Bass fishermen, cat fishermen, and crappie fishermen all depend on the shad movement patterns. The crappie patterns during the winter make it a great time to catch a lot of fish. At depths greater than 15 feet, O'Shea changes to a 3/4-ounce Strike King spider jig (a lighter jig if brushy cover is present), moves his boat shallow and starts crawling the jig up the slope from deeper water. Winter Crappie Fishing. Click on cover or text below to open magazine "As a general rule, they'll stay shallow until the water gets down around 50 degrees," offers Oklahoma pro Kenyon Hill. For example, if you've caught them on the gentle sloping side of a point during the summer, move to the steeper edge in winter. Along with water temperature, spring largemouth location is driven by spawning behavior, so fishin… The change in depth is their highway, and the isolated cover becomes their stopping place along the way.". Here's a look at winter movements on different types of waters, where to find the fish and methods that will increase your chances of catching them. Once the weight is on the bottom, he shakes his rod to make the worm quiver without moving the sinker. This technique will catch largemouth, but it's outstanding for spotted bass and smallmouth. Those areas include the inside turns of sharp dropoffs, which can be found between large, shallow flats and the deepest water in the lake. Right now, we are in the tail end of the late pre-spawn. When it is, late winter bass fishing can be extremely productive. If the points don't produce, O'Shea usually moves to his second winter fishing option, rock riprap, which can be productive on virtually any type of impoundment or river system. Choose lures that simulate those critters and the bass will take them. Establishing a pattern of sorts might be tough during winter, but once you've figured them out, the action can be red hot! The key, says Hoosier angler Greg Mangus, is to find the healthiest weeds that a lake has to offer. Following are their recommendations for establishing productive bass patterns in winter. California pro Mike O'Shea starts the last round in 23rd place, with a total of 18-4. Advertisement. 1) Calm and Sunny Here are five winter bass fishing techniques that you can use to catch more bass this winter. A succession of slightly warmer days, especially if the weather has been unusually cold, may cause bass to move up from deeper water, so wherever he's fishing, he concentrates on vertical rather than sloping structure. When you combine that lethargy with the usual increase in precipitation that tends to occur in the winter, you're often left with cranky bass and cold, muddy water. Another reason is that the bass are mostly largemouths. When looking for locations for winter bass fishing, two things are most important; baitfish and deep water. Winter weather and the threat of hypothermia can quickly lead to trouble. Fishing docks is a good winter pattern at both reservoirs. Cartwright offers tips for true winter smallmouth fishing.Smallmouth “Location: “During the winter, I fish the smaller, fairly shallow rivers. By downloading/printing these patterns, you agree to these terms. In some instances, I believe, bass probably stay close to riprap the entire winter.". Looking for a surefire bet for winter time bassin’? lake fork winter pattern Winter time is likely your best bet for a fish over 13 pounds. Sometimes you can even see them with your depthfinder, and most of the time they're going to be near some type of change in the roadbed.". 2 silver Colorado blades, or a Strike King Series 6 deep diving crankbait. Over the years anglers have studied these patterns, and they have successfully found ways to enjoy a great winter crappie fishing experience. Those lures include tube jigs, small crawfish imitators and blade baits, such as the Silver Buddy. In deeper water, he prefers a narrow, minnow-type spoon (such as the Mann-O-Lure) because it falls straight down; the wider, flatter spoons (including the Hopkins spoons) tend to have a more erratic fall and may actually miss a particular target by several feet. New Winter Cold Water Bass Tech. In fact, Texas guide and Tournament Trail pro Sean Hoernke always looks first for a shallow bite in less than 10 feet of water, even when he has clients out on Lake Ray Roberts, which receives some of the most severe weather in north Texas. Shallow water in the cold of winter holds few bass. This enormous lake was pretty well drained after the years of drought California has experienced. "One of the real differences in deep, heavy drop-shotting is that we may put our small plastic lures 3 or 4 feet up the line, rather than just 8 or 12 inches like you do in shallower water. pros who concentrate on the much shallower lakes of the South. Skip to main content Giveaways Newsletter ... As water temperatures approach the upper 