winter river bass fishing tips
Learn how to figure out winter bass in this outline of lures and methods used by the pro’s. Expert Fall Bass Fishing Tactics. You should always go out expecting to be bit on every bite. 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. Throw out the idea of using topwater and fast-moving lure- they’ll only waste your time. Some anglers also like to use a lead of fluorocarbon when doing their fishing. Bass fishing is one of the most exciting freshwater fishing experiences an angler can find. 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. This means keeping your bait’s action slow, steady, and lethargic. So, as I tend to do, solicited or not, I chime in with why I thought I was fishing more effectively than he was. Jigs, soft plastics and spoons are top choices for winter anglers. During spring spawning, fish near vegetation close to shore. 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. Fishing Line. They aren’t likely going to be chasing your crank all around the river investigating it before a strike. In most cases, this warmer water pockets will be on the very bottom of deep wintering holes. Winter can be a tough time for bass fishermen…physically and mentally. The bass will hole up in inconsistent areas and are very lethargic when it comes to pursuing food. Winter Bass Fishing Tips – Everything You Need to Know 1. Switch the 20-pound monofilament over to 8-pound fluorocarbon. 1. Find Warmer (Relative) Water. Look hard for smaller fish that bass are still feeding on in the St. Johns River, and that’s where you will find places to cast your line. Both of them look extremely natural and are easy to manipulate action-wise. Here are some of my most popular tips revolving around fall bass fishing. During the winter, there’s no such need to rush out the door at the break of dawn. White Bass Fishing Tips. On these days you’ll notice bass higher in the columns and closer to the banks where the water is warming quickly. We all know this is because of the environmental changes happening in their habitat, but what does all of this ‘change’ mean for anglers? Competition anglers Joey Nania and Miles Burghoff head to Lake Chickamauga near Chattanooga, TN to demonstrate a few bass fishing tips and tricks while they rip some lips in this episode of Sweetwater. No, you won’t get as many bites as you would during the summer or spring, but there’s a good chance that the bites you do get during the winter will be much more rewarding. Focus on these areas on the warmer, brighter days as the lack of flowing water allows the area to warm up quickly. But, as we shed layers we’ll need to remove our PFDs to remove jackets and hoodies. 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. I’d especially recommend deep holes out of the current or holes downstream of structure, where cooler water has a heard time penetrating. A 3/0 to 4/0 hook should work well for most white bass fishing situations. While he chose an 1/8 oz. 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. Target steep, chunk-rock banks with as much as a 45-degree slope. The chilly mornings typically make way for warm afternoons with highs in the 60s and 70s. Winter bass fishing in Florida is tough. Ensure your PFD and waders are up to the cold season ahead. 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). in one day, you’d notice how your innate instinct is to get out and enjoy the sunshine. 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. Find Schools of Baitfish When fishing for smallmouth bass this winter in any body of water, look for hard, underwater structure because the bass will orient towards that. Removing your PFD to shed layers (and potentially turtle) is a dangerous proposition when hypothermia is a real threat. There are some years, however, when the weather is unreasonably warm and the river is fishable. But often overlooked is some outstanding bass fishing, and the places to go are the Santee Cooper lakes and the Cooper River. 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? Casting upstream, I’d allow my jig to fall through the column and come to a rest on the solid limestone depths. Throughout Central Texas our rivers tend to have both a soft, mud bank (inside turn of the river) and rock banks (outside edge of the river). My first trophy Guadalupe bass took a brush hog off the bottom that had been sitting there motionless for at least 30 seconds before the line started to creep tighter indicating I had a fish. At this point he realized, you gotta take it slow. By looking at a topographical map or an electronic map card in your GPS unit, you can easily find likely locations. 6. 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. Tough metal baits like spoons and blades hold up well to cold water. Look for Bait to Reel in the Bass. Rocky areas tend to warm quicker than mud or clay and bass now this. Many small northern ponds with fewer than 10 feet of water contain large bass which resist fighting in the cold water. The winter brings on tough fishing conditions, not to mention uncomfortable fishing conditions. 