Winter Bass Fishing Tips to Catch More Bass Now | Bass Fishing
Articles, Blog

Winter Bass Fishing Tips to Catch More Bass Now | Bass Fishing

January 16, 2020

Keri: Here, you little feisty thing. Come hither. You are a feisty thing. There you are. You are a feisty one. Not happy at all. That one’s not having that in his mouth. Another little drop shot bass come over. Hey there, little guy. He was, like, almost behind the boat. They’re cold. Glenn: Hey, folks. Glenn May here at and today,
I want to talk about winter bass fishing strategies. It’s really interesting to me in the wintertime
because a lot of guys put away their rods and reels for the winter and won’t fish until
the springtime. And you know, I think that’s a mistake because
the fish are still biting and a lot of times, the bass, they’re about the biggest they’re
going to be year-round. So, your chances of catching a trophy fish
are pretty good. Albeit the bite isn’t super fast, so, you’ve
got to keep that in mind. But today, I want to talk about this. You really have to have a little bit of different
approach to wintertime fishing armed with a really good set of knowledge on bass behavior
during the wintertime to up your odds in catching some of these trophy fish. So, that’s what we’re going to go through
today. Let’s get into some of the fishing strategies
and things you need to know about, starting with locating these bass. There’s two main things to focus on during
the wintertime. That is deeper water and bait fish. For the most part, let’s talk about deeper
water first. Bass, as a general rule, are deeper during
the wintertime than they are during, say, the spring and summer. So, the best way to find them is twofold. One is if you’re familiar with the lake and
you have been successful during pre-spawn fishing or during the fall then you’re pretty
close already to where the bass are going to be. Just like in pre-spawn where you’re, kind
of, a step away from the actual spawning flats, take your position where that pre-spawn is
and take a step back, a little bit deeper. And that’s probably a good starting point
for wintertime fishing. They’re gonna be a little bit deeper away
from those pre-spawn areas but not too far away from them, as a general rule. It’s a good starting point. Another way to find them is use your depth
finder, look around, find that structure. Here you’re looking for underwater humps,
you’re looking for underwater islands, ridges, long tapering points, those kind of things. Typically I’d start around that 15 to 25-foot
range. In the neck of the woods I’m in, the dead
of winter, you’re looking at 50 plus, seriously, 45 to 55-feet water in some bodies I fish
on is where the bass hang out. So, as a general rule, just back up a little
bit from those pre-spawn areas and start there to find them. The other thing is find those bait fish. Bass are not gonna wander far from the bait
fish. So, what I like to do is look around with
my graph and see if I can’t find balls of bait fish and figure out at what depth are
they hanging out at, and then I look for that intersection of structure. Say they’re hanging out in 20 feet of water,
well, I’ll look for those long tapering points, for example, and I’ll start fishing right
about 20 feet of water and see if I can hook up with any bass that way. Same thing with the ridges and the humps and
ditches and that sort of thing. So, that’s, as a general rule, a good way
to start out finding those bass. They’re not gonna wonder far from those bait
fish. Now, if you’re unfamiliar with the body of
water, then a good map, a good topographical map combined with the map on your GPS unit,
if you have a boat, can help you find those areas. Again, you’re looking for those underwater
structure areas that can intersect at different depth levels where those bait fish might be
hiding. So, see if you can find those on maps, mark
them first before you go out fishing so it speeds up your time to find and locate those
fish. Keri: There you go. That’s much better. Glenn: There we go. Keri: Much better. A little 8-incher. Glenn: He’s a little bit bigger than that. He’s a little bigger than that. Keri: Maybe 10. Glenn: Welcome aboard, big guy. He is cold. Keri: Look at that. He’s cold? Glenn: Cold. You’re cold. Got him right in the cheek. That’ll work. Okay. Let’s talk a little bit about lure selection. It’s actually a lot easier in the wintertime
to figure out what lures to use because, as a general rule, bass aren’t gonna be hitting
top-water baits, they’re not gonna be aggressively chasing down fast-moving baits, like crankbaits
and spinnerbaits. So, that leaves you to slower-moving baits
and baits that stay or hug on the bottom or stay near the bottom. So, my lure selection choice would start off
with jigs, two different kinds of jigs. One is your typical, you know, rubber-skirted
jig, football head jig, because you’re fishing structure not cover for the most part, so
you’re fishing rocky areas so football head jig is perfect for that, or ball-headed jig,
but I like to go with football. And with that, you’re imitating a crawdad. And crawdads during the wintertime are a bit
lethargic, they’re moving slow, they are affected by the winter, the cold water, so they move
slow. They’re not hopping and jumping up off the
bottom and moving around so just crawl it on the bottom, just drag it along the bottom. You can do this with your rod, just drag,
just move your rod and watch your rod tip. Or what I like to do a lot of times is I just
take the boat and I drift over those structure areas I just talked about, just dragging that
football jig. I usually go with a little bit heavier jig,
like a half-ounce jig, sometimes up to a three-quarter ounce if I’m fishing really deep. That just allows me to maintain bottom, contact
with the bottom. I can really feel if there’s any light pickups
when the bass grab them. The other kind of lure I like to use is a
hair jig. Hair jigs do a great job of imitating bait
fish. And during this time of year, the bait fish,
more than any other kind of fish in the lake are affected by colder temperatures. The colder it is, the more they struggle to
stay alive, particularly if you have, like, threadfin shad. If you don’t have that, even the perch and
gobies, those fish will struggle at times when the water gets really cold, they’ll get
real lethargic and move slowly because they’re trying to conserve energy. So, a hair jig can really imitate that action. Hair jig, you can either drag it right on
