Let nature lead you
Over my many years of guiding and fishing, I have learned many lessons. One that stands out and has been a key in wintertime fishing, has been that the natural elements can really tell the tale in the winter. This past week was a typical example as I noticed some gulls and loons diving over an area of about ten-feet of water.
As I approached the feeding, I took out a crankbait and started working the area nearby and found a school of spotted bass. We went on to catch tons of fish because I noticed the birds feeding; the natural elements led me to the bite. Had I not seen these birds feeding, I assure you I would have moved past this area and would have missed these fish.
Nature in the winter is a telling tale, and feeding birds diving on bait fish put me in position to have a great day. Feeding birds are just one of the natural hints that can help you in the winter. There are more, but you must be aware of your surroundings to notice them. Another big tell is water temperature. It seems minor, but just a few degrees of water temperature is another key to finding winter fish. Warming water temperature in an area maybe out of the wind or from more direct sunlight gives you another opportunity to find feeding fish.
Another true mark of finding fish is green grass. Yes. There is a big difference in areas of dying grass and green grass. As the old saying says, “Dead grass uses oxygen, and green grass produces oxygen,” bass will relate to the green grass because of the oxygen levels.
Lastly, sunlit areas in the winter are always more productive. If you are fishing on a cloudy day and find an area where the sun is peeping out, the difference can be far, as that area receiving sunlight seems to gather the bass and cause them to feed, especially in the cold of winter. Not only does the sun gather the bass, but it draws the bait, and combined, becomes a great area for catching.
-Captain Mike Gerry