Who loves bass fishing? We do! Rain, shine, sleet, hail, wind, snow, ice…yep, all of the above! Although, bass fishing in tough conditions can make things a little slow…for both you and the fish. So, how do you find success in bad weather conditions?
We’ve talked with our own tournament bass fisherman and fellow co-founder of Mystery Tackle Box, Brian Roach, to get the scoop on catching fish when the weather just isn’t nice. Brian and his fishing partner, Bryan Scott just took home 4th place and the big fish (8.59 lb) trophy in the Celina Bass Club Open on Lake Ray Roberts down in Texas. Even though the weather was not cooperating, Brian and his partner managed to catch some great fish and he shared a few of his secrets with us.
So, here are the 6 things to keep in mind when bass fishing in tough weather conditions:
If bad weather is in the forecast, the number one thing for anglers to keep in mind is to plan your strategy in advance. For example, during Brian’s tournament it was 47 degrees with heavy overcast and rain on the way. He said “we knew the storms were coming and bringing cold north winds, so we strategically planned on an area that would help shield of from the north winds.”
2. Water Conditions
Water temperature is key to understanding fish patterns so make sure you track the recent and current water temperature to see if it might point you into the direction of more fish…for example, with water temperature in the 60 degree plus range, bass can be found shallow on beds or if it’s cooler then that would probably bring them back off the beds.
Also, look for areas where the surroundings may help maintain the water temperature such as a railroad bridge or riprap. If you know the water temperature was warmer earlier in the week, then fishing around these more protected areas will help keep the water in that area warmer compared to other more open areas you might be fishing.
When there are tough fishing conditions against you, try and use search baits like crankbaits, jerkbaits, swimbaits, spinnerbaits and more. This will help you determine where the fish are located and then when you find the general area you can start throwing an assortment of baits to try and find a pattern.
It’s important, especially when fishing with a partner, to make sure you are both throwing different baits to find that pattern. This helps eliminate baits quicker that may not prove to be the “right” bait at the time. Once you find a pattern, try and vary your presentation to see how the fish prefer the baits. One thing that so many anglers lose focus on is leaving an area where they are catching fish to try to find a new area to catch more fish. If the bite dies down a bit, look for key areas that appear to be similar to the areas where you caught fish.
That kicker fish is not worth landing if that is going to be your last fish. Make sure to take precautions if the weather gets bad and take cover. If it’s lightning, get off the water because it’s not worth it.
Regardless if it’s a body of water you have fished before or if its a new body of water that you’re fishing for the first time, keep in mind external influences. Have a good idea of what to expect for the weather that day. Have a good assortment of different baits to throw based on the conditions to use until you can narrow them down and determine a pattern. Don’t be afraid to try new baits or techniques. In order to be a quality fisherman, you must expand your knowledge base and this includes stepping out of your comfort zone to learn new baits and techniques.
Don’t get discouraged and just keep at it…and most of all, be patient. If you plan in advance, know your surroundings and the conditions for that day, then you’ll be one step closer to finding the perfect bait selection. Whether it’s adding an extra pause in your retrieve, slowing it down versus your previous cast or tying on that new bait you got in your Mystery Tackle Box that you’ve never thrown before…try it! Give yourself the chance to build your confidence up and branch out of your comfort zone and become a better fisherman.
What are some tips or techniques that worked for you in bad weather conditions? Please share them with us!