It’s cold, the water is cold, you are cold, and the bass are cold. To a lot of anglers it is the end of the fishing season. Winter time bass fishing is for those truly passionate anglers that want to hook into their personal best and have the tenacity to endure the slow winter bite and bone chilling temps.
First of all, bass are cold blooded and their metabolism will slow drastically as the water temps drop into the 50s and below. They won’t want to waste a lot of energy chasing fast moving prey and sometimes even prey that isn’t going to make a good meal.
Throw those big baits, crank them slowly across the bottom, let them sit and soak, and generally make them a slow appetizing dish for a big bass. Six inch swim baits, big creature baits on Carolina rigs, chatter baits and jigs with big bulky trailers, and lipless cranks bounced off the bottom are all great choices. Nothing in the water during the cold winter months will be moving really fast or making a huge racket very often so slow quiet baits are going to be your wheel house.
Don’t get discouraged, the bite will be slow. You may only get one or two bites a day, but they will be worth it. You may end up with the fight of your life as you crank in that 10 lb behemoth.
On the opposite end of the spectrum there will be days where the bas are going to love small finesse baits just like they do during spawn. Ned rigs, drop shots, micro Carolina rigs, finesse jigs, and weightless Texas rigs can bring you some amazing bites during those frosty months, especially if the temps have been a little higher than usual and the shallows gain a few degrees of warmth in the late afternoons.
So keep those rods and reels out and ready, bring out the big baits and the teensy baits, and see which ones the bass in your lakes prefer!