One benefit of fishing in winter is that there is generally very little fishing pressure. It should only be used in fairly clean water, or else it won’t be visible to the fish. Small PVA bags of pure salt are perfect to use with any hook bait and are a little-used but devastatingly effective edge with your winter fishing baits. Happy fishing! Bass like to warm up in these depths and will try to find cover near the current (but just outside of it) to ambush prey as it flows by in the swifter water. Numbers of smallmouth can also be caught on the river during the winter. I can still remember what the old-timers used to say about Fowl River. As was previously mentioned, regardless of what you might read, a lot of bass like to stick near the bottom of a lake or river no matter the season. We’ve all heard of layering up, but there is more to it then throwing a jacket over your hoodie and t-shirt. The current’s intensity determines which areas of the river you should fish. Limestone All but one boat ramp (at the dam) are open at this treasure of a fishing lake. Winter River Walleye Fishing: The Options to Notice . In the bank areas that have been warmed by the sun, try out a drop shot rig. While he chose an 1/8 oz. These man-made structures are located all up and down the Mississippi River, and during low and normal water periods, can at times offer some fast and furious fishing. | First things first- before winter comes around you need to ensure your PFD is comfortable with many layers on. Keep your bait near the bottom of the body of water, and keep it steady. On these days you’ll notice bass higher in the columns and closer to the banks where the water is warming quickly. Focus on these areas on the warmer, brighter days as the lack of flowing water allows the area to warm up quickly. 3 Tips for Shore Fishing Winter River Bass by Sean McNally Winter spells a long, agonizing vacation off the water for many fishermen, but for intrepid anglers, this time of year might mean braving the cold for the chance of filling a cooler with fish pulled through the ice. With these tips in mind you can develop a different seasonal skill set. But before using live bait, if you want to be successful, be sure you have the right rig to keep them healthy and fresh before using. But luckily, you have the advantage of being above, so you can easily sneak up on them and watch them prod at your bait. Share on Twitter. If, on the other hand, you’ve had great sunlight, warmer water and higher temps for a few days and you see that a storm system is rolling in tomorrow evening- you better grab your poles. The winter brings on tough fishing conditions, not to mention uncomfortable fishing conditions. Learn how to figure out winter bass in this outline of lures and methods used by the pro’s. If you’re lucky enough to have natural springs along your rivers, this is a great place to find bass hanging around the warm water escaping from Earth’s thermally insulating crust. A slight twitch every now and then, or a rise in the rod tip with little to no reeling and I began to land a few bass an hour while he was stuck in a skunky rut. Target clear water during winter months. Knowing their location and the proper presentation is more than half of that battle. Proudly powered by WordPress More recent fisheries research reveals much more variation in winter river bass habitat. A few weeks later winter had decidedly settled in and the bass were bundled up behind rocks, hidden in deep pockets and we were back on the water again. Winter fishing in cold water means slowing down your approach, taking more time to cover an area and slowing down the presentation of your baits. In others, the fish use a variety of habitat, including some shallow water. Once you’re on the water, a great technique that does require a good amount of patience is a “jerk, jerk, pause” cadence. Scout the Bottom of Wherever You Are Fishing. As I inched my craw up and over the rocks it would get to a point where it was much easier to reel (the peak of the rock) and then the current would almost assist the lure down the backside and all I had to do was keep an eye on my line. 3 Tips for Shore Fishing Winter River Bass by Sean McNally Winter spells a long, agonizing vacation off the water for many fishermen, but for intrepid anglers, this time of year might mean braving the cold for the chance of filling a cooler with fish pulled through the ice. Throw out the idea of using topwater and fast-moving lure- they’ll only waste your time. Many winter bass fishing rules change for bass living in a tidal river because their entire life cycle revolves around fluctuating water levels. Within minutes he had his first fish of the day. My buddy couldn’t believe how slow they would take it, commenting that it was if I didn’t have to do anything but give it time to find it. Keep Moving. Winter can be a tough time for bass fishermen…physically and mentally. Some of the bigger river fish Smith has caught in the winter have weighed 4 to 4 1/2 pounds and measured 20 