Ron’s Fishing Tips and Stories: Winter Bass Fishing in the USA
This week let’s talk about winter bass fishing here in the USA. Our peak business at Lake El Salto and Lake Comedero Mexico is in the wintertime–January to April. Mexico bass fishing is at its peak and bass bite like crazy this time of the year in Mexico.
However, the opposite is true here in the States as the weather is mostly cold and windy. It’s usually really hard to get black bass to bite when the water temp is below 60 degrees. Bass in cold water have really slow metabolisms and they don’t move very much and they don’t eat very often as they are not using very much energy. They stay suspended off the bottom in schools and they just hibernate in a lethargic trance.
I really don’t recommend trying to bass fish in these cold conditions but if you must I will give you one method I have had some success with in past winters. I recommend that you pick one of the most popular creeks to fish during the warm months. Hopefully it will be a mid-lake creek that has good spawning areas later in the spring. I recommend that you put your boat over in the creek bed at a point where the creek runs into the lake. Start up the creek going toward the back of the creek with your electronics going full blast. You need to have the intensity set so you can read shad and bass and hopefully be able to determine which is which. You really are looking for schools of shad as the bass won’t be far off the shad. Both shad and bass will be suspended in the bed of the creek in water that fits their comfort zone.
Also you want to try to locate a creek bed depth of maybe 20 to 30 ft deep and the outside bank depth of the creek is 10 to 12 feet deep or less. Now that you have found the shad, bass and the right depth of the creek bank you now are ready to start fishing. I recommend a black & blue # 97 Stanley jig in a 3/8ths weight. I recommend a large pork trailer to make the jig fall very slowly. I also like to put a shaker or noise maker on the jig.
This type of fishing MUST BE DONE VERY SLOWLY and try to bump every stump on the bank of the creek. On every good looking lay down you probably need to pitch into them several times. Move your boat very slowly with your troller on a low setting. Your mind set should be to try and see if you can get just one bite all day. If you do catch one then your next goal is to try and catch one more etc.
There may be 100 bass suspended over the deep water in the creek but there may be only one or two in a 12-hour day that moves up on the bank to eat a crawfish or a shad. That means you must be in the right place at the right time.
One day Ron Jr. & I were fishing a tournament on Richland Chambers Lake. On practice day we heard that a fellow from Normangee Texas had located some really big bass suspended in Richland Creek. The creek bed was 35 feet deep and the bass were suspended in 20 ft of water. This guy tied up to a dead tree out near the creek. He stayed there the whole 2 days of the tournament throwing a Texas rigged 6 in. purple Creme worm. The first day he only got 5 bites all day but those 5 bites produced 5 bass that weighed 34lbs. The next day he caught 6 bass and the 5 fish weighed in at 35 lbs and he won the tournament. This was not a wintertime tournament, but I wanted to give you all an idea of how slow your wintertime fishing could be.
One note of caution: remember to locate the shad & bass with your electronics first. Don’t start fishing until you locate them as you are just wasting time.
“Big Bass of the Month” winners get return trip totally free!
Tournament of Champions at Lake Comedero December Winner:
26.75″ long 18.5″ girth
Bait watermelon lizard
Cindy’s reward is a totally free return trip to fish El Salto or Comedero!
Tournament of Champions at Lake El Salto December Winner:
28″ long 18″ girth
guide Armando jr
bait 8″ wacky rigged watermelon senko
Christina’s reward is a totally free return trip to fish El Salto or Comedero!
More January Photos (See even more in the Gallery)
GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR FISHING AND REMEMBER TO WEAR THAT LIFEJACKET.