Fishing tip of the week – 02/05/20
by Mike Gerry
Winter bottom fishing
Fishing Tip of the Week
- Wednesday, 05 February 2020 12:22
As the winter progresses, and the water continues to stay cold, it’s a commonly known fact that bass usually feed on the bottom and not the top of the water column, making it imperative that you spend some time, during your fishing day, working the bottom of the area you are fishing.
There are many reasons that the fish stay on the bottom to feed. Oxygen levels, photosynthesis and thermocline all contribute to the bass being on the bottom. The key is discovering what depth you can find fish that are active on the bottom.
One key to remember is winter fishing is always tougher than when the water is warm. The number of bites you get is down, and you tend to fish too fast, like it’s summer, or fall, forcing your bait out of the strike zone. Your concentration levels are skewed by obstacles, and you speed up your retrieve, or don’t have the patience to keep your bait on the bottom, and you’re missing the strike zone. Hence, you go through a winter day, out of the strike zone and have a bad day on the water.
Bumping the bottom can be the difference-maker. Don’t just get to the bottom and lift your bait off, then lose contact. Rather, keep it down by a slow rolling and let the bait dig the bottom, kick up dirt, shells and grass until it gets back to your boat. One key to this is understanding when your bait rises above the bottom. Don’t be fooled by a tight line. Stop your bait, let it drop and remain persistent at keeping your rod tip down and the bait ticking the bottom. It’s also a fact that many times bass strike when you pause your bait or let it drop from up and down action. Doing this multiple times during your retrieve can be the difference in getting a bite. Develop an action on your retrieve that becomes second nature, that you’re not having to think about. Pausing and stopping is the best way to ensure constant contact with the bottom. Repetition is the best way to achieve this action. Practice this until it’s second nature, and you will learn to keep your bait in the strike zone.