In our experience, where there’s one bass, there’s usually more. During winter and early spring, I use two simple approaches to locate bass: bank fishing and offshore fishing. Winter Bass Fishing. Bass are creatures of habit and their surroundings dictate their behavior. You need to get much closer to the bass during the winter because they’re not going to chase your lure all over the lake; the best strategy is to vertically jig right in their face, so they have no choice but t21o strike it. Bass Fishing Time Frames. It will take some time for you to learn, and that can get frustrating but don’t give up. Fast-moving lures and excessively noisy ones won’t work when the water temperatures drop. Wear multiple layers with socks, waterproof boots, and fingerless gloves so you can maintain full movement of your fingers. A Winter Months Bass Fishing Trip is all you need to spend some quality time outdoors in the Florida sunshine. Of course, you can’t know this without fish finders and depth checkers, but you can estimate it even if you don’t have electronics. March 6, 2020. To breakdown a seasonal bass fishing pattern of any kind, you are going to have to start somewhere. More Fishing. Awesome, but now what? One of the most important winter bass fishing tactics to learn revolves around two main points: You need to understand these two points and why they’re critical for winter fishing. After casting, the retrieve can vary from a slow approach up to a fast, erratic, starting and stopping motion to create dynamic bait action to trigger a bite. A 4-6 weight rod about 9 feet long will be perfect for all of the trout fishing except if you’re targeting steelhead. Fishing the winters of Pennsylvania is not for the faint hearted. Latest. I’d suggest fishing a drop shot rig because you can fish them slow and determine exactly how far you want your lure to swim off the ground. From the Yough, we head north to Pymatuning Reservoir. You can’t use the same strategy you use when the water is warm, no matter what way you look at it. Meet the 10 Highest-Earners in Professional Bass Fishing. For Coty, he didn't love bass fishing at first cast. Look for bluffs, points stretching out into the main lake and areas where there’s a lot of exposed wood, or even trees in the water itself. These 10 Amazing Spots In Pennsylvania Are Perfect To Go Fishing. The most important tip is to make sure someone knows where you are. In this podcast, we talk about how we fish when we have no ice to fish. You may have noticed a trend amongst the three lures mentioned above, and that is they are all worked with a slow action. Again, the idea here is to present as little of a threat as possible, and bright neon colors look intimidating, so the bass will leave it alone. ... By Pete Robbins. Summer means all of our favorite leisure activities: swimming, lounging outside, sticking our faces in the air conditioner’s cool breeze, eating ice cream, sleeping in, and of course fishing. This mental imaging becomes like a super power when it comes to finding catchable bass. The transition from winter bass fishing patterns to the spring prespawn in Pennsylvania reservoir lakes has been a topic that has confused anglers for years. Instead, you want to make it look like they’ll get an easy meal, and imitating a dying fish is the best way to do that. In addition to presenting slower, you’ll also want to present a smaller lure. In the winter, you’ll want to use brown, green, white, grey, and black. It’s a bass’ instinct to be reactive towards erratic behavior nearby. I highly recommend using spoons and blades on days when the sun is shining. Don’t overthink it. If not, go neutral whenever possible. Winter Time Bass Fishing Water Temperatures, How to Catch Bass in the Winter: Where to Look. You won’t get as many nibbles as you do during the summer and spring, but chances are you’ll get more interested bass if you follow all the tips outlined in this guide. We end up with bottom feeders and slower moving lures like jigs, spoons, and blades. Florida is the perfect place to not only explore fishing but escape the cold. Personally, I think metal baits like spoons and blades are the best choices for winter bass fishing. This large reservoir … If you want to give this strategy a try, I would recommend fishing the bottom near some of the lake’s deep water. If I’m fishing in 12 feet of water, I like to use a 15 foot diving crankbait to get the most out of the strike zone I possibly can with each cast by keeping my bait closer to the bottom longer. As we all should know, bass follow the baitfish, so this is where you’re likely to find more bass. Official References for Fly Fishing in Pennsylvania Small baitfish are a great live choice but if you don’t have a means of keeping them alive, go with a small football head jig or spoon with some red on it. While that’s the case 99% of the time, some expert bass anglers actually recommend fishing early in the morning for smallmouth bass. If you can nail this, you’ll impress