the bottom and here, you’re trying to make it look like, say, a goby just hanging out,
just dragging along the bottom or a sculpin. And sculpin don’t have air bladders so they’re
not gonna lift up off the bottom. So, don’t do that, they won’t look natural. Just drag it along the bottom just like you
did a jig. You can also use a hair jig when you find
those balls of bait fish sitting over structure and let that hair jig drop through that bait
fish down to the bass that are sitting down underneath and it looks just like a little
bait fish that’s dying and struggling to stay alive and that triggers that predatory instinct
with the bass and they’re gonna engulf it. So, great bait to use, both on the bottom
as well as suspended fish during the wintertime. That was a pick-up. It just got light. I just lost the weight. There we go. Cold-water jig fish. All right. Not a huge one, but hey, I’ll take it in the
wintertime. Another type of bait I like to use are the
metal blades…metal baits. The metal baits, those are things like spoons
and also blade baits. Spoons, what they do is they don’t even look
like anything, you know, in the natural wild, right? But they imitate that dying bait fish action,
which is what the bass are really keying on. Again, these bait fish are struggling to stay
alive and a lot of them are dying, so what they do is they, kind of, flutter. They fall. They try to stabilize themselves and dart
back up and they fall again. And that’s exactly how you fish a spoon, you
get it down towards the bottom, you jig it up and let it flutter back down on slackline. And that action is what the bass, they’re
triggered on biting, so a spoon can be very, very effective. Blade baits are a little bit different. They’re smaller. They do look like a bait-fish profile and
they vibrate a lot. So, those are great. You rip them up off the bottom, again, flutter
back down, but a lot of times, the bass will hit the blade bait as it comes off the bottom
versus a spoon when they hit it on the fall. For that reason, I like to also take a blade
bait and bring it along the bottom contours over structure. Sometimes I’ll take the boat and I’ll put
it in shallow water, throw it out deeper and bring that blade bait uphill, just crawl on
the bottom letting it move along just real slowly, it can look, you know, like an innocent
little bait fish that’s wandered off from its school. Easy target for the bass. So, blade baits and spoons. My next choice would be finesse baits using
either a split shot or a drop shot rig. These baits are, for example, I will use a
3-inch minnow-type bait and put it on a drop shot. I’ll use a shorter leader this time of year
because a lot of times the bass are hanging out right on the bottom so I want to get that
bait right down near them so I’m using an 8 to 10-inch leader versus, you know, an 18
to 24-inch leader that I do in the summertime. So, a shorter leader. And I move it nice and slow again. You’re trying to imitate a dying bait fish,
so they’re not gonna move real fast. So don’t shake the tip really hard and make
all this movement. You just want to make it nice, and easy, and
slow. And again, I do the same thing as I do with
the jigs, I just drag it along the bottom with the rod tip down pointed at the water
and watch for that bite. Because you’re moving really slow, the bass
doesn’t have to, you know, chase after it and annihilate it, so a bite is gonna be more
subtle. Watch for that bite. It’s gonna be very soft. It may just feel like a little spongy feel
on your drop shot. Another bait I like to use is a 3-inch tube. I’ll put that on a split shot and do the same
presentation, but here, again, I’m looking for, like, a bait fish or a crawdad that’s
crawling on the bottom. Same presentation but different bait. And I also like to use finesse worms, 4-inch
hand-poured finesse worms. I can use them both on a drop shot and a split
shot. Same presentation. Color-wise, I like to stick with green pumpkin,
and the browns, the natural colors because the bait’s moving slower, it gives a little
more time for the bass to examine it so you want it to look natural to them. So, those are the baits I use during the wintertime. Keri: Oh, you’re pulling like you’re mean. Glenn: There you go. That’s a bit better. Keri: Pulling like you’re mean. Glenn: That’s a good fish there. There you go. That’s a largemouth. Keri: Boy, oh, boy. You are not happy with me. Glenn: There we go. That does the trick. Keri: That does the trick, drop shot fish. There we go. There we go. There we go, much better fish. Much better. That’s what we’ve been waiting all day for. Glenn: That’s a good one. Keri: Thank you, dude. Got a little belly on him. Glenn: Yeah. That works. Keri: Got a little fish, drop shotting. Here you go, baby. Thank you for the play. That was fun. Slowly just saunters off. Glenn: One other tip I want to give you for
bass fishing during the wintertime is use your electronics, really learn how to use
your electronics. Get it off the auto mode and understand how
to interpret what those electronics are telling you because a lot of times here, you’re not
fishing visible structure. You’re not fishing docks or stumps that are
sticking out of the water or lily pad fields, that sort of stuff where you see it. Here, you gotta use your underwater eyes to
see that structure, so you need to be able to find and understand the difference between,
say, chunk rock and gravel or a hard bottom and a soft bottom, besides just the contour
changes. Really understand what kind of bottom that
is. And then be able to pick out your lure. A lot of these presentations, such as jigging
spoons, using blade baits, using drop shot, you know, you’re sitting right over the spot
in deeper water and you can use your electronics to watch that bait come down through the water
column. And a lot of times, you can see the bass react
to it and you can adjust your tactics. It’s almost like sight fishing that you see
in the springtime. You can watch bass react to your lure and
change your presentation to get them to bite. If you can really understand your electronics
and understand what you’re seeing, it’s very similar. It’s like sight fishing. So, take the time to understand your electronics
because it’s a valuable asset during the wintertime. Armed with these tips, you’re gonna catch
yourself a big fish during the wintertime. Understand it’s gonna be slow, but when you
do catch a fish, it’s gonna be a big one. For more tips and tricks like this, visit


