The weather may be freezing, but it still is not the dead of winter.
The effect this has on largemouth bass fishing is that bass are moving back off the shallower banks and will look for areas that have deeper water close by and some type of cover.
Bass will use many different types of areas to hold around at this time of year. Places like the edges of a drop-off on the edge of a main lake flat, or channels and creeks, cliff and bluff lines are good places to winter fish for largemouth bass. Also, one of the top spots is main lake point that has a steady drop-off into deeper water, and the best situation is if a channel hugs the point. This is about as good as it gets for winter bass fishing cover. Always take the time to check out these types of spots.
Fishing for largemouth bass at this time does not require a lot of lures. Good choices include hair jigs in dark colors like brown, orange, blue and black, tube baits in shad or crawdad colors, and, at times, a dark-colored medium diving crank bait can be a good lure to fish.
Look for these types of areas and keep your boat back off the spot and make your cast toward the bank. Then make your retrieve back toward the boat. By fishing this way, you will be presenting your bait from shallow to deep water and into the areas where bass should be holding at this time of year.
When you make your cast, work the bait just fast enough to feel the bottom for cover. If you feel some resistance or a strike, drop your rod tip slightly and if you think it’s a bass, set the hook. It will take you some time to tell the diff erence between a strike and a hang up.
Fish with light, clear line in the 8- to 12-pound test range. Live bait at this time of year can be very good. A big chub or minnow can produce some exciting bass action.
On your next winter bass trip, give these areas and baits a try.