Winter time can be a tough time to catch bass. One of the toughest decisions a bass anglers faces is where to catch winter bass. As the days get shorter and water temps drop, bass will move into deeper water and become lethargic, meaning they are less likely to be aggressive. To make things worse on anglers, the colder water temps will also make a bass metabolism slow down. This means they do not have to eat as much during the winter months. However, it doesn’t mean bass can’t be caught during the winter months and having a possible record-setting day on the water. Anglers just need to find where they are located. Lets discuss where to catch winter bass, I’ll go over three main areas I catch bass during what a lot of anglers consider the worst bass fishing season.
Where To Catch Winter Bass – Steep Drop-Offs
The first area I like to catch bass during the winter is around steep drop-offs. Bass will often suspend over deep drop-offs holding shad. The reason for this is it provides food and easy access to shallow water on warmer days.
The key to finding bass on these deep drop-offs is searching with the electronics. This will require a lot of seat time but do not get discouraged. It can be time-consuming but once the right drop-off is found it will pay big dividends.
The main two things I am looking for when searching these drop offs are shad and bass feeding on those shad. It can be easy finding shad on most lakes but the key is finding the bass actively feeding on them. The “actively” part gets overlooked a lot of times by anglers and I am certainly guilty of this as well.
Learning to use electronics is vital to winter fishing and the same can be said for summer fishing. But with spring being the primary tournament time for most anglers, this provides the perfect time to learn to use electronics effectively.
Where To Catch Winter Bass – Deep Brush Piles
The second place I like to find winter bass is deep brush piles. These brush piles are great for winter bass because of a few different reasons but the main reasons are they provide cover and food for the winter bass. This scenario is perfect when considering bass don’t want to burn a lot of energy during the winter.
The best brush piles I’ve found are the ones on main lake points having a sharp drop off in-depth. This is another pattern where electronics come into play. Spending some seat time riding around looking for brush piles in the right areas is key.
The good thing, brush piles don’t move. Unlike Shad, once a brush pile is found there is no worry about it moving to another drop-off. Just mark it and fish it or continue to search for more just like it. The ideal depth I like for a brush pile is around 15 feet of water. This will be dependent on the lake being fished but as a rule of thumb, anything deeper than 10 feet would be ideal.
Where To Catch Winter Bass – Rocky Points
The last place winter bass are likely to be is rocky points. Steep rocky points are a great place for bass to hang out during the winter. The main forage for bass relating to rocky points is crawfish. Depending on location, this maybe a place better suited for the later winter months. In places like Florida the water temps will not drop too low for too long so bass can be found here sooner. But in the northern states the water temps will stay low for longer periods of time, making this a late winter pattern.
In water temps below 50 degrees crawfish have little to no activity. But as soon as water temps get to 50 degrees and up, crawfish activity will increase greatly. This is great for bass holding on these rocky points. It creates an easy meal for bass to indulge and not have to chase down food like they would do for shad. And like brush piles, the most productive rocky points I have found are ones around the main lake area. Winter time bass are generally in the main lake area and are less likely to be in shallow creeks.
Winter time is a tough time for bass fishing. The conditions can be brutal and the fishing can also be brutal. But there can be big stringers of fish caught if an angler invests the time to learn their electronics and have patience. Some of my angling friends have caught their personal best bass during the winter, so it can be done.
Something I always remind myself of is to listen to what the bass are telling me. If something isn’t working, then I know I have to switch things up.
The next time you get out on the water during the winter months look in these areas I described and maybe catch your personal best bass in these cold conditions.
Check out this article for the Top Five Winter Bass Catching Baits