Magnolia, DE - With the cold water season upon us, Team Bass King’s Trevor Knight wrote in to relay a few pointers regarding tactics for fall and winter bass fishing.
Winter is fast approaching as many anglers trade in their rod and reels for bows and rifles. However, the cold months are a great opportunity to catch fish while having the lake all to yourself. Here are a few pieces of advice that will make sure you get the most out of a winter time bass trip.
As the water temperature decreases, the bass’ metabolism does as well. This means that bass do not require as much energy to sustain body functions. Therefore, bass will not expend as much energy on foraging as they would in warmer temperatures. Bass will be looking for low effort, high reward meals during the winter. Two presentations accomplish that better than any other.
Below: Bass King Pro Team's Trevor Knight with a cold-weather Smallmouth.
In the winter, a suspending jerkbait and a jig are two excellent choices. A 4 to 5 inch suspending jerkbait provides bass with an easy meal. It gives the illusion of an injured baitfish that bass capitalize on in the cold water. Fish the jerkbait around deep drop offs close to hard structure such as rocks, bluffs, and docks. A slow cadence will trigger the most bites in the winter. Match the jerkbait with 8 to 10 lb test copolymer and a 7 ft medium heavy action spinning rod for the best results. Color will be determined by the predominant bait species in the body of water being fished.
A jig is another tried and true lure for catching big cold water bass. For largemouths, try pitching jigs around wood and rocks near deep water. A slow and methodical presentation will draw the most strikes. A bulky jig matched with a pork trailer seems to draw the most strikes. A football jig crawled across the bottom of gravel and rocky points adjacent to deep water is another great way to catch bass in the winter. Isolated stumps on these points only sweeten the spot. Stick with crawfish patterns such as pb&j, green pumpkin, watermelon, black and blue, etc. For smallmouth bass, the winter is a great time to throw a hair jig. Hair jigs create a fluid, lifelike action that cannot be duplicated with silicone skirted jigs in cold water. Hair jigs fished around gravel, chunk rock, and shell beds on main lake humps and bars produce hefty bronzebacks. Micro hair jigs can be fished on a float-n-fly around bluff walls in clear water impoundments when fishing is tough as well.
The most important aspect of winter time fishing is staying warm. Once your body gets cold, all the enjoyment of catching fish seems to fade away. In order to stay warm, be sure to dress in layers. A great layering would be to start with a base layer Bass Tech Long Sleeve Performance Shirt because of its moisture wicking properties and thermal leggings. The second layer would consist of a Bass King Long Sleeve T-Shirt and jeans. A great third layer would consist of a Bass King Thermal Hoodie. For a final outer layer, the new Bass King StormTek Jacket and Pants provides warmth, wind-breaking, and waterproof protection. Since a lot of body heat escapes through the head, a Bass King Beanie is a great option for headwear. A good pair of fleeced lined gloves and thermal socks will keep your hands and feet warm and toasty as well. One final piece of advice is to always bring a spare change of clothes in case you fall in the water during your trip. Hypothermia can happen rapidly if dry clothing is not available. So get out there, and enjoy some winter time bass action!