• Bass Fishing in the Winter

    Winter Bass Fishing

    Fishing for bass during the late fall and winter months can be a daunting task.  During the regular season there is identifiable structure to fish. Vegetation in bloom and shaded areas offered by the sun will produce fish during the heat of the day. Winter, however, does not give you any of those visible signs. So what do you do? Well, once again, you must turn to your understanding of bass and its lifestyle during these "lean months". When I use the word “lean,” I am referring to the food chain, which can be drastically reduced by the elements.

  • Dress For Winter

    If you’re not properly prepared to be out on the water or ice during the winter, you’re asking for trouble. Here’s some basic tips that you need to keep in mind.

    • a) Dress in layers, pack an extra set of dry clothes to leave in the car and bring a couple of hand towels.
      b) You want moisture to be pulled away from your body when you sweat, so choose wicking materials
              - Base Layer tight to your skin and should draw moisture away
              - Second Layer Also should be wicking, but opt for a long sleeve tee shirt
              - Third Layer should be for warmth, fleece is one of the best choices available
              - Outer Layer (Typically your jacket) should be breathable, but water resistant. Skiing and Hunting gear work great. Make sure it has a hood and plenty of pockets… especially ones to put your hands into.
      c) In the winter, it’s “feet first”. This is not the time of year for your boat shoes or sneakers… you want to be wearing insulated, water proof and wind resistance boots. A thin wicking sock that will draw moisture away from your feet covered by a second cotton/wool sock is a great option.
      d) My favorite gloves are micro fleece fingerless that have pull over mittens attached to cover your fingers. I always keep a second pair of heavy water proof snow gloves in my boat and/or ice sled. Hand warming packets are nice to have to make things more comfortable under more extreme conditions.
      e) Do you think a hat might be a good idea? Also it’s really nice to have a face mask to cover your entire face. Under Armor’s Head Gear is pretty good stuff.
      f) Sunglasses to protect your eyes from snow on bright days.
  • Finding Bass When the Ice Melts

    Ice Out Bass Fishing

    Ice out is something that is highly anticipated by the northern anglers.   Many lakes, reservoirs and ponds can freeze solid for several months, keeping you away from catching bass, unless you’re an ice fishermen.  As the end of winter approaches, all we keep saying is “when will the ice finally start to melt?” When the winter continues to linger on the excitement for the ice out builds.   For those of you who didn’t spend your free time during the winter organizing your tackle boxes, cleaning your reels and all

  • Ice Out Bass Fishing

    Ice Out Fishing

    Tips for early spring largemouth bass fishing 1 to 4 weeks after a lake thaws out after the winter freeze.  Look for shallow coves or bays that are protected from the wind, with dark bottoms, located in the north, west, or northwest corners of the lake. These Coves and Bays will be the first to warm up, because they receive the most sunlight at this time of year. In these areas insect activity will begin earlier, which will attract baitfish, which in turn, will attract bass.

  • Line Watching On The Ice

    Line watching has been a great way of detecting strikes in many types of fishing.  It can be tricky at times, and especially when ice fishing with different light conditions.

    Straight-line fishing has a couple of detection times.  The early one is when the line is seen to do something different, such as stop as it is going down, moving to the side, or a slight twitch downward and/or upward. 
  • Power Plant Bass Fishing

    Clinton Power Plant

    October thru March in the upper Midwest usually means that bass season is pretty much over, most folks take their bass boats in for their end of the season maintenance and winterization and start focusing on deer and waterfowl season. Hey what do you expect it's the North Country; the first major snow storm comes in and you're stuck at home watching fishing shows and going in & out of Bass Pro Shops or your favorite tackle store just to keep that desire for April spring fishing on your mind.

  • Things You Should Do in the Winter

    Northerners, there's nothing worse than watching the winter weather come rolling through, freezing up the lakes and preventing you from doing what you love, bass fishing. But rather than curse the weather or wish we were moving down south, why not take some time to prepare for next year.
    If you are a tournamnet angler, winter is the perfect time to start getting ready for the next season. All other sports have a pre-season, so should bass fishing.  Here are few things that you should do during the bass fishng off season.
  • Vertical Jigging

    One of the best times of year to fish vertically is by far during the winter. When the water starts dropping below 50 degrees and you’re looking to target the bass that are wintering deep, there’s two lures that really come into play. A blade bait (like a Silver Buddy or Sonar) and a Rapala Jigging Rap. One of the biggest mistakes people make with a blade bait is that they move the bait too far off the bottom. It’s usually a game of inches, not feet. Smaller movements tend to get a better reaction from wintering bass. There’s an expression called “burping the blade” and all it means is to just lift your rod tip up until you feel the bait vibrate like a burp and the stop and feel it back down to the bottom. Many strikes come on the drop so pay attention to your line. If it stops before you stop it, set the hook.

    The Jigging Rap is such a great tool because it will actually swim off to the side when you let it fall. I know a lot of ice fishermen who like to use a Jigging Rap through the ice for that reason. A lure drifting towards the face of a bass will often invoke a reaction strike and that’s what makes a Jigging Rap such and effective tool when fishing vertically.

  • Winter Bass Fishing Fix

    Ok, the forecast calls for lows in the 20's and highs in the 30's. Winds will be 15-25 mph. Unless you are really on a great pattern and catching lots of bass fish or you have a tournament to fish, chances are you'd rather stay in the warm confines of your home than be out on the water. I know I would. So what's a guy or gal to do? You can only wipe the boat down so many times.

    All of your favorite reels have been respooled with new line. You have gone through all of your tackle, sharpened hooks, sorted and re-sorted all of your plastic worms, checked and re-checked the trolling motor, big engine, tilt, trim, trailer bearing, wheels.....you get the idea. You've covered every square inch of the bass boat and everything seems to be in good working order. You have the most excruciating case of cabin fever anyone has ever experienced. In fact, you may end up going completely insane if you don't get "a fishing fix", and soon.

  • Winter Thaws Shallow Bass

    Many people relate ice out to the spring, but there are times throughout the winter when lakes and ponds will freeze over and then ice out repeatedly. If you like pond hoping, finding open water can sometimes tell you exactly where the bass are in the winter. I big misconception about bass is that the go deep in the winter and stay deep until the spring. That is not always the case. These types of conditions offer anglers the opportunity to catch bass that will gravitate towards slightly warmer (or warming) water. Many times rain can cause a lake or pond to partially thaw and rain brings food via run off. Worms get washed out of the ground and even into the water when it rains. In turn, bass will move into the shallow water to take advantage of an easy meal. You can take advantage of this opportunity too. Try searching for ponds that are thawing out from a warming trend and especially right after it rains during the winter.

  • Winterizing Your Boats

    Fogging Engine

    As everyone has noticed for the past several weeks, old man winter has been gone on vacation, or something. We have been enjoying spring - like weather during what should be the onset of our cold weather season. In fact, it has been so nice outdoors, I have not considered deer hunting or duck hunting, two of my favorite cold weather endeavors. Instead, I have been focusing on my bass fishing, which has been pretty good. It looks like things are about to change. According to the weather forecast, we are in for a bit of seasonal weather, in other words, it’s gonna get cold and stay that way for a while.