Winter isn’t the easiest month to catch bass, but there are certain techniques and baits that will help you to catch more bass.
One lure that seems to catch a lot of bass during winter conditions is a suspending jerk bait. There are other baits that catch bass in the winter, like a jig and a lipless crank bait, but a jerk bait that suspends at the correct depth will entice some of your largest, pre-spawn bass into striking.
February is a transitional month. Big bass begin moving out of their winter haunts towards spawning areas. They then settle into staging area just outside or on the edge of their annual nesting grounds.
Fishermen who can locate these staging areas are privy to catching early spawners before they move up to their spawning sites. These bass will bite even when the surface temperatures are in the mid 40’s.
If you watched the Bass Master Classic held last winter in Oklahoma, you would have witnessed professional bass fishermen catching a lot of big bass under extremely cold weather. Normally, the bites are few and far in between, but most of the bass are big.
One key factor in winter is timing. In winter, bass normally don’t feed very often like they do in warmer water. So being in the right place at the right time is absolutely critical. Also be prepared to get fewer bites. Some of the baits utilized in Oklahoma were these: a Jackall Soul shad jerk bait, a DD Cherry crank bait, a MegaBass Vision 110 jerk bait and a Lucky Craft Stay See deep running jerk bait. Most of these baits I’ve never fished.
Knowing what area of the lake to target in the winter is critical. Last week on Lake Jacksonville I began to explore some of these areas. The first place I stopped was outside of a small deep cove that had a point and a spawning flat nearby. I positioned my boat on the outside of the point in 20 feet.