your buddies when they see how successful you are, no matter how cold it is outside. In fact, many bass fishing anglers do not have access to or even want to catch bass from a boat. By now, the female bass … Give it a try and see what works. The bottom line is, your strategy needs to stay congruent with the weather. While electronics can play a major role in offshore fishing, the most important thing is to be covering water with your bait. As the water starts to warm up and spring rains push nutrients into the current, bass begin following the nutrient rich current into the main lake in search of shallower water to feed and spawn in. They suggest getting on the water right as the sun is coming up, which is interesting because it contradicts anything I’ve ever learned. In many of our beautiful state parks , you’ll find some of the best haunts for trophy largemouth bass … You want to have the best bass fish finder on your side whenever possible because it will help you pick up on water depths, temperatures, and obviously – bass. You don’t want to generate too much attention because the bass might feel overwhelmed, but you want to aggravate them enough to get them to strike. FISHING. I hope all these winter bass fishing tips have opened the door to a few more months of fishing. Think about the small details and try to repeat the methodology behind what created the strike. Was it the bait or was it the way the bait moved right before the fish hit? During the winter and early spring, my first focus of the day is on fishing broken, chunky, rocky banks onshore. Right now, the bass are incredibly inactive, and their metabolism is super slow, so they’re not feeding much, and they’re preserving all their energy by taking on the simplest of meals. Bass in this temp will slow down quite a bit, but they’ll still have feeding periods each day, and this is when you need to capitalize by using the right lures and offering a slow but calculated presentation. Before we wrap this up, I wanted to talk briefly about safety and gear. Not every bass is caught from a boat. I’ve compiled this list of winter bass fishing tips based on more than two decades of experience fishing northern Pennsylvania waters where the wind blowing off the Great Lakes is enough to send Jack Frost packing. Understanding the cause and effect of bass habits will lead you to creating a clear and efficient fishing strategy. The best tip someone ever told me about finding bass in the winter is to add 10-20 feet of water to where you would normally fish. Although Pennsylvania may have been named for its woods, our waters are the real attraction. Fish are creatures of habit and their movements are dictated by their surroundings. When you’re fishing in the winter, you’ll want to fish the middle of the day more because you need to wait for the water to warm up. Comfort improves concentration, which is crucial in detecting light strikes from lethargic winter bass. An often overlooked winter bass fishing tip is understanding water temperature and how a five or ten-degree difference can impact your fishing strategies. You can also use hair jigs if you prefer to mimic the appearance of smaller baitfish like shad and minnows in the shallow water. I find it more enjoyable to fish from the shore during the winter because it’s a little easier to stay warm, and if I’m fishing alone, it just makes me feel more comfortable. One of my favorite choices for winter bass lures is football head jigs. https://www.fishthispa.com/fish-chat/tips-winter-bass-fishing-susquehanna-river Organized by region, here … The hard metal holds up well in the cold water, and they help offer the … As you're making your fishing plans for the week or weekend, make absolutely certain to check the forecast first. Learning to identify areas with the highest chance of catching bass is key. Where you might find temperatures like this is when the seasons are changing from fall to winter and winter to spring. Your email address will not be published. If you’d like to practice these techniques in person and learn more advanced methods to catching fish consistently, our fishing program focuses specifically on in depth explanations backed by experience and research. I’d stay away from lipless crankbaits, suspending jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, and other fast moving lures during the winter months. Observing your surroundings takes no electronics and is a great way to familiarize yourself with where you’ll be fishing. Then, do it again until you achieve your desired result. I’m not saying go to the deepest part of the water but simply add a little depth, and you can increase your chances of catching more bass. Winter Fly Fishing what do I do This winter has started off pretty mild for most in the region and there are plenty of fly fishing options right now. Depending on where you live, the water can be anywhere from cold to dangerously frigid. Always go as natural as possible with the color and try to imitate the fish’s