Winter days ahead
by Mike Gerry
It will not be long before we will be dealing with the cold of winter; 30° nights with 45° days and cold winds amount up to tough times trying to find a bite. So, what do you do, where do you start? You look out over the lake and there is no visible grass, there is no obvious structure so how can I put some fish in the boat?
I believe there are some obvious patterns and you must just put a little thought into it. Every lake has underwater points, roadbeds and structure that make great winter fishing spots your job is to find these spots.
Bass move to points and deep structure in the cold. They become creatures of habit and when those cold winter days are upon us you have to locate the areas they have moved to. The first thing I suggest is you start surveying the bottom for depth change with your Lowrance HDS unit or a good lake map. Look for areas where underwater points meet structure, like deep stumps and shell beds that form a hard bottom. In most lakes, the deep points hold plenty of bottom structure and for Guntersville it always seems as though the grass has formed somewhere along the underwater point. So, scanning the bottom for points, roadbeds and structure puts you in the area where the bass move to, when it is cold.
Now that you have located some possible structure and underwater points, I suggest you fish the point from deepest area to the shallow top of the point; I believe that bass will work up and down the point as the day moves on. Your job is to thoroughly work the area until you’re sure you have covered it completely. Working from the deepest part of the point to the top allows you to be precise and cover all the edges and drops around the point. In most cases, the bass will hold at the bottom of it and starting there puts you in position early in your fishing trip.
Find these bottom anomalies, cover them with slow, winter-type baits and fish them from the deepest part of the point to the top. This slow, methodical method in the coldest part of the winter, will produce good catches during the cold.