to 21 inches. During spring spawning, fish near vegetation close to shore. Many small northern ponds with fewer than 10 feet of water contain large bass which resist fighting in the cold water. Even an experienced angler has a bad day in the river, so give it some time and enjoy the fishing. Mentally, you may have already been telling yourself that fishing is going to be tough, which can be self-fulfilling. There is a prevalent myth surrounding cold weather bass fishing: You’ve got no chance at a catch if it’s past autumn. Find Warmer (Relative) Water. Removing your PFD to shed layers (and potentially turtle) is a dangerous proposition when hypothermia is a real threat. Winter is also the time of year when most freshwater species group up. Don’t hesitate to cast back to that same spot. Winter Fishing Tips and Tactics Tweet 19; Pin 1223; Share 370; Subscribe; Fishing through the winter months can be very rewarding for a number of reasons. You will not catch large numbers of bass most of the time in winter, but... you can catch some of the biggest bass you will catch all year, especially in late winter to early spring, in the northeast, when … Crappie are fair on minnows. A 3/0 to 4/0 hook should work well for most white bass fishing situations. With decades of popularity under its belt, the sport of bass fishing exists in a world of its own now, and a wide array of information and bass-specific angling tools are at your fingertips. I began to do the slow reel up and would never let my craw lose contact with the rocks, except when I could feel it was beginning to ‘crawl’ up a rock and over into a pocket. "Fishing (in December) is … They say they’re faced with a similar situation in the spring and summer, but they have no problem setting the hook. Kevin Josenhans patrols the marshes and bays around Tangier Sound. During the winter, there’s no such need to rush out the door at the break of dawn. The biggest tip we can give you is ‘all about seagulls’. I also check river flows and weather upstream as these can have profound effects on waters downstream. bullet weight and casted upstream and let my lure fall to the bottom. If after your few days of cold snap, the sun decides to come out in full force and the mercury climbs 20, 30 or 40? There are some years, however, when the weather is unreasonably warm and the river is fishable. White Bass Fishing Tips. The fish in the St. Johns River adapt to the cooler weather, so we have the top eight Florida cold weather fishing tips to make your cold weather fishing experience a great one. On Virginia’s eastern shore, Capt. The majority of the bass population will hang out there in large quantities, as they tend to group together more consistently when it’s cold. I like fishing almost as much as I like teaching my friends and family to fish and as the first cold front of the season blew in I couldn’t resist the urge to get a line wet. To have the best chance at a catch, many talented anglers recommend mirroring the bass’ winter movement patterns. If you’re fishing along a shore, there’s a good chance that you can see clearly into the water beneath you. In the words of the Starks, “Winter is coming.” You can’t avoid it and neither can I, but you don’t have to let Old Man Winter ruin your river fishing. Striped bass are slow. More than likely during the summer and early fall this area is choked with slop such as cattails, reeds or lily pads. Smallmouth love the snow, go figure. A few times the bass would catch it as it fell off the rock into their hole but more often I’d let it sink into the hole and 15-20 seconds later would reel up the slack, to the point I could feel tension. As the industry’s leading bass magazine we simply provide you fresh new features every season. There are several lure options that are a little more effective for the winter months than others. Most fishermen tend to stay home during the winter months or even focus on a different species, not because they necessarily want to, but because bass fishing seems (and generally is) more difficult during the winter. While some hardcore bass fishermen think that using live bait is cheating, we don’t. Bass will also have this instinctual urge to get out of their hole and get back into a warmer spot. Winter Bass Fishing Tips – Everything You Need to Know 1. REVIEW: The Kayak Kushion for Kayak Comfort. But even though it’s not the easiest task in the world, it’s also not impossible! It’s easier to find bass on a river than it is on a big lake, because the current and the river level dictate where the fish are. In the winter, you’re much more likely to find bass hanging out near the shore for a couple of different reasons. This is a tricky time of year to be a bank angler. During winter, seagulls are an excellent means to detecting the location of baitfish. As a rule of thumb, it is best to slow down your presentation during the winter months. Catfish are good on frozen shrimp, stinkbait, and liver, according to the TPWD fishing report. Find Warmer (Relative) Water. If you can’t