Cold Water Bass

What gear should I have before going bass fishing next winter?

You won’t need any special gear for winter bass. The same gear your use in spring and fall will work just fine in winter.

What you need are new tactics.

n winter, bass being cold-blooded, will experience a change in metabolism. Their systems will operate much slower, with the goal of conserving as much energy as possible. They will expend as few calories as possible to get a meal, so instead of being a roving predator, they will now hover near structure, at a comfortable temperature and oxygen level, and let food come to them. They will not move very far, or fast to eat.

So, with this in mind, here is what you should do to catch bass in winter, in any lake.
1. Expect bass to be holding in 10′-15′ of water, near structure.
2. Your retrieve must be so slow that you can hardly stand it. And placement must be virtually on top of the bass. Slow jigging is very effective at this time of year.
3. Your baits must be small, and drab colored. Small soft plastic baits are great, especially ‘Do-Nothing’ type worms. The key is Keep It Small and Slow (KISS). This applies to all winter fishing. Black Bass fishing in winter can be tough if you don’t keep 4 things in mind:
Bass will be deeper than in warmer months.
Fish slower with more subtle movements.
Winter can bring major low-pressure systems which can cause bass to feed heavily.
Watch your line intently when fishing plastics as the bite will be light.
Happy fishing

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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