When winter hits and the waters creep into the 40s, fishing can get tough. Here are a few simple rules that can help break down complicated tactics for fishing for winter bass.
It is pretty well known that in winter, downsizing your baits and presentations can be super effective in targeting many different species of fish. Bass are no exception. Find the baitfish or other forage, and pick a smaller imitation that best “matches the hatch” to get bites.
Use Scented Products
When the going gets tough, you need to “stack the deck” in your favor. There are many discussions on whether scents work to attract bass, but why not add it into your repertoire this season? Some scented pastes and/or dips are inexpensive and claim to better imitate forage. When bass are selective eaters this winter, try to get your bait noticed.
Find Warmer Water
Bass will often target slack eddies or pockets/backwater in rivers or warmer water sections of the lake in winter to feed. Although it isn’t always the case, it is a great first place to look for active eaters in the cold of winter. These areas will often hold the baitfish that bass will be hunting.
Slow It Down
The last well-known strategy I think is worth noting, is to slow down your presentations and movements. This time of year, bass are less likely to aggressively chase baits that move too quickly. This means that slowing your pops and other bait movements may offer you a better chance at getting bites when you do find the “players” amongst the schools of baitfish. Slow your presentations and perhaps choose a different bait with slower actions (or better actions when fished slowly) this time of year.
Hopefully this helps you better simplify your winter bass fishing trips when you head out this season. Fishing can be tough, but don’t let it discourage you! Get out and hook a monster!