keep comfortably warm your angling prowess will diminish and you’ll get frustrated easier leading to all sorts of other potential mishaps, the least concerning of which is getting skunked, the most disconcerting being ending up in the frosty drink, potentially threatening your safety. In summer, try deep holes or river channels, especially ones with sunken logs or … During cold water days bass know they shouldn’t expend energy, nor do they really have the energy to expend since their food is more scarce and their metabolism slower. Smallmouth bass sense winter is not far off and must put on the feed bag to survive the long winter months. Hook Up . Florida Largemouth Bass Winter Fishing Florida Largemouth are slower and continue their progression towards deeper water in the winter months. I alway cast the rock bank first unless it’s a steep drop off and the mud bank is a shallow slope (in this instance I would cast the mud bank first). Target steep, chunk-rock banks with as much as a 45-degree slope. It’s worth reiterating the fact that we’re all here for one reason: we love fishing. The experts recommend using these around underwater structures. It is rather, and always will be, solely focused on bass fishing. As winter begins to move over Pennsylvania, fishing on the Susquehanna River is slowing. Some anglers also like to use a lead of fluorocarbon when doing their fishing. The colder days that follow can actually create good opportunities to put cold weather fishing tips for largemouth bass into practice. There have been some of these ‘transition days’ where me and my fellow fishermen are all throwing different lures and they’re all working- the only constant usually being the depth we’re finding active feeders. Photos by Bruce Ingram. In this bass fishing tips video I show you how to catch more bass this winter. Scouting the bottom during winter becomes more important when fishing in a river. It’s something all successful anglers do in the winter. Catfish are desperately seeking out the warmest possible water they can find. Look for Bait to Reel in the Bass. Winter Bass Fishing Lures, Tips and Tactics During the winter months when the water is cold, anglers need to slow down with right baits and lures to get bass … Along with all the general fishing waters found on the lakes in the area and the tail race sections of rivers like the Nantahala River, there are also hundreds of miles of National Park waters to choose from. Another one of the best fall fishing tips is to consider the impact that a cold front will have on the activity level of bass during this time of year. Worms and small baitfish like shiners and creek minnows will likely be your best bet in the winter months. The consensus among successful smallmouth fishermen is that the optimum winter bass fishing conditions for catching smallmouth are: Air temperature upper 30's to mid 40's; Overcast skies; Threat of rain or snow. I’d especially recommend deep holes out of the current or holes downstream of structure, where cooler water has a heard time penetrating. Hooks. Well, for starters I like to think of the weather I like during the winter…. Imagine you were a cold-blooded animal with frigid water flowing through your body for at LEAST three months; your movements would probably slow down, too. A grub can be one of the most effective bass lures for cold water. When looking for locations for winter bass fishing, two things are most important; baitfish and deep water. Wheeler Lake’s often very astute bass anglers during this three month period, can have a mixed bag of bass! Most of your winter time fishing on either lake will be done between 35-65’ with the best fishing typically in the 40-50’ range. If true, fishermen should focus all their effort on locating and fishing those pools. Use lighter line. The only difference in our lure selection was presentation and weight. Share on Pinterest. Another area now active for white bass is wing dams. The fish will migrate near river banks because they’re much more shallow and a little warmer. This will draw your catch to a bite. I could pull one off the rocky warming bank while a friend hits a small eddy behind rock in the middle of the river. So this year, why not take the leap and head out in the snow to try your hand at winter bass fishing. Imagine you were a cold-blooded animal with frigid water … WINTER. Jig and pigs are excellent baits for winter river smallies. For the more lethargic bass, some extra incentive may be needed before they take the bait. Bass fishing in the winter can be fun but hard at the same time. Hooks. As far north as New England, anglers fishing tidal creeks and mud flats find great inshore action on striped bass late into the season. One of the most useful websites ever for river anglers is the one that is provided by the Environment Agency, which gives regularly updated river levels for rivers all over the country. Although you can fish the shore from a boat, it is a little easier to go directly from the shore. Designed and Developed by