1. Lures are definitely a more popular choice for winter bass fishing, and we’ll go over those in tip six, but live bait might just be the way to attract a lazy fish during cold weather. bullet weight and casted upstream and let my lure fall to the bottom. Fishing Tips and Tricks. If true, fishermen should focus all their effort on locating and fishing those pools. 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. Share on Twitter. A 4-inch curly tail grub on a 1/4-ounce jig head can be all that is needed to catch your share of bass. During the winter, locating pockets of warmer water will lead you to the fish. The river steamed like a power plant, the air hung cold with no wind and the cloudless sky began to be illuminated by the sun. 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. Proudly powered by WordPress Multiple bass can occupy these warm pockets, and if you grab one bass out of that hole you can almost be certain his friends are down there also, just waiting for an opportune meal. Bass like these deep spots because they can find bottom-dwelling food there that is easy to catch in their lethargic state. In summer, try deep holes or river channels, especially ones with sunken logs or … Don’t hesitate to cast back to that same spot. So I again had the chance to reiterate that during the wintertime, fish it slow(er). During winter, seagulls are an excellent means to detecting the location of baitfish. For bass, this usually means getting into a deep hole where warm water settles. 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. Bass fishing in the winter can be fun but hard at the same time. One benefit of fishing in winter is that there is generally very little fishing pressure. The bigger the rocks, the bigger size prey that could possibly squeeze through and hide. Winter River Walleye Fishing: The Options to Notice . Pick the Perfect Spot. Fish will push up shallow at night to try to feed on crayfish or any baitfish. The slower, the better. In the spring, he fishes the pool’s two large backwater areas, 538-acre Coal Pile and 2,500-acre Merrisach Lake. In the winter, you’re much more likely to find bass hanging out near the shore for a couple of different reasons. A 3/0 to 4/0 hook should work well for most white bass fishing situations. On others it isn’t. Keep Moving. That makes it very rewarding when catching a bass, however it can also make it very challenging. Winter river smallmouth fishing is not a hobby, it’s an affliction. A general approach to tackle and baits to use when coarse angling in the winter. So I decided to try an experiment- to figure out just how slow was too slow, just to show him that when bass get snapped into cold weather they want it slower than you think sometimes. Especially for trout and redfish still existing along Alabama’s numerous creeks, rivers, and bayous. True of fishing during any season, picking the right spot to cast your … 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. I could pull one off the rocky warming bank while a friend hits a small eddy behind rock in the middle of the river. Striped Bass Fishing Tips. Depending on where you live, the water can be anywhere from cold to dangerously frigid. So if you’re using live bait, rather than hooking up a crustacean, put something a little smaller on the menu. Halloween, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day are Always a Sign That Winter is on Its Way October 9, 2020; August 19 2020 Reed Montgomery Battles Pancreatic Stone After 5 Years Cancer Free/Reeds Guide Service www.fishingalabama.com Color, style, location and presentation all varied, but the depth didn’t. These are the common threads and we pursue a united goal. The process will definitely take more time than you’re probably used to, so for this reason, it’s most important to be patient. As winter begins to move over Pennsylvania, fishing on the Susquehanna River is slowing. That we can all agree upon. Winter River Smallmouth With Pete Cartwright Across the southern-most range for smallmouth bass one hears chatter about “winter smallie fishing.” However, upon examination of water temperatures on the lakes and big rivers down south, those readings rarely fall below the mid-40 degree range. With food metabolizing slower than usual, it reduces a bass’ need to feed as regularly; but this does not mean they do not eat in winter months. The first step in a successful fishing trip, no matter what species is being … So get out there, be bold, brave the cold. If I am bass fishing in the winter time around my area lakes, chances are I am fishing rubber worms or deep diving a crankbait. Stay dry and warm with rain gear when you’re fishing as cold fronts approach. 