Winter Bass Fishing in the U.S.
Look on any website, or ask any professional bass wrangler, and they will tell you that bass fishing is a spring and summer sport. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t catch bass in the winter.
How Bass Behavior Changes in the Winter
Bass are cold-blooded animals, and largemouth bass in particular prefer to dwell in warmer waters than smallmouth bass. The bass’s metabolism slows down in the winter, and they digest food and swim more slowly. Bass are also less likely to chase a lure in the winter. Bass will move deeper into the water, where the water is stiller and warmer.
Why Go Bass Fishing in the Winter?
Winter fishing for bass is a challenge, but there are many reasons why anglers go fishing in the winter.
You won’t risk grappling hooks with another fisherman, or that your favorite fishing spot will already be taken.
The Learning Experience and The Challenge
Bass are highly instinctual, but highly intelligent animals. A lot of bass fishing is about learning the psychology of bass, and how structure, cover, water temperature, and the speed of the current affect their behavior. Winter fishing offers an excellent opportunity to learn new angling skills and strategies.
(Some) Bass Will Be Hungry
Even though the metabolism of bass slow down in the winter, there are fewer insects and small rodents for the bass to eat. Bass are highly opportunistic feeders, and a juicy-looking cricket lure wriggling in the 40°F water in winter won’t go unnoticed by a hungry bass.
Where Can I Catch Bass in the Winter?
The key to successfully catching bass in the winter is to fish in deeper waters, near a school of active bass. Deep water can be anything from 10 to 100 feet deep.
Channel swings in creeks are a great place to look for bass in the winter. A channel swing, or bend, is any area where a creek channel curves toward the bank, runs along the bank, and then curve away from the bank.
When is a Good Time to Fish?
During the winter, it’s best to fish bass is early in the morning, or during the warmest point of the day. There aren’t as many insects in the winter, but at night, bass will swim up into the shallows to feed on smaller fish and crayfish, and then move back down to the depths by sunrise.
What Type of Bait Should I Use?
Limit your selection of bait in the winter. Swimbaits and jerkbaits are a good choice for fishing. Swimbait are fishing lures that imitate the shape, color, and sometimes the movement of smaller fish. The body of the fish on a swimbait lure may be segmented into two or more joined pieces, to mimic the undulating motion of a swimming fish.Jerkbaits are plastic lures shaped like fish. The fisherman jerks the lure, making it writhe like a wounded fish. A cold, hungry, and sluggish bass may more readily bite a jerk bait than a swimbait.