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By:  Dustin Lester

Seeing the frigid weather forecast, and knowing the water temps in the area lakes are all in the thirties and forties often persuades anglers to stay in the lazy boy watching football, basketball, hunting or fishing shows.  After all what in the world would inspire someone to leave the house in front of a hot cozy fireplace.

Bass still feed during the winter months.  Most anglers would agree that while the action may be a lot less, the average fish weights are higher.  You may have a period of time throughout a cold winter day of fishing that produces nothing, not even a bit.  But the next cast or two could produce multiple hook ups.  Last February on a sun shinning afternoon I put in on Oologah and started throwing a suspending rogue and hit two or three points that are close to deep water with no sign of a bass.  On the third or fourth point I pulled up to my first cast was a healthy three pound spot, the very next cast on the same point was a twin to the first fish.  Two casts later I boated a four and a half pound black, and then they just quite.  My point is they still feed in the winter you just have to find them.

Many anglers, including my old beliefs, were to work a jig as slow as you could stand it, to entice a slow metabolism bass.  While fishing jigs slowly is an effective technique for winter time bass fishing, here are some other productive techniques that have helped me boat bass and keep your blood flowing.

Crankbaits and Jerkbaits can be very productive baits for slow moving winter time bass.  The key to fishing either of the baits is to target South facing points or banks where shallow flats are close to deep water.  If the south side is windblown, then the conditions are even better.  Midsize to large middiving crankbaits and jerkbaits that suspend or dive into the 6-to-8 foot range work best for me.  I have actually caught bass in fairly shallow water during the midday.  So use a crankbait or suspending jerkbait that does not bury up in the rocks, but retrieve it so that it ticks the bottom.

Back to the slow moving jigs.  Sometimes when the fishing gets extra tough, I just have to tie on the old trustworthy, super versatile jig.  Even when the water temp is in the 30 degree to 40 degree temp range bass still live in heavy cover.  Pitching and casting heavy jigs around deep or shallow cover and slightly bouncing the lure periodically tempts bass year around for me.

When fishing wood (and other cover) during the winter, I go with a bigger jig.  Another trick I use in the winter months is to use a casting jig instead of a flipping jig because it has a lighter wire hook.  Bass will lightly inhale a jig and fisherman will probably only feel a light tap.  Donít wait for another tap, SET THE HOOK.  As far as color goes I always throw black and blue in the wintertime.

So just because the temps are frigid, unpack the gear and go catch a bass.






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