass

Catching bass during the winter's a bit hard since they don't do much in the cold. But don't worry, we have some tips to help you catch bass this winter.

8 Tips for Catching Cold-Weather Bass
8 Tips for Catching Cold-Weather Bass
Team Guidesly

February 24, 2021, 5 min read

Updated on May 19, 2023

8 Tips for Catching Cold-Weather Bass
Team Guidesly

February 24, 2021, 5 min read

Updated on May 19, 2023

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8 Tips for Catching Cold-Weather Bass

Cold Weather Bass Fishing

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 about fishing during the winter. Aside from the weather conditions, catching specific fish species might be challenging. Fish may be migrating to other seas or spawning and protecting their young.

One species that's available all year round is bass. They’re still abundant in the water even during cold weather, but it just takes more effort to catch them in the cold.

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Here are a few tips on how you can catch bass even in the cold weather.

1. Determine the best location.

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 bass lurking at the bottom, other basses can surface from time to time.

2. Go deep.

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, just that you should search for the deepest point relative to the body of water.

You can try bottom fishing in deeper depths as bass are most likely to lurk there, 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. 

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Cold Weather Bass Location

3. Use a GPS. 

GPS is your friend during cold-weather fishing, especially when trying to detect prime fishing locations. Once your GPS detects a fish nearby, drop your line vertically toward the fish or under your boat. Where there’s one fish in the area, there are probably more of them within that same spot.

4. The sun is your friend…

It’s best to fish when the sun is up, especially if you’re pier fishing. The sun warms the water, and bass will most likely swim in that area.

Look for a spot in the water where the sun’s heat is directed. If it's more shady, 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 also cast your line in adjacent deep water. 

5. …and water temperature, too.

Since we mentioned the sun, a warmer water temperature attracts more bass during 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.

6. Best lures and baits to use.

Cold Weather Bass Fishing Equipment

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 to bite.

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 them. You can use metal or blade baits as they may imitate an injured baitfish.

7. Move bait slowly.

There is no use using lures that mimic a baitfish appearance when they doesn't act one.

While bottom-hugging lures are heavy, metal jigs can do the trick. Your small movements can also help make bait more enticing for a bass to bite.

As you would expect of fish during the cold season, they tend to swim slower. They move a bit more sluggish - just like you when it's cold. So it's best to slow down your movements to also mimic that of a baitfish.

Bass tend to go after slower baitfish where they feel like they won't have to chase and fight them. 

8. Try and try and try.

The cold weather adds up to the challenge of fishing for bass- patience is the key.

Throw your line in multiple times. At first, you might not catch a single fish, even if you cast your line with your top choice of lure or bait. It may take 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. Be persistent. The more you present it to them, they’ll soon get either curious or annoyed and they’ll give in to it.

Once you get to catching 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. It’s best if you keep this in mind when you’re out winter fishing, not only for bass but for other fish as well. Looking for a cold-weather trip or want to learn more about winter fishing? You can book with one of Guidesly's expert guides here, and they'll show you the ropes.