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Cold-Weather Fishing for Largemouth Bass

with Brandon Palaniuk

Brandon PalaniukOne of the most difficult problems for bass fishermen is finding and taking largemouths in cold weather on deep, clear lakes. I’m often asked, “How do you find them, and how do you catch them?” 

We’re fortunate today to have eyes under the water that can see the fish we can’t see from above the water. So, I rely heavily on my electronics to look for bass in deep, clear water. 

I’ll probably start off fishing with a 3/4-ounce football-head jig. I’ll fish either a Zoom Speed Craw or a Zoom Super Chunk in green pumpkin. I’ll just drag that jig along the bottom, on rock piles or off a ledge - wherever the bass seem to be holding. The second bait I’ll use is a drop shot. I’ll follow those two up with a swim bait. 

Now as crazy as this method may seem, another tactic I use is a top-water lure. Not all the bass in the lake necessarily will be on deep structure. There will be some bass concentrating in fairly shallow brush piles or around docks. For a top-water bait, I like a Storm Arashi Top Walker in the pro blue color. I’ll use that to cover a lot of water quickly because that bait will pull bass to the surface, regardless of how deep they’re holding. If I pinpoint the bass holding in shallow-water cover with the Top Walker, I’ll probably fish the outer edge of that shallow-water cover with a drop shot and try to pull the fish out of the cover.

Another lure that I’ll use is the Storm Arashi Glide swim bait. I’ll be fishing it on 20-pound-test Seaguar Tatsu line and an Alpha Angler rod with a Daiwa Tatula 150 reel.  

When the weather’s cold, and the water’s clear, and no one else is on the lake but you, if you know where to find the bass and which lures to use to catch them, you can have a great day of bass fishing almost any time during the cold-weather months. That is if bass season is in and the water’s not iced over. 

Another tactic you may prefer is a power finesse approach used by Greg Hackney. Learn how he uses the swim jig to fish for wintertime bass.

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