Fishing for Bass in the Winter: Six Winter Bass Fishing Tips

Updated on July 25, 2022

Winter bass fishing can be a lot of fun and very productive. While many people think that bass go into hibernation during the winter, that's not always the case. In this blog post, we will discuss 6 tips for catching bass during the wintertime. We'll cover both saltwater and freshwater fishing, so you can be prepared to catch bass no matter where you are!

Bass Fishing During Winter

1.) Look for areas with high concentrations of baitfish. Bass will often congregate in these areas in order to feed. Since all fish activity slows down in the winter, food is less readily available and bass will swarm to baitfish. Sight casting is a great method to use here, so be patient and wait to spot a couple baitfish before you make your cast. Finding structures such as rocks, docks, and submerged vegetation can also improve your chances of whacking a bass, as they tend to congregate around submerged structures in the wintertime.

2.) Use lures that imitate the baitfish that are prevalent in the area. This will increase your chances of getting a strike from a bass. This tip applies in all aspects of fishing, but is especially key during the winter months. Bass are picky in their lethargic state, so lure choice is extremely important. Ideally you can use live bait, which is generally more successful than artificial lures. However, since live bait is not always an option, try to use the most realistic lures possible. One great option is a worm rigged on a Texas rig. It is especially effective in deep water.

3.) Slow down your presentation. In the winter, bass are often less active and won't chase after lures that are moving too fast. An extra level of patience is required, but may be rewarded. Remember the fable of the tortoise and the hare: slow and steady is often more successful than a forced rush. Another way to slow your roll is by using heavier tackle than you normally would, to keep your lure moving slowly.

captain derek ice fishing

Captain Derek patiently waits for a bite on the frozen surface of Lake Houghton, MI

4.) Fish deeper waters. During the winter, bass will often move to deeper waters in order to find warmer temperatures. Before you even set out, do some research to find the deeper sections of your regular fishing grounds. Once you get there, try using a heavier weight to sink your hook into the depths.

5.) Pay attention to the weather. In general, bass will be more active when it is sunny and warm out. If a cold front is moving in, the bass will often become less active. While it may be cold during the winter, help yourself as much as you can by waiting for the occasional warm day.

6.) Most importantly, dress warmly! Winter bass fishing requires an excess of patience, so you might be out there a while. You don’t want to catch a chill and ruin a good day on the water, so be sure to pack several layers of warm clothes.

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