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IgotWood

Early winter bass...where and how?

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This is my first season bass fishing, and I had a blast! The fishing was hot for me from April to late August. The fall bite was far from epic for me, but still fun. In anticipation for winter, where should I expect to find fish, and what techniques should I use? The lake I frequent is small, about less than 200 acres, and full of standing cypress trees in the middle of the lake and along the banks. It is also VERY weedy. Depth is 8-10' in the middle, and 2-5' near the banks. Usually the fish are tight to the trees scattered throughout the middle of the lake. How would you approach this place in the winter? 

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Small, shallow, with lotsa cover. Fish where you have been doing well, but likely a bit deeper. Watch to see what happens to weeds. Do they die back? Are there beds that remain green? Presentation: Slow your horizontal retrieves, or go vertical.

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13 hours ago, Paul Roberts said:

Small, shallow, with lotsa cover. Fish where you have been doing well, but likely a bit deeper. Watch to see what happens to weeds. Do they die back? Are there beds that remain green? Presentation: Slow your horizontal retrieves, or go vertical.

I don't know what happens to the weeds. I haven't spent a winter here yet. Just moved here this spring. However, when I was there in the spring, the weeds were green,  thinner, and they weren't reaching the surface and creating mats. It's mostly milfoil and curly-leafed pondweed. By mid summer, the fishing got really tough because the weed was everywhere and very thick.  

8 hours ago, Brayberry said:

Which lake? I may be able to help

I'll PM you

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The extensive root system of a cypress tree holds a food source year round. 

Shad, bream, minnows and other baitfish as well crawfish offer a variety of food.

During the winter months there are certain conditions one must pay attention to if one wants to be productive.

The first is stability as in stable weather; I don't care what the ambient temperature is as long as the weather has been stable for 3 or 4 days. In order to take full advantage of stable conditions one must have the ability to pick and choose the days you fish.

As for lures cypress trees are bass anglers delight because any lure & technique is likely. After three or four days of sunny high skies I might throw are top water.

The colder the water, the slower the bass's brain operates so the slower you must present the bait or it's gone before the bass's brain tells it to bite.

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34 minutes ago, Catt said:

The extensive root system of a cypress tree holds a food source year round. 

Shad, bream, minnows and other baitfish as well crawfish offer a variety of food.

During the winter months there are certain conditions one must pay attention to if one wants to be productive.

The first is stability as in stable weather; I don't care what the ambient temperature is as long as the weather has been stable for 3 or 4 days. In order to take full advantage of stable conditions one must have the ability to pick and choose the days you fish.

As for lures cypress trees are bass anglers delight because any lure & technique is likely. After three or four days of sunny high skies I might throw are top water.

The colder the water, the slower the bass's brain operates so the slower you must present the bait or it's gone before the bass's brain tells it to bite.

Noted! And thanks for the info! 

Are you saying that day 1 or 2 of a warming trend is not necessarily the day to fish? Perhaps day 3 or 4? Also, a question about "slow"....Jigs and t-rigs...slower fall? Or slower retrieve and let it soak for a while before moving the bait?

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I'll take 2-3 days but I prefer 3-4 ;)

a bass's metabolism is finally tuned to its circulatory system temperature which is the same as the surrounding water temperature. In cold water their metabolism slows down, their brain slows down, so the bass slows down. In cold water a bass's instincts are less finely tuned, it has less appetite and it mostly stays suspended at or near the bottom.

Any additional changes to the environment caused by serve weather will most likely shut the bite down.

And more importantly aint the conditions I wanna be in!

Every thing you throw retrieve it as slow as you can, slow roll spinnerbaits & barely twitch topwaters.

Ricochet spinnerbaits & crankbaits off wood!

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That sounds like the right sized lake to start winter fishing on. You can spend a lot of time out there when the water is cold and the bass are just not in the mood to feed. On a huge lake it is easy to get discouraged, start moving around, fishing too fast and missing that days window of opportunity entirely.

I fish a 100 acre hydrilla lake a lot in the winter. Over the course of the winter here in Maryland the weeds on this lake completely die back. I try to simplify presentations when the water temperatures drop to 45 degrees or less.

suspending jerkbait: LC Pointer 78's and 100's, cast out, sweep down to depth and let them suspend for up to 45 seconds

jig: 3/8th ounce football jigs are the staple of my winter fishing, I present the jig at the speed that a crayfish would walk across the bottom with frequent long pauses

 

 

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My best tip is to listen to @Turtle135, because he absolutely gets it done in the winter.

 

My best producing winter baits are a lipless crankbait (yes you can yo-yo them but I have caught many fish on a straight retrieve in the winter here), a shad rap, and a texas rigged finesse worm fished SLOW. Like Catt said, 3 days of stable weather will give you a much better chance at having a decent day in the winter. I really like a bunch of warm sunny days followed by an overcast day (fish the overcast day!) in winter.

 

 

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An even better tip would be to go to the hot side of Lake Anna where the bass don't know it's winter!

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Very good info here...I appreciate the replies!

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I fished wed. up here and the jerkbait was staple, it was a "slow" day but I still squeaked out a few fish. By "slow" I mean it was the second day after a front, I didnt expect anything at all because of the conditions, but it was the day we could go. It was a new kvd deep diving model and I fished it kinda slow. 

 So,... try a deep diving suspending jerkbait, Id also have tied on a light black jig with small no.101 black pork rind, a spinnerbait with colorado or indiana blades, and maybe a topwater.

 And is there a area in the whole USA, that a green pumpkin yamamoto hula grub on a 1/4 jighead isnt effective? 

Give it a shot and let us know how you do

hope this helps some

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I have little to add to this thread outside of going smaller and slower in cold water.

Catt has lots of experience with cypress tress so listen to him!

Tom

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When you pause the jerk bait for long periods, leave it on a slack line. I was afraid to do this at first, thought I wouldn't be able to feel the bite. Then a 9" crappie about pulled me off the front of the boat. It is quite surprising how hard they hit it

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Where: on the couch

How: with one of the many nintendo wii/wii-u bass fishing games

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This question. Should have been posted in your region.. because "winter fishing" in the deep south is much different than places that get snow and ice.. Then you will get more specific answers on what worked from people in your location. Not just what people use all over the country. 

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The answer is to spend as much time on the water as possible - try different techniques - go on the bad days as well as the good because you can be surprised and you will learn things - bass eat when and what they want.
 

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