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How to Catch Largemouth Bass in the Winter

Viewer Question: “I’m in Arizona. How do I produce more largemouth in the winter?? What’s a good approach? Thanks. Ernie”

Hi Ernie & thanks for writing in.

It’s great that you are able to fish for bass in the winter. Winter fishing can produce both quality & quantity of fish.

Things to Consider for Winter Largemouth Bass

In the winter, the bass will tend to “school up” in groups. Should you find one, keep fishing that area because there are most certainly more. The other thing to keep in mind is that the water is colder and as such, the bass will be a bit more sluggish than they normally are. So when you are winter fishing for bass, keep your bait presentation slower than normal.

With a slow presentation, the bass will not have to expend much energy to hit your lure or bait. With the colder water, the bass’s metabolism will be much slower & they do not need to eat as much – but give them an easy meal and they are sure to take it. A finesse approach will work best.

Where to Find Winter Largemouth Bass in Arizona

Although Arizona’s winters are not that cold, your best bet for winter bass will be to fish for them in deep water. You may be able to catch some bass in shallow water during the early mornings, but most of their day will be spent in deeper water. Each lake is different and “deep” is all relative – thus, deep may vary anywhere from 30 feet to 60 feet! So if you have a boat, head for deep water. If you are a “Boatless Angler” (like Antonio, one of our authors) and can only fish from shore, then head out at the crack of dawn & start fishing the shoreline, looking for winter bass.

Baits to use for Winter Largemouth Bass

My all-time favorite bait to use for any bass in the fall, winter, or early spring, is the Jigging Spoon. When these baits are vertically jigged from a boat, in deep water, they are outstanding! Use a simple lift and pause technique and be prepared for solid hits. Winter bass love to feed on bait fish and a jigging spoon is a perfect imitator.

Jigs are also effective & can be used from shore or by boat. Again, just work them slow. Of course drop shotting with live bait (or Berkley Gulp) while drifting in a boat is also extremely effective. It’s a subtle, finesse approach which works extremely well. Top water baits will also produce, but again, work them much slower than normal.

Thanks again for writing in Ernie & until next time, good luck & good fishing!

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