How to Catch Bass in the Winter
Bass fishing and cold winter weather might not seem to go together. But even when it is cold the bass are still there and they can be caught. Perhaps the two most important things to keep in mind when fishing for winter largemouth bass is that generally the fish will be deep and their movements will be slow. One other thing to remember is that bass will have packed on the weight in order to survive the cold winter. This simply means that those big bass that you caught in other parts of the year will now be even larger! Though the bass may be more difficult to catch in the winter, their larger size can help you to be patient and stay on the water longer.
As the bass will be deep in the winter cold, fishermen and fisherwomen need to get their baits and lures to the bottom. Fishing baits such as nightcrawlers on the bottom with a split shot or slip sinker can be quite productive. Keeping the slack out of the line is perhaps even more important as the bass generally won't strike hard in the cold. Heavy jigs are a great lure to use as they can slowly be bounced along the bottom. Allow the lure to sit for at least a few seconds before moving it on. Remember everything in the water is moving slower when it is cold so move your lures slow as well. Spoons and blade lures are even better as they generally fall faster. Fishing on the bottom will almost always mean a lot of snags. Use weedless hooks on your lures when possible to reduce hang-ups. Regardless of the type of hook that you are using make sure to keep it sharp. Those light winter bites may make getting the hook set difficult and a sharp hook may make the difference between a catch and a miss.
Weather patterns will also help the winter bass fisherman to be on the water when they are biting. Storm fronts moving into an area means good fishing in the spring as well as the winter. Unseasonably warm and sunny days might bring the largemouth into the warmer shallows.
Another important tip is to dress well and stay warm. Staying comfortable will keep you on the water longer and allow you more time to fish. Be extra careful around the water as well, falling into the water in the warmer months is just an annoyance but falling into freezing water can be deadly. Fish with a friend during the cold winter months to assure your safety. Your friend can also take pictures to provide proof of those big largemouth bass that you catch!