It’s hard to imagine fishing in these conditions. Your hands are numb, nose is running, toes are cold and you are feeling downright miserable, then you set the hook on a big ole bass and it all goes away in an instant. Fishing during the winter is not for everyone but if you know when, where, and what to do it can be a very successful time. Here are a few winter time fishing tips that will get you feeling the rush of a big catch.
The Best Time for Fishing in the Winter
The when is the key to winter time fishing. When you go will put the odds in you favor. Try to look for a warming trend in the forecast. It does not have to be a huge swing in temperature, but looking for a warming few couple of days will do the trick. If you notice that the sun has been beating down on the water for two days, make sure to get out then or the following day. The warming trend will bring the bait up and the bass will follow.
The Best Places to Cast
This brings us to where you should look to cast. Look to cast in deep water close to the bank where you can see a current break and/or a rocky shoreline on the western side of the body of water. This is where the sun beats on the water the longest, causing the rocks to warm. Bass will move up and down the steep bank to feed, not necessarily all the way up to the shallows, but somewhere along the drop. Good electronics are needed to pinpoint the bait so you can concentrate on that area. You may have to move around to a few of these wintering type holes to find the right combination for that day. Just remember to look for the warmest water. A few degrees change in temperature is huge and will narrow down your search to find the big fish.
Many times, the fish will suck it off the bottom and if you do not let it lay, the bait won’t get bitten. There is a vast amount of baits that will catch the fish, but we have the best bait choices for your methods.
Best Baits to Use
What kind of bait to use can be of a variety or very simple depending on how much you like to experiment. Here are a few of the tried and true methods.
First, is the hair jig. Years ago, this is all that would be used and even without a trailer if you preferred. Tied on six pound line and a six foot, eight inches medium extra fast rod, one could throw this all-day long. Nowadays, you can still use this combo a lot, but not exclusively. The Kalin's Marabou Jig in either 1/8 ounce or 1/4 ounce. The hair is a little longer, but not too bulky.
In the last couple of years, the introduction of the Z-Man Ned Rig TRD worm has really changed the game. It is a very buoyant plastic two ¾ inch long that with the Z-Man Ned HD lure stands straight up off the bottom which is very enticing to winter fish. Since then they added the Ned TRD Tube which does the same thing and is two ½ inches long, both catch cold water fish really well and offers more color choices. All of these baits are critical to fish on the six pound Hi-Seas Fluorocarbon line and the most sensitive rod you can buy. The bite is what we call a pressure bite, you don’t really feel any type of tap but more just a change in weight or pressure of the lure, so the line rod combination is critical in detecting that. Another great cold-water bait is the Silver Buddy or blade bait. I use the 1/2oz size the majority of the time but there has been times the 1/4oz is all they would eat. Color is real simple for me Silver or gold. The colder the water the slower the action of the bait. I will let it lay on the bottom a few seconds before the next jig.
Remember these tips, rigs, and to always dress warm. Try to take your fishing buddy along, and always wear your life jacket. It can be very dangerous out there and being mindful of what is going on around you can save your life. Winter fishing can be great just remember the when, where, and what baits to use. For more tips, stop into our store, or give us a call!