prime42.net, Winter Bass Fishing Tips – Everything You Need to Know, 5. This notion has to do with the cold-blooded nature of the fish; dropping temperatures can seriously affect their body functions, most notably, a slowing metabolism. BASS ANGLER MAGAZINE (BAM) specifically to help you become a better fisherman. If you’ve ever turtled (and let’s face it, who hasn’t) imagine doing that in 40?F water and maintaining your composure. Like trout in mountain streams, bass also use rocks, holes, logs or other irregularities to break current and conserve energy. As the temperature changed, our lures and techniques had to as well. During winter, seagulls are an excellent means to detecting the location of baitfish. "The most important thing about river fishing is knowing how to fish in current," notes two time Bassmaster Classic champion George Cochran of Hot Springs, Ark. For white bass a 4 to 8-pound test monofilament line will work fine for most situations. 1. As I asked him why he was burning a creature along the banks in shallow water and asking what weather trends we’ve noticed lately, he began to realize that the bass weren’t even seeing his lure (because they weren’t near the banks at all) so he had to change it up, and I urged him to try it slow off the bottom. Don’t let the cold weather discourage you. The Mills Pool, southeast of Pine Bluff, is the most productive stretch of water on the Arkansas River, Rook claims. If the temperature is dramatically falling, start shallow and quick along warm banks in the morning and by evening you’ll be fishing slowly in deep pockets, following the bass as they transition through the water column. Baits to use are large swim baits, stick baits, crankbaits and flukes. The process will definitely take more time than you’re probably used to, so for this reason, it’s most important to be patient. You should also focus on shallow inlets or flat pockets out of the main channel, like where creeks and draws dump in, specially if that creek holds water. One of the most widely sought out fish species in the angling world, bass are tough fighters that can be found all over the earth. These lures are created to imitate the look of crawfish. It’s no secret that bass feed far less aggressively in the winter, but as long as the water has not iced over, and you have a lot of patience, you can still catch bass during the winter months. Use soft plastics and jigs as a fallback, but go against conventional wisdom. Pick the Perfect Spot. By Bruce Ingram. Cold temperatures keep fair-weather anglers home and hunting seasons lead many anglers to trade lakes for the woods. As is the case in autumn, Florida largemouth become slower and strike more out of a reaction, either to defend their territory or to defend themselves. Find Schools of Baitfish Huge bass are still lurking in the depths and need to be fed- so if you aren’t going to get out there and catch them, I sure as heck am. winter bass fishing tips Winter bass fishing is not for everybody. Smallmouth love the snow, go figure. The bigger the rocks, the bigger size prey that could possibly squeeze through and hide. As a whole, the population of bass in your local lake or river will probably be less active, but in some bass, there is little noticeable change from summer to winter. Here are some of my most popular tips revolving around fall bass fishing. Winter bass fishing in Florida is tough. Depending on where you live, the water can be anywhere from cold to dangerously frigid. Bread is a long-time winner amongst the top winter fishing baits. Share on Facebook. Don’t sacrifice safety and comfort if you don’t have to, because ignoring one can lead to disaster in freezing water. in one day, you’d notice how your innate instinct is to get out and enjoy the sunshine. Color, style, location and presentation all varied, but the depth didn’t. As … Smallies will hit almost anything you throw at them during early fall. The ideal temperature range is below 50 degrees and you should stick to pockets within the 15-30 foot range. Fishing Tips and Tricks. During the winter you should be focusing on weather trends and weather changes, especially sharp changes in temperature or sunlight. Bass fishing is one of the most exciting freshwater fishing experiences an angler can find. Winter river smallmouth fishing is not a hobby, it’s an affliction. The lake is our holy sanctuary and bass fishing is our party or choice. Here are a couple of lure options that should do the trick: As you’ve probably noticed from reading through this tip list, fishing for winter bass isn’t easy. So yes, while cold weather does make it a little tougher to pull in a catch, despite what you may read, there are still fish that will chase a bait, even in frigid temperatures. “When the fish are cold, they don’t want to eat much, but they want to eat one good meal,” he said. Ensure you’re comfortable in all the layers while sitting in your seat. At this point he realized, you gotta take it slow. 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