Moving to the winter
by Mike Gerry
In the winter, one thing you can always count on is the water temperature being the driving force behind the location of the bass during the cold months.
As we see the water temperatures start to drop below 60°F we will see movement of the bass toward their winter locations. As in any lake, the bass will locate near the deepest parts of the lake. That does not mean that the bass will travel miles to find deep water in fact, quite the opposite. Bass are not a species that will migrate several miles to find deep water, they generally will not leave the longer, wider creeks. They will just find the locations of deeper water within the creek they exist in.
One of the reasons certain areas of the lake become easier to find big fish, as we approach winter, over others, is that bass are not big travelers. The bass will not migrate far enough to leave the elongated creek areas, so they find deep water within the creek and this might be just ten feet of water. To these fish, channel areas may just be deep banks, or original creek paths along the edges of the creek that form points. They may even be old farm ponds where you have a depth change. As we get into winter, food is not the only driving factor of where bass locate themselves. Bass consume far less food in the chilly water than they do when the water temperatures are warmer.
One thing I find, especially in early winter or late fall, is that there are areas of the lake that can be significantly colder than other areas. Sometimes it is just how the north wind hits a certain area of the water. When this occurs use your temperature gauge to locate some warmer water, it could be the key to finding winter bass. Sometimes it is just on the other side of an island or around the nearest point, the bass will move to the warmer water especially if they’re still in the feeding process as they prepare to get into winter.
Moving to the winter locations is all about transition spots. Find these and you will have much better fishing days as we move into the winter bite.