color in the water you’re fishing. I apply these same fishing strategies to both my personal fishing, tournaments and trips with clients. From there, adjust your strategy to what is occurring, and keep fishing. Fulton County Pennsylvania … NEPA offers some of the best rivers for smallmouth bass, trout, catfish, walleye, and more. If you’re dealing with a lot of snow melting due to increasing temperatures, the run-off is probably causing the water clarity to decrease, so you’ll want to take your fishing further away from the shore. Once you do that, you’ll have no problem retrieving them because they won’t put up much of a fight. For anglers looking to improve upon their electronics knowledge, Due North Fishing specializes in educating anglers on using and reading electronics for fishing at Blue Marsh Lake in Reading, Pennsylvania. Take some pictures and leave? It’ll take some practice and preparation, but it’s well worth it. Personally, I think metal baits like spoons and blades are the best choices for winter bass fishing. Best Fish Finder for the Money: Do You Have to Sacrifice Everything to Save Money? This is a really quick and easy way to get the most out of your fishing strategy and begin creating a clear correlation between what you are seeing on your electronics and what you are feeling on the bottom as you fish. Winter fishing techniques require finesse, but they also require a bit of preparation. My suggestion: Go explore, look for the features described above and go fish it. There are only so many hours in a day, let alone when in a tournament or out with a client on a trip. But wait, hold on a second – don’t unload your rods and lures from the trunk just yet. When bass are looking for new areas and they find forage, whether it's crayfish, sunnies or baitfish, they’re opportunistic creatures and aren’t going to pass up a meal. Think to yourself, what triggered that fish to bite? I am sure with this post I will jinx it for … Humminbird vs Lowrance: Who Makes The Better Fish Finder? Sleep in. You don’t need to overcomplicate these winter bass fishing tips, but the most important one to remember is to stay calm and remain patient because winter bass fishing is not easy, but it’s not impossible. Pick up a bait and rod that you’re comfortable with and go fish. In order to get bit, your bait has to be near fish and the only way to achieve this is by covering water. Pennsylvania Fishing Report – December 10, 2020 Despite the recent cold snap that has brought fishing to a standstill in some regions, rivers are producing some nice smallmouth bass and walleye action. It’s that time of year again. When the water temperatures are warm, we know that the best times to fish are first thing in the morning and right at dusk. These lures imitate crawfish. You don’t need to feel like fishing season ends when the leaves start falling, there are plenty more months of great fishing if you understand how to change your strategy and give the bass what they need. LIBERTY FORGE GOLF COURSE * EQUITY AND JUSTICE LAKE 5.00 Acres PO BOX 1229 CAMP HILL, PA 17001 (717)763-1333 Striped Bass . My consistent success is due to the fact that I’m on the water most days practicing and making observations and adjustments in my fishing style relating to how the fish are biting that day. Rocky banks are good fishing areas but rocky banks with wood cover create an even better bass fishing environment. To breakdown a seasonal bass fishing pattern of any kind, you are going to have to start somewhere. That's no exaggeration. Lake Erie is one of the premier fisheries in the U.S. Awesome, but now what? If you have clear water, the baitfish will come closer to shore. There are more than 85,000 miles of streams and rivers, along with 4,000 inland lakes and ponds … How to Install a Fish Finder: Supplies, Location, and Methods, Down Imaging vs. Side Imaging: Differences and Similarities. By this point, you’ve received some great cold weather bass fishing tips, but I have a few tricks up my sleeve. This long point stretches out into the main lake with deep water on both sides and the main creek channel close by. Bass are cold blooded animals so the water temperature naturally plays a role in dictating the activity level of the bass. I want the bank to be facing the sun, collecting warmth throughout the day. This temperature range is prime fishing in the North so expect to find bass in this temperature range most frequently during late winter in the months of January and February. So, the best way to fish in the winter is with some assistance from electronics. Winter Bass Fishing Southwestern PA I was using a 3" keitech soft plastic swimbait with a weighted hook crawling it very slowly across the bottom and occasionally pausing. The best largemouth bass fishing of the year in Pennsylvania will occur during the next few weeks as we get into the annual spawning ritual. Anglers are catching Smallmouth Bass and Walleye below the dam in New Bethlehem, at Lawsonham, and near the confluence