Challenges of Cold Weather Fishing
As the weather changes from fall to winter conditions there are many factors that you need to consider in order to find fish and get them to bite. Most of the concerns when we hit winter has a lot to do with three factors. What type of lake are you fishing in other words are you in a deep lake that has various types of hard rocky bottom or in a grassy shallow lake; is the weather going to be sunny or rain, or windy and of course what is the water temperature telling you in respect to the bass metabolism, will they be active or lethargic. These concerns will lead you through your day in the cold of winter.
Each lake has its own make up, if it’s a deep hard bottom lake you will have to understand the challenges of fishing deep water in the winter, or it could be a shallow lake that has plenty of grass still hanging around this will be a different challenge. It is well known that deep lakes with hard bottoms force the winter fish deep off the edges and contour breaks while the shallow lakes will most often push the fish into the grass or structure near the deep water pushing you to use different techniques than you would in deep lakes.
Weather is always a factor but, in the winter, it can be a significant different challenge not only from the bait and technique standpoint but from the body adjustment to what can be cold, rain, snow and wind present you. Being dressed for the elements can be a challenge, having the eyes of your rod freeze and having your hands cold makes for a different challenge that you must adapt too. Slow baits can make all the difference in the world on cold winter days but fishing slow is also a challenge.
Lastly water temperatures are key to bait presentation, if the water temperature is below 50 degrees it forces you to fish slow in deep lakes and can be entirely different for shallow lakes. Water temperatures above 50 most likely changes your presentation to a faster moving bait looking for reaction bites. Key to a lot of this is bait, find the bait you find the bass.
-Captain Mike Gerry