Winter is right on top of us and the weather is still somewhat mild. This is good and bad for some anglers. It is good for largemouth fisherman but not so good for smallmouth bass anglers.
Most smallmouth anglers prefer cooler water and air temperatures so they can fish the rigs like the float-and-fly set up, but it has been too warm to fish it correctly. However, other baits like the rubber and hair jigs and tube baits and curly tail grubs and crank baits can also work well for both largemouth and smallmouth bass.
When the bass seem to be moving around more and not holding tight to cover you can fish a bait like a crank bait or spinner bait and cover a lot of water quickly while eliminating unproductive water and also locating feeding active fish. From what I have been told lately by anglers fishing on several lakes in Kentucky and Tennessee, this type of pattern seems to be holding up pretty good.
If you fish with crank and spinner baits and do not get any action, switch to slower baits like jigs and tube baits and fish closer and tighter to some form of cover. Big weather changes, fast falling or raising water, cold muddy water or fishing pressure can put a bass in a more negative feeding mood and make them hold closer to cover. But these fish still will feed and can be caught by slowing down and fishing tight to cover.
During this time of year, the use of live bait can pay off big to catch some nice bass, giving the winter angler even more options to use on his or her next trip.
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