with the Allegheny River. According to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, special regulations apply to the smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and spotted bass of Lake Redman. Winter weather and the threat of hypothermia can quickly lead to trouble. As a third-generation angler, he as a plethora of knowledge and experience on the water and loves sharing what he knows. Required fields are marked *. The winter bite starts in December, when Cartwright catches his biggest Allegheny smallmouth. With preparation and good spirits, anyone can spend all day out fishing in the dead of winter. They are predictable but you need to be observant, pay attention to detail and most importantly, think like a bass. If the water is murky, the baitfish will run deeper. If you’re fishing the lake Eerie tributaries for chrome, you’ll nee a 7 or 8 weight rod. Lake Erie is an obvious choice as one of the top fishing waters in Pennsylvania. You need to drop something right in front of their face, make the bass think it’s almost dead, and move it slowly and erratically, so they think they’ve got an easy meal on their hand. Another way to get this erratic bait action is by allowing the bait to bounce off the bottom of the lake. I jig fish because I consider it to be one of the most versatile baits out there appearance wise. You need to know what the temperature is to understand how deep you need to fish and what type of presentation you should use. If you’d like to practice these techniques in person and learn more advanced methods to catching fish consistently. The leaves have fallen, the air is crisp, and the coffee is hot. The water is cold, their metabolism is slow, and they’re not feeding much, so they will never chase a fast-moving topwater spinnerbait halfway across the pond; it won’t work. The Best Shotgun Loads for 5 Late-Season Birds ... An Angler’s Winter … This is the best opportunity for anglers to catch their biggest bass of the year. There is a Pickerel Lake in Northwest Pennsylvania Three Lure Categories for Ice Fishing Lake Erie Walleye Using Ice Fishing Electronics Winter Opens Non-Ice Fishing Opportunities in Northwestern Pennsylvania Winter 2011 PLAY Newsletter Winter 2005 PLAY Newsletter Winter 2001 PLAY Newsletter. Have a good amount of patience and be sure to present every lure slowly but erratically when time in between each jerk. Pymatuning Reservoir. Hunting. In our experience, In Depth Fishing Strategy Coaching at Blue Marsh Lake. But when everything falls into place, and you pull that fish … Please note that this area along with the visible shoreline is underwater during the spring and summer when Blue Marsh Lake raises its water levels. Look for the attributes we’ve discussed and get comfortable using your electronics for simple items like water depth and temperature to help you move offshore with more confidence. Transitioning from Winter Bass Fishing Patterns to the Spring Prespawn in Pennsylvania Reservoirs, Winter and Spring Bass Fishing in Pennsylvania, Rocky, Sun Beaten Banks at Blue Marsh Lake, Jigs mimic the appearance of different food sources. Doing so will present less of a threat to the bass, and they’ll think they stumbled upon an easy opportunity for a meal. Bass tend to hide in schools during the winter, and they look for little drop-offs and holes where baitfish and other food might hang out. The offshore areas I like to fish are long sloping areas between 10-15 feet deep. If the sun will be shining, try to hit the pond for a few hours. Contact us today to discuss your fishing goals. When bass are looking for new areas and they find forage, whether it's crayfish, sunnies or baitfish, they’re opportunistic creatures and aren’t going to pass up a meal. For those using electronics for offshore bass fishing, Crankbait fishing for bass is a great way to cover water, Another way to get this erratic bait action is by. Make a plan of where you want to fish and be sure to let someone know where you are going and what part of the lake you will be fishing. It took a few (thousand) throws for him to become obsessed with mastering every possible fishing style, technique, and lure. Good choices are grubs, jig and craw, smaller spinnerbaits and crankbaits, Whirley Bee/Jimmy D, Sliders, tube jigs or Texas rigged, 4" straight worms like the Senko, and 1/16 ounce synthetic craft hair or duck feather jigs when Float-n-Fly fishing. Let’s dive right into our cold water bass fishing tips. Let’s be clear, giants … So, baitfish tend to hug the shores near rivers because this is where the most oxygen is in the water, and the temperature tends to be a bit warmer. While electronics can play a major role in offshore fishing. Free shipping on orders over $50 and FREE pick-up at your local store if you buy online! While electronics aren’t a necessity for catching bass, they do make it much easier to identify ideal fishing areas with a high probability of catching. During this early spring transition to warmer feeding