by Mike Gerry
Winter random searching
In the wintertime it is imperative that you become an avid user of your electronics. The key to finding fish is in the details on your graph, and searching is the key. Never, in the history of the bass fishing world, have we had more detail to search from than we have today. Lowrance electronics is so advanced in the picture you get while scanning the bottom, that finding fish is now an art that requires you to learn to use today’s technology. Being proficient is not an option anymore; it’s a requirement. If you take it seriously enough you can be a great winter fisherman.
The key is finding and understanding what you’re seeing. Random arches, grass, rock, humps, sharp drops all give you keys as to where the fish are hiding and how to fish them. Understanding what you’re seeing and gathering up the details all lead you to the next bite. As an example, bass position sometimes along drops. Many times they’re on the first drop as you work down the water column. Visualizing where they are positioned can be the key to getting into the fish and finding that winning bag. If the bass are along a ten-foot drop then that is a key that you must use to your advantage. Look at other ten-foot drops to see if it’s a pattern, then start to fish the drop that you found them gathering around. Once you get a bite, proceed to work that area thoroughly and use it as a pattern, especially if you caught more than one fish off that ten-foot drop. I believe that one fish is a bite, two fish caught is a good sign, and three fish caught is a pattern.
Finding the clues is the key, and in the winter, the clues may be all you have to go by. Keys come in many forms: water clarity – is the water clear or dirty and how far down can you see? Look around for bait fish moving in the area – are there birds flying and diving for food nearby? Are there active bass feeding around the area you located? All these tell you if you’re in the right area or not, and if you’re observant, you will find the winter bass.