Bass fishing in the winter isn’t always the most pleasant activity; it’s cold, windy and sometimes the fish just don’t want to cooperate. This doesn’t mean that winter bass fishing is mission impossible.
If you live in a region where the lakes aren’t frozen over and you’re thinking of targeting bass, you’ll need to know which types of structures tend to attract them when the temperatures drop.
Bluffs are steep, rocky shorelines where big smallmouth and largemouth like to hang out during the cold months. When you find one, fish it slowly and don’t limit yourself to just one lure or technique. If the water’s clear, plastic worms in a natural color pattern can be very effective for a smallmouth bite. Try Berkley’s Power Worm on a dropshot rig, and work it slowly on these rocky bluffs to draw strikes. Bluffs are also home to crawfish and baitfish, which means soft plastic crawfish baits, crankbaits and swimbaits will be useful, too.
Main Lake Points
Points are known for being a hub of bass activity throughout the year, but during winter, when the lake is low, they really start to bunch up on these structures. Find a point that is just out of the main lake current and you’ll likely stumble upon a bunch of bass feeding on baitfish and crawfish. On these areas, use a Carolina-rigged lure—YUM’s Lizard is nice—to trigger reaction strikes. It’ll be a bonus, too, is you can find any wood cover on these points, since stumps and submerged timber attract bass like nobody’s business. Work your lizard, or even a jig, in and around this timber to find success.
Any piece of the lake bottom that rises to form an underwater hill or island is known as a hump, and because of low water levels in winter, many of these structures are now visible. Fishing these structures can be tough when it’s cold, but slowing down your presentation and working with finesse baits typically means success. Drop-shotting small, straight-tailed finesse worms like the Strike King KVD Fat Baby Finesse Worm or Carolina rigging small worms, lizards, grubs, jerkbaits and crayfish imitating baits tends to draw more strikes in cold water than large baits.