Bass fishing in the winter? Four tips to try

Do you ever go bass fishing in the winter? If not, is it something that you’ve thought about but just haven’t given a try yet? Going bass fishing in the winter has many advantages. The lakes and rivers are less populated and the fish are usually very hungry. Winter fishing can be very productive and you may be a little surprised at how many bass you can catch this time of year. Nevertheless, it is different than fishing during the other seasons and it can be more difficult.

You’ll need to put a little more effort in getting prepared when fishing in the winter than at any other time. Instead of packing sunscreen and light weight long-sleeve shirts to keep from getting sunburned, you need to dress in layers and wear clothing made to handle the cold weather. Modern technology has created clothing that keeps you warm and toasty while being lightweight enough to move around comfortably so staying warm is no longer a problem.

Winter Bass Fishing Tips

Since fishing in the winter is much different than fishing during the other seasons it helps to get some advice from experienced anglers that have learned how to get results. This way, you won’t have to learn everything from scratch giving you a head start on your winter adventure. This’ll save you lots of time and make fishing in the winter even more exciting.

Four tips to try when bass fishing in the winter are listed below:

1. Use a Slow Presentation- In the winter, the bass won’t be as active. In fact, they will move very slowly so you’ll need to move slower too. Therefore, you need to maintain a slow, steady retrieval speed at all times and be patient. It’s even suggested that you leave the lure dangling for a few minutes to give the bass time to strike. It may take awhile to get the attention of the bass but once you do, it’ll be worth all the effort you put into it.

2. Use the Largest Bait Possible- The bass won’t move around and chase food like they normally do so you’ll need to offer them a tasty meal if you want to get results. If it’s not large enough to capture their attention they won’t waste their time going after it.

3. Be Ready for the Bite- The bass won’t be as aggressive in the winter so most of the time they’ll strike very gently. This means that you need to be ready for the bite in order to feel it. Pay close attention to your line and watch for any movement that could be a sign you have a bite.

4. Use Fewer Rods- In the spring and summer many anglers will use three or four rods when bass fishing but in the winter, two is plenty. If you try to use more than that it will be too easy to miss bites reducing the number of bass you can catch.

Where you live will determine which techniques you should try. For example, if you live in the south you may want to go trolling for bass in the winter. This will allow you to get the bait in the deeper parts of the water easier. However, if you live in the north you may be doing some ice fishing.

When fishing in the winter with artificial lures some of your best options include jigs, crankbaits, spinnerbaits and hard plastics. Utilize colors in the winter for the best results and it would be a good idea to try experimenting with different colors to see what kind of results you get.

Basic Information

The bass is a very popular species that can be fished all over the nation and they can be found in all types of water from lakes and rivers to small ponds. Anyone can fish for bass regardless of age or skill and it doesn’t require any special gear to catch them. However, you do need to make sure you have good quality gear because the bass is very aggressive and will put a strain on the equipment. You don’t want to lose a nice catch due to poor quality gear.

The bass will follow certain patterns in the winter and once you learn what these are, you can be more productive. The bass will respond differently just before a cold front moves in than at other times and they will be found in the deeper parts of the water throughout the winter. If it’s your first time fishing for bass in the winter it would be a good idea to go over the rules and regulations regarding bass fishing. They may be different than what you’re use to.

The bass is a fun and exciting species to seek out and you don’t have to hang up your rod and reel when the cold weather starts moving in. Use the tips above to help you get started and head out to the water to take advantage of bass fishing in the winter.


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow bass fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on bass fishing since 2004.

One Response to “Bass fishing in the winter? Four tips to try”

  1. Gavin says:

    Hi, Daniel i am from Baja Mexico, and i have a fishing tournament in two weeks 29 and 30th of January 2011, its in a reservoir that its very dificult to fish because its a cristal clear water resorvoir..you can see 10 or 15 feet below the water..
    What is the best way to fish for clear water largemouth bass and what tipes of lures can you recomend to use..
    Dropshot, swimbaits, plastics?? etc. etc…

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