Cold fronts in the winter
by Mike Gerry
It’s always a struggle when a cold front hits your lake in the middle of winter. Suddenly, your lake surface temperature drops a bunch, it’s uncomfortable, and your mind plays games with you during this cold time. You must overcome the mental part as you hit the lake, or it will sure enough be a disaster. Once you’ve made the mental jump, then your fishing skills and knowledge must take over; here are some of my thoughts on where to fish.
First and foremost, bass will move to the warm spots around the lake and so will the bait fish; finding these warming areas is your key to finding active fish. Hard cover is the first areas to be warmed by the sun. Bass will find the slightest temperature change and migrate to these areas. One of the first hard cover areas I go to, and the easiest to find, is rocky areas like rock points or rip rap near deep water. Combine that with points; the rocky points become ideal locations for bass. Causeways that have ten-foot plus depth along the edges create ideal warming zones. When causeways are built with rock, the rock is not placed in parallel. They are pushed into the bottom, forming underneath points and epth changes. Making for ideal bass coldfront bass hangouts that make great locations for bass looking to warm their bodies from the cold change in temperature.
Next is wood. Stumps hold warmth, and bass migrate to stumps during cold fronts. There is one key, in most cases, wood must be relatively near deep water, so if you head to the back of a creek where there are stumps, you are probably not where the fish are. Find the stumps or lay downs around deep water edges like the river channel or drops along creekbeds, as this is where the activity will be.
Lastly, shell beds are heat sources. Find the shell beds, and you will find the bass during a cold front. In most cases, shell beds generally are located near depth changes, drops off the banks or into creekbeds, or along river channel edges become ideal spots for shell beds to form.
Find the warming zone, and you will find the fish.