December on Guntersville
by Mike Gerry
If you look at what to expect on Guntersville in December, history says there will be more change and transition than any other time of year. We generally start the month off with fall-type temperatures, and as the month progresses, we fall into night-time temperatures, in the teens. This major weather change moves the fish off the fall patterns and drops the water temperature drastically. Hence, the bass fishing changes with it. However, there has not been as much cold weather as there used to be, making the changes more subtle than in the past.
Never, in my 20-plus years of keeping my history of my fishing days on Guntersville, does any month change so drastically and abruptly as does December. We go from top-water fishing over shallow water to deep water and a ton of mid-day movement as the bass are constantly on the move. This change to slow, patient fishing, where persistence and slow presentation can be the key in getting a bite. Not only slow retrieves are key, but bait size becomes more of an issue than any other time of year. You must downsize to equal the size of the natural bait, “match the hatch” as they say, and let the bait become an easy meal for bass.
In the winter, one of my favorite baits during these transition times is a Missile Baits 48 stick bait. With this sinko-type worm, worked over the drops and depth changes, fishing stumps, or maybe deep coon tail grass still showing on your structure scan, can be deadly. I find that the bass movement in December, even though drastic in abruptness, as it pertains to weather and water temperature, the bass move in steps and December is so early in the change that their movement is not far from some of their fall hang outs, just a little deeper.
Lastly, as December is full of weather change and every day can be different. Bass will find the warmer days and still move up and back to feed until some consistent cold weather just drives them to the suspending stage for some enduring length of time.
December fishing is all about change and if you have the ability to change with it you can still have a productive December.