Bassresource winter patterns. That's right. Why and when and how do you determine the winter pattern? Well, it's when it's cold outside. Usually, whatever the area you live in and from California all the way to South Carolina, your winter patterns will be different, and the temperature will be a little different. A winter pattern in California, the water temperature may be 10 or 15 degrees warmer than it is where I'm at, but it's the coolest water temperature those fish will see the entire season, so they react to it in a winter pattern. They group up. They get on creek channels. They get on hard points, on straight off drops. They get somewhere they feel comfortable they can congregate and usually around a lot of bait. We're going right back to the bait again.
In the winter, the bait likes to go deep, get in big groups, and sit over the areas that they're comfortable, where they're standing timber, the edge of a grass line. That's where the bait sets, so the fish are going to congregate there. They will hold there and sit in that environment till things start to change, which would be several days of sunshine where the water temperature will start to warm, and they would eventually start to creep back in. But just because you have one warm front in the middle of your winter don't mean the fish are going to rush to the bank. Those fish know when it's getting closer to spring, so don't don't try to put them somewhere they're not. If you go fishing, and you can look at a calendar and know this is pretty much the peak of our winter, and you study the water temperature and say this is pretty much as cold as it's gotten all winter even though it's warmed up just a little bit in the last two days, they're still on the winter pattern. They're going to be off the bank. It could be a creek channel bank.
Like, a lot of times it's a channel swing where a channel swings in against the bank. I may only be sitting 30 feet off the bank pitching my jig up into 10 and fishing it back out to 25. But if it's the deepest water in that area for that fish, that's where he's going to winter at. He's got everything he needs. If it gets too sunny and warm, he can rise up a little bit and feel the sunshine. He's got crawfish. There's going to be bait there. That's what he wants. So when it comes to winter fishing, think about the deepest areas in that...wherever you're at, whether it's in a pond, a small river, or a giant reservoir. Look at your surroundings, look at your chart and say, "Okay, what are some of the deepest areas, the best channel swings, the biggest flats that go out and drop off?" That's where your bass are going to winter. That's just simply how Mother Nature wants them to work.
They don't just float around up in the shallows with the water temperature 41 degrees. It's just they'll do it. Certain places I know in the world, they do it, but for most of the time, 90% of your fish are going to winter in a little bit deeper water. They're going to winter around bait, and they're not going to feed all day long every day. You're going to have certain periods during the winter where the fish are going to bite.
So if you're going out and you're going to try to fish the winter pattern, always remember, if you had to pick a better time to go, I would say, in the winter, it's more important for you to fish late and not go as early. Fish are always going to have a tendency to bite in the winter a little bit better toward the latter part of the day when the water's out, the water warms, the sun's out, so just remember that. When you winter pattern, look for the deepest parts, channel swings, good ledges, creek channel, feed in, hunt the bait, and then remember, the later part of the day is better than going early.