Thousands of anglers nationwide fish small bodies of water in the spring, summer and fall with few continuing through the winter months. Some experts, including Charles Ingram – B.A.S.S. Pro and host of TV’s Fishing University, now claim that the winter is a prime time to catch lunker bass from small lakes and ponds.
Small bodies of water can heat up more rapidly than their larger counterparts. Another expert claims small lakes can never get too cold for bass and says he caught bass 10 pounds and larger in 38 degree water. If you feel the urge to fight the cold for a chance at a prime catch, we’ve provided some tips below to help.
- Fish the right kind of lake for the conditions. If the air temperature has remained cold for a week, you’ll have the best bite on a clear, spring-fed lake. The sun’s influence should always be taken into account. A couple of days of sunshine can warm a small volume of water very quickly.
- Timing is everything. Plan your fishing trip when there is a break in cold temperatures. A warm front after frigid temperatures will cause the bass to feed. Even one degree can make a difference.
- Target rocky areas first. Shallow rocks heat up quickly on sunny days and deeper rocks attract minnows and crawfish.
- Pick the right bait. A 4-inch curly tail grub cast into the shallow edge of a steep bank is a successful technique used by anglers. Bass often bite when the grub is on the fall. However, jigs and spinnerbaits are also commonly used in cold water.
Winter is the best time to fish a small lake from shore for many reasons. Undergrowth is not as thick, pests like chiggers and ticks are nonexistent and there are fewer fellow anglers competing for the same catch. It’s just important to remember that you may not see as high volume of bites in the winter as you will in the summer, but the outcome could be just as rewarding.
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