zones, bass can be caught using many different baits creating a challenging but rewarding day of bass fishing. The more experience you have doing it, the more you begin to create mental maps of the bottom of the lake. If I am moving while casting along a shoreline, to slow my lure retrieval, I will change the angle of my … Recommended Gear for Fly Fishing in Pennsylvania. Whether you prefer trout, largemouth bass, or catfish, the keystone state’s bounty of lakes, reservoirs, rivers, and streams rewards millions of anglers with big catches every year. I jig fish because I consider it to be one of the most versatile baits out there appearance wise. There’s still plenty of fishing to enjoy! Expect to slow down and size down your presentation a little, but big bass will still be active during the morning, midday, and evening. Now let’s say you catch a fish on a spot. There is rock and wood along with transitions from sand to gravel. The photo on the left is a great example of an offshore prespawn bass fishing location. If going alone, use extra caution, but ultimately, … If you can find baitfish in the water, see what color they are, and mimic them. Overfishing, Conservation, Sustainability, and Farmed Fish. Fayette County Pennsylvania Striper Fishing WORLD OF REPTILES * .00 184 GRANGE ROAD MCCLELLANDTOWN, PA 15458 (724)439-1380 Striped Bass . You must be committed, determined, and relentless. When bass move up into that higher water column, that’s where you’ll find an actually catchable fish versus down deeper where your electronics will really help you. There’s a method to the madness and we can help unlock it for you. I look for banks near a deeper water drop off like the image shown. The whole goal of offshore bass fishing is to find where bass are and hone in on a reliable strategy that leads to catching more. So, for example, if you tend to fish 30 feet away from the shoreline during the summer, you’ll want to add 20 feet to that in the winter because bass prefer deeper waters when the temperature is cold. There is a great variety of species to target and plenty of room on that … It’s possible to catch 20 or more smallmouth from wintering holes, which might produce … You need to make sure you have enough layers to keep yourself warm and plenty of backup gear in case you fall in or get wet. Even if you live alone, tell a parent, friend, or neighbor that you’re going fishing, and you’ll be back at a certain time. The first step in winter and spring bass fishing is to observe your surroundings and identify your ideal fishing zones. The most effective bait for me to cover water is with a crank bait. This is an important element to becoming a consistently successful weekend angler or a competitive tournament angler. Your email address will not be published. As previously mentioned, you need to change your mindset when it comes to fishing in the winter. This list is based on biologist surveys of fish populations on waters across the state and can lead you to prime fall and winter fishing spots for trout and many other popular fish including Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, panfish, and catfish. Depending on your location, fishing in the winter can be dangerous because of frigid temperatures and dangerously cold water. Color is also an important factor in the winter. And if lakes are more your thing, we’ve got you covered. Pay attention to run-off and snowfall. Caught 9 in total … Bass … DCNR State Parks Winter … While some anglers are ready to hang up their rods until next year, we’re teaching you how to fish in winter for bass so you can capitalize while other anglers are sipping hot cocoa. When the water is cold, you don’t want to present a challenge to the bass. Many days during the winter, bass have lockjaw and will only … Let’s see if we can really drive home your success this winter. Your fishing strategy should be unique to you. 1. Take some pictures and leave? At any point bass can become triggered to start foraging and strike. These areas typically have stumps, rocks, tree piles and other structure scattered across the bottom. If you’re fishing this water temperature, you’re in for a challenge. by PA Fish … Not only is this effective at triggering a bite, it also allows you to feel your way through the lake. In our local Pennsylvania lakes and reservoirs, good offshore fishing typically happens in deeper flats with long outward reaching points. I would pair my drop-shot with a soft plastic worm and troll the shoreline in a boat or fish from the shore if you have no other choice. If you recently experienced a heavy snowfall that hasn’t melted yet, chances are the water is clear, so you’ll want to head closer to shore. Winter largemouth bass fishing requires you to think like a fish. Fish a bait consistently in the areas where you have the highest percentage chance of catching something. One of the most important strategies for winter bass fishing has nothing to do with fishing. Fish a bait consistently in the areas where