Winter can be an extremely tough time to catch bass, especially on turbid water lakes. Fortunately our country is blessed with cold, clear water reservoirs that have some outstanding wintertime fishing.
Here’s a look at some tactics for catching bass from clear water reservoirs that remain ice-free throughout the winter.
Fishing Cold Clear Water In The Winter
During early and late winter, a crankbait pattern takes plenty of bass bumping the lure along the bottom while keeping your boat parallel to a creek channel. A great crankbait for this pattern is a Storm Lures Wiggle Wart in crawfish colors. Crank the lure hard on 8-pound test line until it reaches a depth of about 10 feet, and then slow the retrieve down to a crawl. Keep reeling it just fast enough so it remains close to the bottom.
Slow rolling a spinnerbait works all winter long for bass in clear water. Select a white 3/4- or 1-ounce spinnerbait with silver tandem willowleaf blades to throw on 12-pound test line. Slowly retrieve the spinnerbait so the blades are barely turning and work it parallel to a bluff in depths of 12 to 20 feet.
Swimming a plastic grub on a 1/4-ounce jighead or a 1/8-ounce bucktail jig with a small pork frog is another productive tactic for catching winter bass in clear water. Tie the lures on 4- to 6-pound fluorocarbon line. With your boat positioned over depths of 25 to 30 feet along channel swings or points, slowly swim the lure and bump it along the bottom throughout the retrieve.
Fishing Cold Clear Standing Timber
An effective pattern on lakes with standing timber is working a twin spin blade bait through the wood cover along main lake bluffs. Throw a white 1/2-ounce twin spin on 10-pound line and present the lure vertically as it falls down the bluffs 25 to 40 feet deep.
A jigging spoon presented 30 to 45 feet deep along main lake bluff ends or channel swings also catches wintertime bass in clear water. Try a chrome 3/4-ounce jigging spoon on 17-pound line and drop it straight down to the depth of the fish you see on your electronics.
Fishing Super Cold Clear Water
When the water gets cold enough for a shad kill, a suspending stickbait becomes the best option for clear-water bass. This tactic works best in late winter when bass are suspending along steep channel banks in the backs of creeks. Employ a twitch-and-pause retrieve to tempt these sluggish bass into biting.
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