With the cold and snow of this week, it’s hard to believe that just last week the weather was so warm and nice. It even got close to 70 degrees one day and was nice for several days in a row. This type of warming trend is what it takes this time of year to start a feeding spree for smallmouth and largemouth bass, trout and crappie.
After several days of consecutive warming, these fish will move to more shallow waters and feed more until a cold spell shuts them down again. Even though they feed more, the water is still cold and they will be slower and not as aggressive to chase bait as in summer. If you choose to go fishing during these warming trends, use artificial baits or smaller natural color baits. I like to use the colors like brown, green, black and white mixed with other colors.
When you see any type of feeding activity in an area, move close and make your casts past the area and slowly work the bait back using very little added action. Crank baits, jigs and tube baits work well. This is also a prime time to use live bait — just about anything swimming in the water will feed on a minnow, chub or live worm.
You cannot go wrong with live bait this time of year. But when the temperatures fall back down to bitter cold, you need to fish deeper and slower on most lakes. But some warmer weather is coming and will continue to as spring gets closer.