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Where To Fish Deep For Cold Water Bass

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I have always heard to fish deep for bass in the summer and winter. But where? Deep in the creeks, mouth of creeks or out in more open water. Also what type of baits etc. Thanks

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Welcome to the site Rbm18.

 

That depends almost entirely on what body of water you're fishing. Deep water is a completely relative thing, however. In my neck of the woods deep is 50-80 feet, but in some places will be 10 or less. Fish will usually be on mud flats, rocks or vertical cover in the winter; but once again, it depends on the body of water you're fishing and the available structure and forage there. Bass will often suspend in winter too, especially if they're actively feeding on schooling baitfish. 

 

As a general rule of thumb, the clearer the water the deeper the fish. But there are many exceptions to this and no one size fits all answer to the question. 

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I have always heard to fish deep for bass in the summer and winter. But where? Deep in the creeks, mouth of creeks or out in more open water. Also what type of baits etc. Thanks

All of the above with jigs, t-rigs, c-rigs, cranks, or swim baits.

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On structure, breaks and breaklines....with whatever baits will allow you to properly control your depth and speed for the water being fished.

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I fish in murky waters and my best luck comes on banks where the channels cut in close .

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So you fish shallow but close to deep water?

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so for me this is where i have had the most success using my electronics.  I paddle around till i mark some fish and then fish for them.  sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't but at least i know they are there. 

Generally speaking though i seem to find fish where there is some sort of vertical cover or structure where they can move up the water column easily.  Shallow rip rap type banks have done well for me too after a period of sun as it warms the rocks up, or at least that is my theory....

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So you fish shallow but close to deep water?

I  fish the steep banks shallow to deep . Jig and pig "pork" is the the number one bait . Sunny banks are best and they may be shallow  or deep . Deep is relative like Snakehead said . 15 foot is about as deep as I go unless the water is unusually clear .

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That helps me a lot Thanks 

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I fish a very small lake but one of the key areas now is a point that comes out by ramp. It has riprap halfway down to about 12 feet. It continues to 25 fow. It also drops off one edge to 25fow. On this point in 18fow is a boulder and rock pile I found with sonar.

The spot on the spot per say

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i think you can still catch fish shallow in winter. i don't have a boat so i cant really get to deep waters in winter. i just caught a keeper today. it was by the rocky shoreline. riprap has been the most productive for me in winter and all my winter fish have been caught by rocky banks. I was using a mid diving crank beating the bottom. 

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i think you can still catch fish shallow in winter. i don't have a boat so i cant really get to deep waters in winter. i just caught a keeper today. it was by the rocky shoreline. riprap has been the most productive for me in winter and all my winter fish have been caught by rocky banks. I was using a mid diving crank beating the bottom. 

I agree that you can definitely catch fish shallow in cold weather as i will do that at times just because i don't always feel like fishing deep.  You just have to cover some water until you find them.  

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I have always heard to fish deep for bass in the summer and winter. But where? Deep in the creeks, mouth of creeks or out in more open water. Also what type of baits etc. Thanks

Are you a boat or shore angler?

Tom

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Where I fish, cold water fish are mostly near the bottom when the surface water temp is freezing up to low 40's

 

S00293_zpsad5e38f1.png

 

S00286_zps7ead4e5e.png

 

I look for active feeding in or near a creek channel like this:

 

S00289_zpsabaf1bde.png

 

As the water temp gets to the mid 40's and slightly higher, they will be suspended and more difficult to catch:

 

S00257_zpsd81422c1.jpg

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Wayne, do you mind if I ask you what your settings were on the pic where the fish were on the bottom?

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Wayne, do you mind if I ask you what your settings were on the pic where the fish were on the bottom?

Default Sensitivity, 83/200 kHz, FishID on, Default FishID Sensitivity, chart speed at GPS speed in all the screen shots. Humminbird 1198c SI Combo with software version 6.490.

 

The ones with no temp readout are snapshots taken when I was playing back a recording with the unit on my desk (Playback note at the top), so there is no temp sensor connected. I have about 30 minutes of that recording. I did the searching while recording, then went back and caught some of them with a blade bait. Basically I determine the pattern with my electronics before I start fishing. 

