Winter Bass Fishing for Smallies on the Susquehanna River
February 1, 2017 by Don Manning
If you are like me, you cannot wait to get out on the river to catch a few smallmouth bass. Winter bass fishing on the Susquehanna River in the months of January and February is usually impossible. Mostly because cold temperatures have typically frozen over the river. There are some years, however, when the weather is unreasonably warm and the river is fishable. When it is, late winter bass fishing can be extremely productive.
Alternatives to Winter Bass Fishing
If the weather does not cooperate for winter bass fishing, you can spend this time of the year organizing your fishing tackle, cleaning up your rods and reels, re-spooling with fresh line and making sure your boat is ready to go. You might also want to tie a few hair jigs for bass fishing or even hit the local streams for some winter trout fishing. When the weather does warm up and the ice is gone, you need to be ready and the first one on the dock because the smallie bite will be on.
Cold Water Bass Fishing Tips for the River
There are times when winter bass fishing in rivers like the Susquehanna is almost impossible until late February or early March. When you do get that chance to get out, however, it is usually cold and windy. The Susquehanna River is also high and muddy this time of year, making you wonder how can you catch fish in conditions like these.
Wind is the biggest deterrent this time of year when it comes to weather. The wind makes it difficult to fish jigs or tubes, which are the baits of choice for bass fishing in the winter season. It is hard to feel the bottom and almost impossible to feel the subtle bite of a winter bass. One cold water bass fishing tip is to increase your jig weight to give you more control over its action and be able to feel more bites. Unlike early winter bass fishing, you will want to slow down your presentation. Use tight wobble crankbaits and slow moving finesse presentations to get a bite.
3 Reasons Why You Are Not Successful With Winter Bass Fishing
At this time of the year you have to fish really slow, and I mean really slow. I have talked to many anglers at the ramp on those cold windy days and it is always the same story; It was too windy, the water was too cold and any number of other excuses. Cold weather bass fishing anglers have that same story. They have fished all day and did not get a bite. Well, let me explain something, if you are not catching fish, there are reasons why.
If you get a break in the weather and the Susquehanna River is fishable, use these cold weather bass fishing tips to go get them. Winter bass fishing in general is tough. Fishing for smallmouth bass in winter is especially not easy, but if you plan your fishing days right and understand how to fish in cold water, you can be successful catching smallies on the River.