  • Reply Robert Timmerman January 13, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    The tube works wonders for me in the winter here in Kentucky. The green pumpkin and the chartreuse have been getting it done.

  • Reply Richard Doxtater January 13, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    I need tips like this for bank anglers. No electronics and can't always reach the deeper water.

  • Reply Mike Curry January 13, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    I would like to know how come you guys don’t do more bank fishing videos for us people that don’t have a boat

  • Reply Untamed Fishing Adventures January 13, 2020 at 6:02 pm

    Can’t wait to try these thanks for the video!

  • Reply Bruce Simmons January 13, 2020 at 6:37 pm

    I've been trying the Float N Fly since winter set in with limited success. I've been told it's a solid winter tactic. Could you perhaps elaborate a little on how it's done? I'm just trying to gain more confidence with it really, they aren't hitting much else except a Ned rig & I get bored with that fairly quickly despite landing more fish using it. Thanks

  • Reply gary holiner January 13, 2020 at 7:16 pm

    glen good info but I live in the Midwest frozen lakes don't let me but my boat in the water plus my lure sit on the ice don't tell me to fish ice fishing

  • Reply Al Perry January 13, 2020 at 7:54 pm

    SLOW DOWN !! Thanks

  • Reply michael shoffner January 13, 2020 at 11:00 pm

    air temp today in mississippi is about 60 water temp 55. me and my buddy fished a brand new lake to us. i threw a black swim jig and he was using a baby brush hog. He caught 4 really good fish around cypress trees in 2 foot of water and i only caught one. his lighter presentation was the key i believe to his success and my failure. we were both flipping

  • Reply John Hipp January 14, 2020 at 5:23 pm

    Where to start on a 400 acre relatively flat bottom lake? Max depth maybe 10-12 foot. Water temps probably never below 45 degrees.

  • Reply Mike Gardiner January 14, 2020 at 11:53 pm

    Nice video Glenn! I think between the drop shot and Ned, I’ve had a pretty good winter so far. Still waiting on that big by though. God bless!

  • Reply Nate Somers January 15, 2020 at 1:56 am

    What state do you live in? Thanks for the tips!

  • Leave a Reply