Cold weather is when a lot of anglers do their best smallmouth bass fishing.
The key to a successful trip is to pick a lake with a good winter smallmouth reputation. Lake Cumberland, Laurel River Lake, Dale Hollow Lake, and Cave Run Lake in Kentucky and Cherokee and Norris lakes in Tennessee are a few where smallmouth remain active during most all of the winter months.
You do not have to fish in real deep water to find smallmouth on some lakes. Big smallmouth are caught in only six to eight feet of water on many lakes. Baits and patterns for winter smallmouth will vary from lake to lake so it is smart to research and check up on recent fishing information on the lake you plan to fish.
Basic baits include smaller baits that you can fish slowly and at many depths — tube baits and jigs, both rubber and hair types. Most anglers use the hair jigs this time of year, and the curly tail grub fished on a small jig head are all top choices by most winter smallmouth anglers.
One other rig very popular on lakes such as Dale Hollow is the float and fly rig. Still, many anglers prefer live bait in the winter and this is a great way to find and catch winter smallmouth.
Just fish slowly and stay warm. Spring will be here soon.