Winter bass fishing is without a doubt the most challenging time to catch bass. You will not be able to use your usual methods and tactics and the bass will not be hungry. You will have a much harder time finding suitable cover and it might just be down right cold. Its no wonder why most bass fisherman don’t partake in winter bass fishing but if you are reading this article then you are not most bass fisherman.
The first challenge in winter bass fishing is to be able to find the right place to fish. Much of the vegetation has died, the bass are sitting much deeper, probably at depths that are not visible to you even if the water is crystal clear. If you are in the north where there is ice cover then you really have your work cut out for you. If you prepare for winter bass fishing in the fall by marking deep spots with lots of structure then you will save yourself a lot of time. Otherwise you may have to find the bass by trial and error.
One rule to remember when winter bass fishing is to slow down your retrieve. In fact still fishing a soft plastic worm or grub is even better as long as you can very slowly drift it around the bottom or hop it across. If you are casting one of these soft baits, let it sink to the bottom then very slowly reel it in. It should take no less than three minutes to retrieve your lure.
Since bass are cold blooded they will be very non-responsive to your regular forms of prey because they just cant spend their precious energy unwisely. They will eat a grub that slowly drifts by right in front of its face but they will not be tempted to swim very far at all to get it. If you can accomplish dangling a worm, small fish or soft bait as described before in front of the bass’ face then you will have success.
Only dull and plain colors should be used when winter bass fishing. Bright, flashy type bait will most likely produce nothing. If you are using soft baits then try keeping them in a zip-lock bag in your pocket. The warmth from your body will keep them from getting stiff in the cold water and they will act much more life-like when warm. Keeping a small handful in your pocket will allow you to cycle through them so you can always be using a warm one.