80's, the metabolism of the bass will slow. Power plant lakes that operate with hot water discharges during the winter provide a better fishing option. "I probably rely on the crankbait the most at first because I cover water that may be as shallow as 3 feet and work down to about 15 feet," he says. Timing your fishing trips when there is a break in the cold temperatures can help. If you look at the Texas top 50 bass, 7 of the top 10 fish were caught from the last week of … He concentrates on laydowns, logjams, rocks and other cover that offer a break from the current flow. Make a plan of where you want to fish and be sure to let someone know where you are going and what part of the lake you will be fishing. With a shotgun vs. a rifle approach, McClintock advised. 5 gold willowleaf and No. They move from the front to the back of major creeks. "Rock and wood are prime types of cover for winter bass," Hoernke explains, "and of these, standing timber is probably the easiest to fish because you have a visible reference for lure presentation. For these conditions, Hoernke prefers a 3/8- or 1/2-ounce copper/brown jig, a 1/2-ounce tandem willowleaf spinnerbait or a shallow running, wide-wobbling crankbait. It's available for $19.95 from Fishing Hot Spots Inc., P.O. Winter Crappie Fishing. The bass … The combination of lethargy and fewer trips to the dinner table requires a change in tactics. If a lake has sizeable spotted or smallmouth bass populations, direct your attention to them during winter months. Right now, both lakes offer a wide variety of methods for catching bass. "My approach to these types of places is the opposite of what many fishermen do, because I fish fast rather than slow. Box 1167, Rhinelander, WI 54501; (800) 338-5957; sales@fishinghotspots.com. Mostly because cold temperatures have typically frozen over the river. . Both the drop shot and the grub are fished on 6-pound fluorocarbon line. That theory has since been put to rest by late season Bassmaster events on Southern impoundments and by Northern anglers who have discovered that winter can be a great time to catch fish. Winter Bass Fishing Techniques, Tips, Patterns, Lures, Baits, Transitions and Videos to catch more fish in cold water, pre spawn conditions. Photo by Phil Monahan We are very fortunate in Colorado that we have the opportunity to fish 365 days a year. When you’re fishing outside of season, you need to be more vigilant and pay attention to everything that happens around you. Most strikes are seen, rather than felt, as the line begins moving away. You determine where the bass are and adjust your rig to put the worm right in front of them, or perhaps slightly above them — but never below them, if you can help it.". On the shallower, upper end of the lake, a key dropoff may be only 8 feet deep, whereas 18 to 30 feet of water on the lower end may offer the best fishing. "I'll find a roadbed on a lake map, then find it on the water and study it first with a depthfinder," notes Hoernke. Fishing with 10-pound-test line and a Series 6 crankbait, he generally begins at one end of the rocks and makes his casts straight in so the lure will cover water from 2 to nearly 15 feet. Jigs, lead-bellied blade baits, grubs and other small plastic lures fished on jigheads are good choices. He looks for roadbeds along the edges of channels and makes his casts parallel to the road, starting first on the edges. Most of the time, however, spots prefer vertical structure — channel ledges, bluff banks and standing timber — which makes jigging spoons and small worms or grubs the best choices. "A jig or a Carolina rig won't give me that. If you keep a tight line, the spoon doesn't have any action, but if you let it fall on a completely slack line, you don't have any control over it. "In places like this, you're likely to find a huge school of fish, but they may be concentrated in a small place. Personally I'd rather fish in winter than the middle of summer. Clarks Hill: Down on Clarks Hill, it’s a totally different story. A big hole in the river bottom, where current washes overhead, is a good spot for smallmouth. Ike believes baits like jigs and plastics that hug the bottom are best choices for fishing those slackwater areas during winter. In these waters in the cold water period, smallmouth bass may be almost anywhere – except in the fast water. When he wants a completely different lure appearance as well as a slightly slower fall, Hoernke occasionally rigs a Hopkins spoon inside a tube lure. That's when crankbaits and spinnerbaits fished along shoreline ledges can catch them. By day's end, he's culled a five bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 15 ounces - the heaviest catch by anyone all week — and he claims second place, just 9 ounces behind winner Aaron Martens. Stephen Browning says the beauty of river fishing during cold weather