- You are not on the fish. In winter and early spring, the fish are usually bunched up so where there is one there are more bass. You need to fish where the fish are. You need to understand water temperature and how it affects the movement and location of the smallies in winter. Smallies at this time of the year are looking for three things; slow moving current, warm water and a slow moving meal. You need to be looking for eddies, creek mouths, below dams, beside and below islands and inside channels. These are all hotspots for winter bass fishing in rivers for smallmouth bass.
- You are fishing the the wrong baits. Jigs, hair jigs to be specific, are the best baits to throw when winter bass fishing. Tubes will also work, if fished, really slow. Try crawling them on the bottom and adding a rattle to them as a tactic to increase your catch rates.
- You are fishing to fast. No matter what fishing lure you are using for bass fishing in winter, it is probably being fished to fast. This is the main reason that most anglers struggle with catching smallies in cold water. The number one cold water bass fishing tip is to slow down your retrieve. At times just crawling your bait on the bottom is the ticket. You should even let it sit still for a minute or so during the retrieve. It is a hard way to fish and most anglers just cannot do it. The results, however, are catching no fish.
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