The ColdHard Facts About Winter Bass Fishing_

The ColdHard Facts About Winter Bass Fishing

Just because the temperature drops, that doesn’t mean the rods have to go away for the cold season. The wintertime bass aren’t leaving from the deeper water and will still be looking for food and biting. If you want to catch a trophy fish, then winter might be atop time to do that. However, there are some different approaches to take during the winter and going prepared is important if you are going to hook some bass year-round.

Safety First

While safety is always important, it becomes even more prevalent in the winter months when going bass fishing. Winter in some places means that the water will be dangerously cold. The cold, hard facts about winter bass fishing is that it is not a warm activity! Winter means there is more chance of hypothermia and frostbite in those true winter temperature places.

This means that planning a fishing trip takes a little more work. Know where youare planning to fish and make sure someone goes along. Others should be aware of the trip details of where, when and how long so they will know if they should be concerned. Even if it’s at one of the small lakes, any bass angler should take safety into account when fishing for big bass.

Anglers also need to dress appropriately. Warm and in layers is best. Bring extra items of clothes with you in case the ones being worn get wet. Have a bottom layer of thermal underwear including socks then a shirt and pants over those. Finally, have a quality outer layer that isn’t just warm but will keep you dry while being breathable as well. Rainproof jackets or a flotation suit is a perfect thing for what will probably be a cold day. Only put that final layer on once you reach the fishing spot, so you don’t heat up on the way there. Add some hand warmers and good gloves too.

Fishing Spots

The ColdHard Facts About Winter Bass Fishing 1

Another cold, hard winter bass fishing fact is a need to make sure you are fishing in the right spot. Anglers need to look for areas that have deep water and baitfish. If both are present, then it is a perfect fishing place.

Use Google Maps or any type of topographical map to find good fishing locations. Anglers should look for humps, islands that are underwater, and long points. Finding places that has both deep and shallow depthsnear by. While most fish, including bass, will be deeper during the cold weather but they will move to different water levels to look for food.

If the body of water is familiar to you then assess where the fish are during the warmer weather. If it’s a spawning area, then chances are the bass won’t be far from there. There will be a deeper area of water close to a spawning flat that will be where the wintering bass are going to be.

Lure Choice

Going winter fishing means that techniques are more streamlined compared to the warmer weather. Any baits that are fast-moving or topwater are not going to be overly helpful in the cold weather. Baits that hug the bottom or ones that are slow-moving are going to work best.

Some good winter baits are jigs. Football head and hair jigs are good in the cold water. Having them move in a slow line on the bottom will give the angler a better chance of getting slow bass to bite. Football head jigs act like crawfish so be sure that they also have similar colors. Green or brown should be a top choice. White and silver are good colors for hair jigs.

Metal baits can work as well along with spoon and blade ones. Hard metal is great in cold water. They act like dying baitfish so will entice the bass.

Another lure option is a soft-plastic bait. Using it slowly on a drop shot rig will work well. The angler should probably experiment with the size of bait and leader length to find what works best. Smaller bait may be better along with adjusting the leader length according to the fish’s distance to the bottom.

Water Temperature

Water temperature when fishing

Understanding water temperature when fishing for bass in the winter is important. It’s these facts that will let an angler make an educated guess about where the bass will settle. Temperature changes will make the bass move from deep to shallow and vice versa.  Knowing the water temperature and what they mean allows an assessment of the eating habits and placement. This will change from place to place as they adapt, so bass in far northern areas may be more resilient to colder water.

Below 40°F

If you want a fishing challenge, then this will be it. Catching bass in water this cold is difficult but not impossible. They tend to be fairly inactive and simply want a quick catch meal. The bait has to be right ahead of them if they are going to hit.


This is prime winter bass fishing temps. The fish slow how much they feedbut still want to eat. They will go after lures to a certain extent and can be caught with more ease than with the colder water.


This is the extreme range of being able to say this is winter fishing. While it is not the far north temperatures, it is typical for the southern states and possibly the coldest water they will experience. These are transition temperatures from fall to winter and winter to spring. This makes for good fishing when there’s warmer water.

Electronics Use

Using your fish finder and GPS for prime locations is needed in the cold weather. Being able to scan an area is a good way to find baitfish and bass. Vertical presentation of bait is a great approach. It can take some practice, but it’s a good way to catch them.

Final Thoughts

The cold, hard facts about winter bass fishing are simple. Be safe, find a good spot, pick some prime lures and find those fish. Just because the cold sets in, the fishing adventures don’t have to come to an end.

Posted in

Roy Ericson

Roy Ericson started fishing when he was just a boy, like many of us did. He spent far too much time on the piers not being able to catch anything, until his uncle brought him deep sea fishing, out to the lakes of Michigan, where he lived, and to the various ponds in neighboring states. He’s been all over, caught over 400 different species of fish, and doesn’t believe you should embellish your stories. He’s just here to teach you about his absolute favorite thing in the world: fishing.