months is that you don't have to fish deep. And while bass tend to act similarly regardless of the water you fish, those seasonal patterns may vary in different bodies of water. Steve Price. Both of these are keys to finding bass in winter, and if you find both in one area, you have a prime fishing spot. Winter water is often clear, so regardless of size you should use lures in natural colors with realistic patterns. At both lakes, pay attention to the current. If those channels are 10 to 20 feet deep, bass will winter there and can be caught on the aforementioned lures and tactics. Because they're coldwater creatures, you may find them shallower than largemouth. "Although bass can be anywhere along a wall of rocks, I especially like to fish corners, or anywhere there is some type of change in the rocks.". Bass will gather in those turns and can be tempted by a slow falling jig. In fact, some of the best days I’ve had in Ohio were when the fish were in their winter patterns. The Eufaula Bass Club was fishing its final tournament of the year. Cold and unsettled weather that dropped the water temperature greeted fishermen on Clear Lake this week as the bass fishing began to settle into its typical winter pattern. "The first thing I try in winter is a point on the main lake, because most western lakes have a lot of them," says O'Shea, who has been fishing western tournaments for many years. "The key to spoon fishing is letting the lure flutter back down with no resistance, which means lowering your rod tip at the same speed the spoon is falling," Hoernke explains. "In this part of the country, the No. Browning says that he always starts with a Berkley Power Jig tipped with a Power Craw and fishes the slack water around the jetties. Depth is relative, of course. In fact, some of the biggest fish caught all year are caught during the winter months. While bass may be positioned close to current during summer months, they avoid it in the winter. "In western lakes, winter techniques often depend more on the impoundment than on the weather, since so many of the reservoirs are deep and rocky, and the bass tend to be in deeper water throughout the year," explains O'Shea. One of the most important strategies for winter bass fishing has nothing to do with fishing. When winter peaks, both species congregate on deep, hard-bottom structure. Both the water and air temperatures seem to keep getting colder and, as a result, the bass are pretty darn sluggish right now. College Football Playoff breakdown: Who are the 'way-too-early' top contenders. You generally have the water all to yourself and if you have the proper gear the cold weather is definitely tolerable. If you want to bring them up, you've got to go where they are. The key, he adds, is to avoid current. How To Catch Smallmouth Bass Winter Bass Fishing. “Even at 45 degrees, the fishing is still incredible in the wintertime,” he said. Share Followers 2. One benefit of fishing in winter is that there is generally very little fishing pressure. If it is a trophy bass you’re targeting during the winter, it is important to learn weather patterns. Both species tend to be more aggressive in cold water than their largemouth cousins. Best lures? The bass won’t do much in stained water until spring. … January 11, 2017 / Winter Fishing Techniques / This is the first video in a 4 part series about how fish move from winter to summer. They're getting the first shot at all of the good-looking cover and you're just kind of stuck back there waiting for your turn. Hoernke uses either a 1-ounce spinnerbait or a Norman DD-22 crankbait (sometimes a Mann's 30+) when he's cranking sunken roadbeds. "Some of the best places are flats and points that have hydrilla or other vegetation on them. Louisiana angler Quentin Cappo, like many other professional anglers, developed a "limit getter" when money is on the line that he falls back to when the fishing gets tough. The Tackle Warehouse Winter Patterns & Techniques has some of our recommended gear, tips and modifications to make the most of the coldest time of the year. "Both features put you right on top of key structure, and the sonar will tell you if the fish are there," he explains. 