Everybody has a favorite spot to fish, but most of them are in the spring and fall or maybe during the summer. Unless you are super hardcore, winter is when you go out during warm spells. That means shorter hours and fewer trips. It’s hard to find a favorite spot under those conditions. But it can be done.
Here’s how I do it…
The first thing to think about is that bass don’t move as far as some anglers think. Most of the time if you go to your favorite spring or fall spot and look around you’ll find them pretty close to right where you’re at. The trick, of course, is to find them.
I start my searches by looking for the nearest break or drop. Basically I look around to see what things look like and then I cover the area throughly with my electronics. Tight lines are what I want to see. They indicate sharp changes in depth. When I see them on my Humminbird units I know I’m in the right place.
Depth can vary widely from one lake or reservoir to another and from one part of the country to another. But, in general you know you’re looking for deeper water. On most bodies of water the best depth will be between 15 and 30 feet. I want to say again, however, that’s not something that’s always true. If you don’t find them at that depth, look somewhere else.
There’s also no hard and fast rule about what kind of place will hold bass in the winter. They’re cold-blooded creatures. They are controlled by instinct. They don’t think, and they don’t reason. They react.
Most of the really good places will be down towards the dam. That’s where the water is clearer and where the average depth is usually deeper. Don’t neglect to fish a good looking spot, however, just because it’s upstream from your spring or fall spot. You never know if something will produce unless you fish it throughly.
And never pass by a main lake point without checking it out. I’ve never seen one that isn’t worth the time and effort it takes to do that. They are consistent producers of winter bass regardless of whether they’re up, away from the dam or down towards it.
My favorite baits at this time of the year are a jig and a jerkbait. My jig will catch them if they’re on the bottom looking for dying shad or rooting out crayfish. The jerkbait is good if they’re feeding up, off the bottom a little on baitfish. Try both until you know what the bass are doing.
My preference in jigs is for the Santone Pro Series Football Jig in the 1/2-ounce size. It does a good job under a variety of conditions. And, I like the Megabass Ito Shiner when I’m throwing a jerkbait. It looks natural and will really get them going.
One final tip that I want to mention is to stay away from muck and mud bottoms. Bass might hold in those areas at times during the year, but they avoid them like the plague during the winter months. Hunt until you find rock, sand or gravel.
Take your time, look around and find a favorite winter bass fishing spot this year. You’ll be glad that you did, and you’ll find that it doesn’t feel so cold when you’re catching them.