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Hey tom ,I am mostly a boat fishermen. I fish my local river.

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Shallow rip rap type banks have done well for me too after a period of sun as it warms the rocks up, or at least that is my theory....

Rip rap gets a lot of my targets during the winter. As far as I know, rocks/boulders do hold heat. 

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Hey tom ,I am mostly a boat fishermen. I fish my local river.

I wish I had more experience bass fishing rivers. What experience I have is on the San Jaquin delta, a massive tidal system of several rivers. With moving water depth is not as big an issue as reserviors that are very deep.

Largemouth bass stay out of current and use current breaks to ambush prey coming to them instead of roaming and hunting bait fish or crawdads. Smallmouth like current and hunt prey using current breaks as stopping or holding areas. Predators like bass face into current regardless how deep they may be. I would think 20' is as deep as you need to fish and slow down in cold water.

I fish jigs 90% of the time at the delta and deep dark colored crank baits the rest of the time, 2 different lures and presentations saturating areas that look good with rock to clay transitions or current breaks like wing dams and any brush.

Tom

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Bass will hold in the deepest water possible in cold water.

You have to fish on the bottom very s l o w.

Really slow.

Throw your jig - Let it sink to the bottom - Let it sit - And sit - And sit - and then move it a little.

Current will make the bait move in a natural manner.

Do this with other baits you may throw.

And yes, you look for drop offs from shallow to deep water.

The bass will go into shallow water when the sun is out to sun themselves and enjoy the warmer water, be in a degree or two warmer at the surface.

Remember, to fish s l o w.

Good luck.

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Moving River water is the same temp top to bottom, very different than stationary or even wind blown lake water without current, unless the reservior is a power generating facility. Deep is relative to where the prey source is on a river.

Tom

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Bass will hold in the deepest water possible in cold water.

You have to fish on the bottom very s l o w.

Really slow.

Throw your jig - Let it sink to the bottom - Let it sit - And sit - And sit - and then move it a little.

Current will make the bait move in a natural manner.

Do this with other baits you may throw.

And yes, you look for drop offs from shallow to deep water.

The bass will go into shallow water when the sun is out to sun themselves and enjoy the warmer water, be in a degree or two warmer at the surface.

Remember, to fish s l o w.

Good luck.

Exactly!

And yes shallower water will be a couple degrees warmer in slower water!

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It's man's inborn tendency to evaluate bass behavior from a warm-blooded point-of-view.

Based on the weight of the evidence, cold-blooded creatures are comfortable in 'all' temperatures, so they have no reason

to seek warmer temperatures (Firstly, they're VERY lethargic in winter <> Secondly, in what direction should they travel???)

 

Discomfort is easily confused with disposition. The metabolism and disposition of any cold-blooded creature

is sharply influenced by temperature. In winter, bass move much slower, they feed much less often

and digestion takes much longer. I lived several decades in New Jersey, and have never seen one bass taken

through the ice (not one), it was all chain pickerel and yellow perch. Back then, northerners actually believed

that bass hibernated in winter. For the most part, bass in winter are in suspended animation, bottom-oriented creatures

with a "Don't bother me" attitude. During a warm-front in winter, things can change quickly and drastically.
Most of the best winter stringers of northern-strain bass have been taken during a winter warm-front,

and are typically taken from water less than 6 ft deep. 

 

Roger

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Bass are cold blooded fish but a warm water species and water temperature affects them.

Their metabolism is directly affected by the water temperature that controls thier body temperature...same as the water that they in and they will seek warmer water if availble in the winter and cooler water if availble in the summer. The ideal water temps are in the 70's,the temp range they servive easily is between 40-85 degrees, hotter or colder the dissolved oxygen level can become a problem, cold water temps determine the black bass species northern range.

The OP's question is about rivers, not lakes and free flowing river water is nearly the same temp top to bottom as the water column is constantly mixing as it flows, the corilis effect.

Lakes the deeper water can be warmer than surface water cooled by air temperatures, spring water for example is typically 60 degrees year around and bass often seek springs during the winter.

Tom

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