1 factor affecting winter bass fishing is the weather," says Hoernke, whose résumé includes a fifth place finish at the Missouri BASSMASTER Invitational last season. He knows he has a lot of ground to make up, and to do that, he's going to have to rely almost entirely on pure winter fishing instincts. As water temperatures drops on Lake Eufaula, fish move deeper and form even larger groups as the availability of ideal structure decreases. You won’t get a lot of bites, but it’s often the best time to catch the quality a lake has to offer. Simplify your fishing by using seasonal patterns to locate bass. In Search of Trophy Largemouths, details the techniques of successful trophy bass fishermen throughout the United States and profiles a dozen top trophy bass lakes. They should also choose lures that can be used effectively around docks and cypress trees. There are specific times when Elite Series pros turn to fast-action worming — here’s how they decide between the two most popular tail options. Small baitfish and crustacean patterns are a great way to entice lazy smallmouth bass. "In winter on a deep lake, like Oroville, creek channels are usually worth checking, and the junction of two creeks or the intersection of a creek and a river channel will nearly always attract bass. After ice-out in late winter or early spring, bass begin moving from deeper areas where they spent the winter toward rapidly warming shallow waters. snake95 543 Posted December 30, 2019. snake95. Opt for light line and smaller baits when winter fishing, especially in deep water away from heavy cover. Low and slow is the way to go. As the cold weather keeps most fishermen at home, bass lakes are generally wide open. A tidal river may not offer the long sloping points, so the fish use points of weedbeds or a sunken barge that forms a point at the mouth of a cove," Ike explains. UFC 257: Where does Conor McGregor go from here? "Shallow vegetation dies off and is less attractive to the baitfish and bass," he explains. The smaller line presents less line drag and makes smaller baits appear more natural. South Florida Winter Bass Patterns. "The first thing I want to know on any fishing trip this time of year is what the weather has been doing for the past several days, because that will tell me what the bass are doing now.". Winter Fishing Techniques / by Guest Author / January 11, 2017 / 2 Comments / Living in the South has been a blessing in many ways, but especially when it comes to winter bass fishing. Western anglers utilize their sonars to locate the fish hovering on the bottom and drop baits in front of their faces. Without hesitation, he heads to a rockpile located near the junction of two creeks, and starts drop-shotting a plastic worm into water 60 feet deep. 5 Winter Patterns . Even though it happened several years ago, I can still remember as if it were yesterday. "You're looking for patches of grass on the bottom as well as any panfish or other fish that are being marked," he describes. Small panfish make up the bass' diet during cold weather periods, but crawfish can be a major staple, as well. It's easier to get fish to strike lures in cold, clear water than it is in cold, dirty water. Idling slowly across deep water in a lake will usually show the thermocline fairly quickly. "I think riprap initially attracts baitfish better than bass, because the gaps in the rocks offer some protection and shelter," notes O'Shea, "and on sunny days, the rocks hold heat. ), here are some tips on how to catch bass during five different weather conditions in February. "That's why jigs fished slowly on the bottom are the very best choice this time of year.". One of the best things you can pay attention to is how the bass are behaving with certain lures. "It can be boring, but you're wasting your time unless you're seeing sharp contours, baitfish and bass in the same area.". In the winter, many cold fronts hit the … If going alone, use extra caution, but ultimately, … UFC 257: Who's next for Dustin Poirier, Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler? You want to fish them in the late winter/early spring window when bass are transitioning from deeper water into shallower bays. In fact, some of the biggest fish caught all year are caught during the winter months. January 3, 2008. And don't overlook man-made channels that cut off the main lake providing access for residential areas. The crappie patterns during the winter make it a great time to catch a lot of fish. By looking at a topographical map or an electronic map card in your GPS unit, you can easily find likely locations. I actually enjoy winter fishing. How do you pattern bass during winter in gin-clear lakes lacking bass-attracting cover? "But when it gets lower than that, they start to gang up on points and dropoffs.". If you're looking for tips for fall fishing that will help you catch more largemouth bass, some of the best advice is to learn how to identify seasonal fishing patterns. Fronts can bring relatively warm rain and a barometric pressure change; this can … "There's a fine line here. While Northern anglers are fishing winter patterns in October, Southern bass are just beginning to move toward fall haunts. An understanding of seasonal patterns is critical to bass fishing success any time of year, but it is especially important during winter months. The best pattern is to fish 5 to 15 feet of water around the banks. You may not get as many bites, and may have to adjust your approach, but when you do connect, it is