Cold weather can lead to hot bites

February 15, 2014

What a cold winter we have had. Most non-anglers cannot understand winter fishing, and even the anglers on the water will ask themselves at times “what in the heck was I thinking.”

I fish year-round, but with the recent bad weather (ice), staying at home is a safe option.

There are some good reasons to fish in the winter. One that comes to mind is that you don’t generally have to compete with busy lake full of pleasure boaters and other anglers.

The biggest reason for venturing out in the cold is the lure of catching that really big fish. Though the metabolism slows for all cold-blooded animals, the chances of catching a really big fish can and does occur in the winter.

Getting out on in the winter can also be a great time to update your GPS locations with new points and humps. With little or no traffic on the lake, you can access many locations.

The low water conditions on many of our area lakes offers a great time to map out some future potential fishing spots, or you might plot those hazards that are above the water now that could be hazards just below the surface when the lakes fill back up.

How many times have you told yourself that you will take time to try all those features on your fish finder? The winter may be a great time to experience/try the features in your electronics and maybe understand it a tad better (especially when the fish won’t cooperate). I like leaving mine on one setting, but there are many options on my graph/GPS that I have not used.

Since the water is cold, try a different fishing technique. Fish deeper and slower where the bait fish are holding. Many bass anglers rarely fish deeper than 20 feet down. You would be surprised how many real large black bass I catch in the winter in 30 to 40 feet of water.

Most who have fished with me in the winter know my dead-sticking technique. There are other vertical fishing techniques that many bass anglers use such as drop-shot rigs, drifting slabs and using small jigs to get more bites. I also use fluorocarbon leaders on all my artificial and live bait rigs that I believe gets me more bites. The fluorocarbon is more flexible and is virtually invisible.

Being cold on the water is not fun. Many folks use the chemical hand warmers available everywhere.

I had a trip several weeks back with a couple of fellows without gloves in sub-freezing weather. They were miserable.

Spring is on its way and with it more pleasurable weather. Until then, enjoy your time on the water and stay warm.


Granbury is 9.25 feet low and continues to fall. Some good crappie reports are coming in from the area north of the Hwy. 377 bridge.

Jigs fished in deeper water are producing some good catches. Sand bass are sporatic but are staging for the spring spawn.

Best action is by deCordova subdivision and in town. Water temperatures continue to be in the low to mid 40s.

Squaw Creek black bass fishing continues to be good for size. Reports of fish to 8 pounds are common in local tournaments. Best bait is soft plastics fished nears points and spawning areas.

Spawning occurs earlier in this power plant lake. Tilapias continue to be caught in numbers on worms.

Possum Kingdom and Lake Whitney are reporting good catches of sand bass and small stripers. Look for birds to point you the way to active fish. Benbrook crappies are good on deep humps by the dam on jigs and small minnows.

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Category: Sports Archived