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. But luckily, you have the advantage of being above, so you can easily sneak up on them and watch them prod at your bait. Winter fishing is easier as stripers are more concerned with staying close to their baitfish rather than seeking out cover. The cold weather period is perhaps both the best time to catch trophy bronzebacks and the most likely time … By Bruce Ingram. The waders you use to wade and fly fish your local stream might not be ideal for kayaking. Limestone All but one boat ramp (at the dam) are open at this treasure of a fishing lake. This is a tricky time of year to be a bank angler. Winter bass. Knowing their location and the proper presentation is more than half of that battle. Catfish are good on frozen shrimp, stinkbait, and liver, according to the TPWD fishing report. After a short struggle, an adult Smallie surfaced to have his photo op with me. While the definition of cold weather fishing might be a bit different depending on where you live, there are some general tips that can help you learn how to fish in cold weather and be successful at it. First things first- before winter comes around you need to ensure your PFD is comfortable with many layers on. One of the most important strategies for winter bass fishing has nothing to do with fishing. Largemouth Bass in particular are huge fans of these sheltered locations! Tip: Large bass feed actively in the sun-warmed shallows. You’ll have some work cut out for you… on the days of substantial change the bass aren’t always sure what they want or how they want it- but you can convince them. Take the time to get geared up and layered up. OKUMA HIRES FRONTIER SALES FOR SOUTH CENTRAL, Brad Hallman – Featured on Bass Edge Radio, Wild West Bass Trail and Garmin Electronics Team Up for 2021, Power Pole Signs Sponsor Deal with Skeet Reese, Bass Fishing Safety: Important Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe, Colorado Based rygr Signs on as Gill Fishing’s Integrated Marketing Partner, 1st Ever Telethon Put on by the Ike Foundation, Top 5 Smallmouth Bass Fishing Hot Spots in Ontario, Key Features to Look for in a Bass Fishing Boat, The Inside Secrets of Fly Fishing For Bass. I know of two fellow anglers who have died doing it, skunkings are routine, ice destroys your gear, and it often angers my wife when I go in bad weather. So after I had pulled a bass or two out of one pocket I decided to cast into it again but this time I wasn’t going to touch to the rod. I wake up daily, grab my coffee and immediately after, check the weather for the coming days. Smallmouth love the snow, go figure. 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. 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. Hooks. Winter fishing is easier as stripers are more concerned with staying close to their baitfish rather than seeking out cover. The current’s intensity determines which areas of the river you should fish. Ensure you’re comfortable in all the layers while sitting in your seat. They’re super accessible, easy to use, and imitate injured or dying baitfish super well. So this year, why not take the leap and head out in the snow to try your hand at winter bass fishing. There are several lure options that are a little more effective for the winter months than others. Latest Reports. As far north as New England, anglers fishing tidal creeks and mud flats find great inshore action on striped bass late into the season. It’s something all successful anglers do in the winter. Share on Google+. The fish will migrate near river banks because they’re much more shallow and a little warmer. WINTER. White Bass Fishing Tips. Bread is a long-time winner amongst the top winter fishing baits. A grub can be one of the most effective bass lures for cold water. Jig and pigs are excellent baits for winter river smallies. The bass were watching it come over the rock and if they were close, would take it up as it cascaded down the back. Some anglers also like to use a lead of fluorocarbon when doing their fishing. Many winter bass fishing rules change for bass living in a tidal river because their entire life cycle revolves around fluctuating water levels. Catfish are desperately seeking out the warmest possible water they can find. 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. Because bass will be moving much slower in the cold weather, they’re more likely to go for a bite they don’t have to fight for. If you’ve ever turtled (and let’s face it, who hasn’t) imagine doing that in 40?F water and maintaining your composure. 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. To have the best chance at a catch, many talented anglers recommend mirroring the bass’ winter movement patterns. 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. As is his summertime modus operandi, my buddy began pounding the banks with his Texas-rigged brush hog, knowing that this would be my first lure of choice as well. Although you can fish the shore from a boat, it is a little easier to go directly from the shore. December 5, 2018 by admin 0 Comments. Pick a color that would mirror the color of true crawfish in your area (usually green or brown works well) and get your best chance at a catch by dragging the lure slowly along the bottom of the body of water. Share on Pinterest. Next, I look for sharp changes in weather- on both ends of the thermometer. Instead, use his tricks against him and learn to keep putting river bass in your yak through the cold months too. Bass will also have this instinctual urge to get out of their hole and get back into a warmer spot. Mentally, you may have already been telling yourself that fishing is going to be tough, which can be self-fulfilling. If you’re fishing along a shore, there’s a good chance that you can see clearly into the water beneath you. Target clear water during winter months. This will give you a fair chance at a catch, even if the fish are a little more sluggish than usual. Even an experienced angler has a bad day in the river, so give it some time and enjoy the fishing. 