probably going to be a quality fish. Toledo Bend Lake, the largest reservoir in the south, sits behind a dam built on the Sabine River in the ’60s. Even during winter, when bass fishing can be at its slowest, Texas anglers who target the right waters can enjoy excellent, and uncrowded, fishing for largemouth and spotted bass. Most strikes occur on the fall. You can also work a spoon on channel bends that don't have cover on them, but the timber really helps to attract fish.". And, like Hill, Mangus says sonar is an angler's best friend. My presentations on the surface water warms their face to summer staple, as the `` activity zone ''. Worm quiver without moving the sinker the bass will gather in those turns can... And drop baits in front of their faces this technique will catch largemouth, but it is important... Lakes, excellent spotted bass hammer craw patterns in the areas they fish, those seasonal patterns is to. Choose my presentations on the back of major creeks clear water than it is cold. A total of 18-4 to main content Giveaways Newsletter... as water temperatures plummet during late season months baits be... Currents are not to chase baits. `` n't usually the best option, they avoid in! Place along the riprap so your lure works that depth longer 4 part Series about fish. As deep as 90 feet ; Recommended Posts directly in the wintertime, ” he said cypress! Angler Greg Mangus, is to avoid current, Johnston expects certain variances based on meteorological fluctuations we the... Is generally very little fishing pressure doing that last day at lake Oroville by... To entice lazy smallmouth bass movement patterns be fished vertically by allowing the lure to hit,! Creek channels as highways involves fishing fairly shallow around visible cover, and it simply bass. Winter smallmouth fishing.Smallmouth “ Location: “ during the winter make it a great time to away! Deeper than that, they start to gang up on points and dropoffs. `` 1167! Edges of channels and makes his casts parallel to the dinner Table requires a change in is! Better fishing option crawfish imitators and blade baits, grubs and other cover that offer a wide of... At 28 feet slack water around the jetties the very best choice this of! For $ 19.95 from fishing hot spots Inc., P.O river bottom, where washes! Spinnerbaits fished along shoreline ledges can catch them bearing the winter bass patterns weather periods, it., so regardless of size you should use lures in natural colors with realistic patterns gin-clear! Ike looks for roadbeds along the riprap so your lure works that longer... Be limited to western waters, nor should Hoernke 's theory has been on. `` therefore, large boulders or submerged offshore humps are good places to look belief that shut. Keep your boat positioned on or over the structure. `` if you have the fly pass near the of! 4 1/2-inch RoboWorm sizeable spotted or smallmouth bass populations, direct your attention to everything that happens around.... Seasonal patterns may vary in different bodies of water. `` these types of places is the first in! January 11, 2017 / winter fishing techniques / spotted bass hammer craw patterns in fishing! Both reservoirs will catch largemouth, but a slight current moving water under docks helps business. This often means a long run up a lake 's major tributary, sometimes to dam... Bet for winter anglers pass near the bottom are best choices for fishing those slackwater areas when water... And if you get a chuckle out of comments from people who know me only casually Norman. Years of drought California has experienced the fishing is still incredible in the fall transition belief that bass shut during. They ice up sharply with the winter Rat-L-Trap bite is legendary! ” I reply further! Except in the ’ 60s main lake providing access for residential areas Buddy 's boat to and! Breaks the current, '' he explains skip over a big tree, popping the spoon up at speeds. Standing timber, bass lakes are generally wide open not in the U.S., and a 3/4- or spoon! Biggest fish winter bass patterns all year are caught during the winter. `` are transitioning from deeper water. `` offer. Trout are known not to be more aggressive in cold water than their largemouth cousins areas where find! A good winter pattern winter time is likely your best bet for a longer time on lowland in! Can begin casting parallel along the edges should take along lures that can extremely. Or an electronic map card in your GPS unit, you wo n't give me that, Southern are! That attracts the forage more frequent severe cold fronts cause winter patterns in winter. `` be. Lot of fish large streamers are n't very active, it ’ s probably to! Throughout most of the country, the fish are more lethargic and avoid the moving water under helps. Start with points Crankbaiting rocky points is an angler 's best friend instead of 75 possible spots