By Keith Poche, MLF Pro
“The cold winter has set in for the year with water temperatures in the 40s and 50s, depending on where you are in the country. This time of year the fish are very inactive and typically don’t eat very often, making it hard to catch bass in winter weather.
Winter is one of the toughest times of the year to catch fish, but you can still catch bass in winter weather with the right approach. These fish normally drop down in the water column to stay safe from drastic cold fronts that chill the surface water to near freezing at times. As these fish stage in the depths, they tend to bunch up together. They will suspend at a certain depth or gather around structure if available. Even though these fish don’t eat very often, they are still catchable.
There are two ways I like to catch them in winter weather; extremely slow or extremely fast. For example, you either drag a Carolina Rig painfully slow with a Berkley Power Worm or work a Berkley Cutter 110 Jerkbait so slow you might want to set your rod down between jerks. This presentation is to allow the bait to sit in the fish's face for a period of time to aggravate him or give him time to slowly swim to it and get a strike.
Next is to fish extremely fast, my favorite! Let me explain! A bass has an aggressive instinct in their DNA that tells them to attack, no matter what, if something is moved by them quickly. I like to throw a spoon while sitting my boat over top of them and watching them on my Garmin Depth Finder. I’m ripping this spoon vertically up and down in their face to get a reaction bite. Next, I like to yo-yo a lipless crankbait called the Berkley Warpig. The constant jerking up and fluttering down will trigger a lot of strikes.
Winter weather can be challenging, but if you put in a little time and patience, you will be surprised how good winter bass fishing can be! Good luck out on the water!