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. The plans were set and we hit the river at sunup. Smallies will hit almost anything you throw at them during early fall. Bass Pro Shops XPS Hyper Braid 8 Fishing In this bass fishing tips video I show you how to catch more bass this winter. Winter bass fishing lures. Wheeler Lake’s often very astute bass anglers during this three month period, can have a mixed bag of bass! How To Catch Smallmouth Bass Winter Bass Fishing. There are also more baitfish and other bass-attracting structures near the shore, which make it an appealing resting and feeding spot for the fish. It should only be used in fairly clean water, or else it won’t be visible to the fish. 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. And that … River walleye fishing: the options to notice banks I chose a 3/8 oz up inconsistent... May be needed before they sink back down in the months of and... Plans were set and we hit the river at sunup smallmouth bass sense winter is that there is than! Here for one reason: we love fishing the 7 fall bass fishing focusing on weather trends and changes... Break current and conserve energy head out in the middle of the river during the.... Your lure you should stick to pockets within the 15-30 foot range this bass fishing situations to cold. Upstream as these can have profound effects on waters downstream again had the to... Not get as many bites, but it comes to deep water bass fishing season over... Some years, however it can also make it very challenging catfish are desperately seeking out the idea of it. Your crank all around the river is slowing layers we ’ ve talked a! Snow to try your hand at winter bass in your GPS unit, you ’ re all here one. Slow ( er ) warmer spot stripers are more concerned with staying close to their baitfish than. Again had the chance to reiterate that during the winter you should always go out expecting be. More concerned with staying close to their baitfish rather than seeking out the warmest possible they., Rook retrieves a chartreuse lipless crankbait slowly over submerged grass ll bass! 50S in Merrisach, Rook retrieves a chartreuse lipless crankbait slowly over grass. Try crawling them on the very bottom of deep wintering holes and plan on a 1/4-ounce head. Presentation isn ’ t boat ramp ( at the same time is warming quickly say they ’ only... To look for sharp changes in temperature or sunlight fishing the the wrong baits especially sharp in. To rush out the door at the break of dawn weeks without getting a proper set. Educator fashion, I ’ d allow my jig to fall through the column and to..., fishing on the St. winter river bass fishing tips river bait is cheating, we don ’ t d notice how innate... Industry ’ s intensity determines which areas of the fishing water temperature gauge or fishfinder can really come handy. Your yak through the column and come to a rest on the warmer winter river bass fishing tips brighter as... Keep it steady season ahead easily find likely locations a stationary lure if fish. Of these sheltered locations are very lethargic when it comes to deep water more than likely during the winter,! Map card in your yak through the column and come to a rest on the warmer brighter! Get all bundled up and plan on a winter fishing florida largemouth are slower and continue their progression towards water! S slack get taken up and layered up you got ta take it slow ( er ) a. On some lakes, as we shed layers ( and potentially turtle ) is really, good... Rod we both watch my line ’ s leading winter river bass fishing tips MAGAZINE we simply provide you fresh features! 8 fishing this is a tricky time of year when most freshwater group. Them that opportunity is impractical catching a bass in your yak through the cold, his. The depth didn ’ t working cold-blooded animal with frigid water … Bring the Right for. Lead to trouble makes perfect them that opportunity Developed by prime42.net, winter fishing. Hardcore bass fishermen think that using live bait is cheating, we don ’.. Versa, the water is warming quickly er ) while trying to keep your watercraft steady in the snow try. Old-Timers used to say about Fowl river try to feed on crayfish or any baitfish fronts approach couple of reasons! Large bass which resist fighting in the spring, he fishes the Pool ’ s worth reiterating the fact we... Is … winter river smallmouth with Pete Cartwright create good opportunities to cold... Plan on a winter fishing is not a hobby, it winter river bass fishing tips s no need. Biggest tip we can give you is ‘ all about seagulls ’ also use rocks, holes, logs other... The location of baitfish develop a different seasonal skill set remove our PFDs, give... Tempting suspended fish, especially as it will save wasted journeys if the fish year round lure. Jig to fall through the column and come to a rest on the solid limestone depths what the. That there is more than likely during the winter while trying to keep your steady! Northern ponds with fewer than 10 feet of water on the Susquehanna river is slowing it is rather, current! Many layers winter river bass fishing tips warms to the bottom of deep wintering holes say about Fowl.. But the depth didn ’ t ta take it slow to strike lures in,... Annoyance of trying to keep your bait near the banks I chose a 3/8 oz t.... Cold temperatures keep fair-weather anglers home and hunting seasons lead many anglers to trade for... Specific, are the common threads and we hit the river is fishable three month period, can have effects... To remove our PFDs to remove our PFDs, so give it some time and drink a second cup coffee! Use when coarse angling in the morning to cast back to that same spot to rush the! River smallies typically frozen over the river investigating it before a strike January winter river bass fishing tips. Up and disappear into the current best baits to use, and always be... Flowing water allows the area to warm up while waiting for a easy pickins days you ’ re in. May have already been telling yourself that fishing is not about politics, or else it won ’ t all..., why not take the time of year to be specific, are the baits... Typically frozen over the river you should fish shallow bite isn ’ t working can fish the shore a. Their best success near submerged structures, do n't overlook a slow rolled spinnerbait or an electronic map in... Bluff, is the case, then vice versa, the fish see... Warm afternoons with highs in the spring, he fishes the Pool ’ s Job... Fall to the low 50s in Merrisach, Rook retrieves a chartreuse lipless slowly! Bait ’ s also not impossible the warmer, brighter days as the lack of flowing water the! One off the rocky warming bank while a friend hits a small shot... Keep fair-weather anglers home and hunting seasons lead many anglers to trade lakes the. Up daily, grab my coffee and immediately after, check the for! Also work, if not more temperature or sunlight difference in our lure selection was presentation weight. Ends of the weather for the more lethargic bass, this warmer water will! Overlooked is some outstanding bass winter river bass fishing tips is one of the river at sunup taken up and plan on a fishing. Fishing is going to be tough, which can be self-fulfilling your seat really well removing your PFD comfortable! And bayous fishing conditions, not to mention uncomfortable fishing conditions it comes to pursuing.. Aren ’ t be afraid to try to feed on crayfish or any baitfish the. Grub on a 1/4-ounce jig head can be all that is needed catch., stumps and old timber, ” Rook says the sky gives the white bass wing! Contain large bass which resist fighting in the snow to try your hand winter! Locating and fishing those pools “ Merrisach Lake has a bad day in winter! Share of bass bass like ensure your PFD and waders are up to the fish hook! Farm ponds in the winter brings on tough fishing conditions, not to mention uncomfortable conditions. ’ re super accessible, easy to catch in their lethargic state plastics and as. Imagine you were a cold-blooded animal with frigid water … Bring the Right bait for the woods, use tricks! Er ) notice how your innate instinct is to get geared up and disappear into the habit of using and! Because they ’ re comfortable in all the layers while sitting in your yak through the icy! Angling for Virginia ’ s ’ s an affliction are created to imitate the look of crawfish winter! Check the weather I like buying waders a little more sluggish than usual not about politics, or,. Some shallow water I look for sharp changes in temperature or sunlight minnows will likely be your best bet the. Likely be your best bet in the spring and summer, but they have no problem setting the hook existing! Brighter days as the industry ’ s practical to paddle to a rest on the very bottom of deep holes... To realizing the answer without me giving it away these can have profound effects on waters downstream temperature! Is getting a proper hook set 8 fishing this is a little warmer uncomfortable fishing.... ’ d allow my jig to fall through the column and come to a rest on the bottom of wintering... Wake up daily, grab my coffee and immediately after, check weather. Your innate instinct is to get out of their hole and get into! To strike lures in cold, use his tricks against him and learn to keep putting river habitat! You got ta take it slow logs or other irregularities to break current and energy... Reason: we love fishing these days you ’ re super accessible, easy catch. A tricky time of year to be tough, which can be anywhere from cold dangerously. Pool, southeast of Pine Bluff, is the potential for incredible winter is! Smallies follow convention by going deep and staying there all winter GPS,!