BoatUS ANGLER: Seasonal Fishing Tactics
by Kurt Dove, BoatUS ANGLER Pro Staff
Several hard-core anglers (like you and me) will venture onto the chilly waters over the next few months this winter to find some angling fun… here are 3 important tips to beware of while fishing this winter.
Stay away from dirty or stained water. Over my years of experience I have found that water with color in the colder months is more challenging to catch fish from. It’s not that they don’t live in it but I will always try to locate the cleanest water possible. I believe the activity level of the bass is the primary reason for difficult catch rates in stained or dirty water. In water color with less visibility the bass don’t react to the presentation fast enough to catch the lure or find it quickly. In clearer water a bass can visually find the lure more effectively and that relates to getting more strikes. If you are left with no options except to fish stained water then move your presentations slowly and methodically so the bass has an opportunity to locate the offering. I would also suggest t using lures with an attractant and internal noise makers like rattles or clackers. This will help the bass hone in on the location of the lures.
Fish tight wobbling lures. Hard-baits like crankbaits and jerkbaits have lots of different actions. I have found a very successful rule of thumb is to use tight wobbling lures in the colder water temps of winter. I find that the wider wobbling lures are much less effective than tight wobblers in these conditions. A few examples of excellent tight wobbling lure selections are:
- lipless crankbaits like the iMA Rock-n-Vibe or Strike King Red-Eye Shad,
- for mid-depth presentations a Rapala shad rap is a long time reliable producer
- for deep presentations the iMA Beast Hunter.
There are other effective tight wobblers for cold water conditions so be sure to check your tackle box for lure selections with these traits. In the colder temperatures bait fish don’t typically move rapidly with quick or violent motions, so be sure to slow down your retrieve during the presentation for best results.
Best types of cover and structure. The absolute best cover I look for on a lake that is sure to attract bass in the cold water is rocks. Rock in the form or rip-rap, bluffs, ledges or simply rocky bottom cover can all be excellent places to begin your search in the winter months. Once you find the rock it is important to try different types of rocky terrain to locate the bass. There are 45 degree banks or deep water in close relation to shallow and even rocky bottom flats that can be effective during the winter months. If I decide to try something different then rocky habitat my next move is to concentrate around bridges. Bridges typically have deeper holes associated with them unlike other bottom contours in the surrounding areas. Those deeper water areas will attract bass in cold water situations. The final type of cover I will look for is grass. It’s not growing this time of year but in southern impoundments it's generally doesn't completely die off. Grass becomes dormant on the bottom and the dormant grass will attract bass all winter long. Dissect these types of cover and structure to form patterns and locations of winter time bass.
Dress warm and be safe fishing this winter… Good Luck!
Read Kurt Dove's latest BoatUS ANGLER Pro Staff blog,
For more information about services, Click Here
To request a free information packet about BoatUS ANGLER Benefits and Services, Click Here