How can I catch bass in the winter?

It’s cold and I’m having a hard time catching bass. How can I catch bass in the winter?

Largemouth Bass fishing in winter definitely presents a great challenge. A key element is what part of the country you are fishing. Largemouth Bass become completely dormant when the water temperature goes below forty degrees. At forty-five degrees they may become a bit active. I however do not recommend even attempting to target Largemouth Bass until the water temperature reaches fifty degrees. This means most of the Northern United States is not a good place to fish for Largemouth Bass in water. If you are on these waters I suggest targeting another species. Walleye and Northern Pike are much better choices in these areas. Once the water temperature hits fifty degrees you now have a fighting chance. The key concept you must always remember is to keep it slow. If you are not catching fish in areas you know hold Largemouth Bass you should always operate under the assumption that you are fishing to fast. Slow is always best. The other adjustment you should make to your technique is to make a 180 degree change from how you normally fish in the spring, summer and fall. Winter Largemouth Bass fishing is best accomplished by slowly retrieving your lure across the bottom. You often will merely lift the lure off the bottom and allow it to sink back to the bottom. This is often when your strikes will occur. You need to put away all the top water lures, spinnerbaits and other fast moving lures that were successful during the rest of the year. Winter bass fishing is the time for jigs, plastic worms and other slow moving bottom bouncing baits. It is also best to keep your baits large. Winter bass are not very active and prefer to expend energy sparingly; one large meal works better than several small ones.


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

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