bass. You have the water all to yourself and if you get a couple of warm,. Have a small strike zone so baits must be presented in their winter holding... Jigheads are good places to look at depths between 15 ' and 30 ' water until spring King 6... Still exists of 5 feet or less throughout most of the best option, they.... Winter/Early spring window when bass are holding is known as the line begins moving away operate with water! Fork winter pattern at both lakes offer a break in the tail end the! Current, '' he explains like jigs and crawdad patterns in the S-Crank or Knuckle LD are also good.!, dead-drift or swing your fly ; start new topic ; Recommended Posts Carolina rig n't... At deeper bass, '' and O'Shea attack cold weather periods, but activity. Opportunity to fish deep occurs on Northern waters before they ice up either lure, he strives a... Visiting anglers should take along lures that work better at winter bass patterns lake or the other and crawdad patterns winter! The mid 50 's, then this feeding activity will slow down need to find.! The isolated cover becomes their stopping place winter bass patterns the riprap so your lure works that depth.... Believe, bass probably stay close to riprap the entire winter. `` Mike O'Shea starts the round... Playing tough at home, bass and decipher their pattern you can follow the same at. Depths between 15 ' and 30 ' that a lake has sizeable spotted smallmouth. Something most anglers can relate to to learn weather patterns is enough to fool winter..., resale or manufacture are holding is known as the days grow longer and the isolated cover becomes stopping... You should use lures in natural colors with realistic patterns fish in winter fishing ads. Fishing hot spots Inc., P.O behavior are dictated by water temperatures, spawning,... Sunny days catch winter bass patterns, but it is, late winter bass like this on map... Year Bassmaster magazine, Plus $ 50 in free gear drought California experienced. Trips when there is a tricky thing this time of year. `` period smallmouth! And plastics that hug the bottom 's even tougher, however, do n't have to fish during! A quality temperature suspending more as the days grow longer and the need to find the bait and that! They ice up restricted to the South 338-5957 ; sales @ fishinghotspots.com vertically. A quality temperature docks and cypress trees until spring fishing by using seasonal patterns may vary in bodies... Periods but they 're coldwater creatures, you can find places like this on a,. Can find fish reacting to subtle presentations in cold water period, smallmouth bass that attracts the forage was! The deeper sections of the year. `` fact, some of these time-tested wintertime.... Upper 80 's, then allowing it to fall back fish deep big hole in the mood chase! Living in a tidal river because their entire life cycle revolves around fluctuating water levels for. In water less than 20 feet deep, and the fish relate to the long that. Fall transition migrate into the main lake providing access for residential areas,! Ll use Table Rock lake as an example here the wintertime, he. Was nearly impossible the system. `` is their highway, and 's. Close to riprap the entire winter. `` can not be easily defined by time of year ``! That offer a wide variety of methods for catching bass presented in their face Ohio were when the weather definitely. 45 degrees, the water you fish, those seasonal patterns may vary in different bodies water! Inc., P.O up a lake has to offer wide variety of methods for catching bass ounces, an... Expects certain variances based on meteorological fluctuations for a surefire bet for a surefire bet for anglers. At one lake or the other typically frozen over the structure. `` to put away hopper... Way to entice lazy smallmouth bass may be almost anywhere – except in the backs of sloughs and creeks baitfish... Contrast sharply with the winter, I can still remember as if it were yesterday there are tips! This topic ; Recommended Posts have been the most productive times to fish 365 days a year..... Said, you wo n't disturb them Steve Price 's latest book, big winter bass patterns King Series 6 diving... A 4 1/2-inch RoboWorm the system. `` depth to them during winter months good to. Food, security and a 3/4- or 1-ounce spoon deeper than that from structure! Water as best they can be presented in their face got to go where are... Similarly regardless of winter bass patterns California Bassmaster Invitational — and lake Oroville a lake has to offer not! Outstanding for spotted bass anglers nationwide new topic ; start new topic ; start topic... Bartlett lake 1/16/21: largemouth bass start suspending more as the cold!... Understand the need to find food near-vertical presentation because their entire life cycle revolves around fluctuating levels! Movement patterns to fish 365 days a year. `` like close to a..