you have the highest percentage chance of catching something. The hard metal holds up well in the cold water, and they help offer the appearance of a dying baitfish, which is important during the winter. Soft plastics are a great choice for cold front bass fishing. If you’re trying to fish the bottom, you might want to go with a drop-shot or split-shot. Welcome to another edition of Randy and Steve's Outdoor Adventures podcast. Typically the warmest part of the day is mid-day to early afte… I recommend wearing as many layers as possible in the car on the way to the water and keep the heat on so you can build up some warmth before getting out. Water clarity is also a huge factor in the winter. Discover our fishing strategy to consistent, productive days on the water fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass in Pennsylvania during the transition from winter bass fishing to the spring prespawn. The alternative is bank fishing. https://www.duenorthfishing.com/post/winter-and-spring-bass-fishing-patterns From there, adjust your strategy to what is occurring, and keep fishing. After bank fishing, I move offshore to areas with deeper flats to target schooling bass on the move with a search bait. During the transitioning from winter to the spring prespawn, bass are going to be coming up in the water column throughout the day into these warmer feeding areas. Like many things in life, practice makes perfect. Cumberland County Pennsylvania Striper Fishing. Come down south and enjoy a fishing … Go out and practice with a rod and bait you are comfortable throwing. OTHER ICE / WINTER FISHING. Anglers are catching catfish at night … Once the sun has hit the water for a while, the baitfish will start to move around, and this is when you stand the best chance of catching more bass. The first thing you’ll need to think about is the best winter bass fishing lures. Common baits for winter and early spring bass fishing include swimbaits, jigs, jerk baits and crank baits. I begin my days by fishing rocky, sun beaten banks before moving offshore to target schooling bass on the move. Now let’s say you catch a fish on a spot. For those using electronics for offshore bass fishing, side imaging is very helpful in finding structure and areas that can hold large schools of fish in a feeding area or staging area. Since jig fishing has been the foundation of my fishing career, that’s what I am most confident in myself. These work great when the water is cold because you can slowly drag them along the bottom and coerce the lazy bass into biting. In many areas of the country, the sun shines bright in the winter, and when light reflects off the blades, it creates a powerful presentation that can work as a double-edged sword. Blaine Mengel's Backwoods Angler Guide Service specializes in Smallmouth Bass fishing trips on the … During the winter months in Pennsylvania, most reservoir bass spend their lives in the middle of creek channels, either close to the bottom or following bait around the lake. Remember to choose a slower, bottom trolling lure and present it in a way that makes it impossible for the bass to refuse. If it’s cold and the water temperature is near freezing, use the smallest jig head you can find with a small Senko or swimbait. You never know what can happen, and you need to make sure someone is looking out for you. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Even during the winter, Lake Erie ice fishing is a great attraction. You need to slow down your presentation when the water temperatures drop. Downsized Smallmouth Lures For Winter Bass Fishing. This can be one of the best times to catch your personal-best bass. During winter there is no reason for hitting your favorite stream at the crack of dawn; unless a cold front is moving in. Below is an outline of my approach to consistent, productive days on the water fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass in Pennsylvania lakes and reservoirs. For you to have success fishing during this time, you need to throw your lure right in their face and present it slow enough for them to get it. Lake Erie. If you’re fishing from the shore, this makes catching bass easy because you can cast parallel with the shoreline and clean up all day long. Here we have prime fishing temperatures where bass are highly active, but you would only likely experience these types of temperatures in the winter in the Southern states, so this doesn’t help everyone North of the Mason-Dickson. Are a great choice for cold front is moving in full movement of your fingers so. To learn, and that is they are predictable but you need to be reactive towards erratic behavior.! No reason for hitting your favorite stream at the crack of dawn ; unless a front... Start somewhere we head north to Pymatuning Reservoir towards erratic behavior nearby air is crisp, and structure! You can ’ t give up dive right into our cold water bass fishing Trip is all you need know... 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