Catching bass before winter settles is a challenge. Cool temps, lethargic fish, and limited bait options are a few added challenges that anglers in the North deal with. So, if you are one of the lucky fishermen who live in a state where the water freezes in the winter. This article is for you. If you aren’t, mazeltov; every fisherman in the Midwest is likely (at least somewhat) jealous of you. If you are, I am sure you want to prolong the cabin fever for as long as possible. So, you layer up, put on the wool socks and a stash a few hand warmers in your pockets. Time to go fishing! But where do you start? If you follow the three tips below you will undoubtedly put more trophy bass in the boat this fall.
1. Timing For Catching Bass Before Winter
When you go fishing, you want to make the hours you spend on the water count. This couldn’t be truer for this time of the year. The beauty of fishing in the late fall is it is better to go fishing during the middle of the day when the sun and temperature are at their highest. This ensures the water is the warmest it will be all day and gives the bass a chance to warm up. Typically 11 or 12-noon are a good time to start fishing.
Additionally, keep an eye on your favorite weather app (I love Weather Underground) for the forecast. During the late fall, even one afternoon of low 60-degree air temperatures can make the fish bite like crazy. Typically, the best late fall fishing days are surrounded by days with highs of low to mid-40s. So, while impromptu fishing trips can be fun, it pays to plan in the fall.
2. Go Big When Catching Bass Before Winter
Big baits catch big fish. You’ve probably heard this too many times in your fishing days. However, it remains true, particularly in fall when bass are preparing for winter. Fish know hardwater is not far off and once the ice forms a bass’ metabolism slows down, enabling them to eat less often. During this late fall period, bass want to make their energy count. Instead of chasing numerous smaller meals they would much prefer to chase one larger meal. Large profile baits like spinnerbaits and bulky jigs are go-to’s for this time of year.
3. Go Slow To Catch Bass Before Winter
This goes along with “going big” when it comes to late fall lure presentations. Because bass want to optimize their energy spent on a larger meal, they would prefer these large meals move slowly. A big meal moving slowly equals a happy trophy largemouth. Again, baits like spinnerbaits and jigs are perfect because they can be fished super slow and maintain a large profile. Try slow-rolling a spinnerbait on the tops of existing green vegetation. The key this time of year is being able to make slight contact with fish-holding cover like weeds, rock, timber, and docks. These slower presentations allow the angler to keep the bait in the strike zone longer and increase their chances of getting bit.