Tips For Improving Winter Bass Fishing

OUTDOORS UNDER THE RIM

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Last week we discussed using your graph to locate those winter bass on Arizona desert lakes. A key question of interest would be, is there submerged structure where bass can ambush those schools of shad as they swim by? If you can find these three key factors all lining up in the same area you have a spot which is a must to fish. With the lake level of Roosevelt at a high mark, numerous structure points like these exist.

Wintertime conditions mean lower water temperatures and a much lower metabolism for the bass. Slow down your presentation of the bait and work these areas a bit more thoroughly.

It is common during the winter season for the person in the back of the boat to catch as many fish as the person in the bow because the fish are a bit more lethargic to strike the first presentation.

Don't give up too early on a spot that has all these factors of structure, baitfish, and bass. Remember, fish are cold blooded and react to cold conditions. As the winter sun warms the water during the day, the fishing may actually improve as surface water temperatures increase. The bass may be biting when the sun is at its highest, which is between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The final point is to select the right bait that will entice that bass into biting. The bites are generally fewer during a winter fishing trip, so make the most of each opportunity. In general, bigger baits produce bigger bass. A good choice would be a Luckycraft CB 12 or 20 in moss green craw or ghost minnow color. They are considered a crankbait that can get down to a depth of 12 to 15 feet.

Another good choice would be a spider jig in watermelon or green pumpkin color. Dragging the bait along the structure or hopping the jig on the bottom can produce a wintertime bass. Keeping in mind a slow methodical presentation with the cooler temperatures can catch fish.

The final bait and technique for wintertime bass is called spooning. The spoons most often used by fishermen with the best results are a crippled herring or strata spoon in one-half to one-ounce weight. Spooning is a vertical fishing approach where the bait is put at the correct depth by keeping a close eye on the graph.

The better graphs will actually show your spoon on the screen as it floats into the fishing zone. Once the spoon is in the zone, raise your rod tip sharply and allow the bait to free-fall or flutter, which will hopefully entice the bass into biting. Spooning is a great fall and winter technique that imitates a crippled baitfish and can catch big bass as well as lots of crappies.

You can catch bass in the winter in Arizona, but the approach differs from spring and summer techniques. So hook up that boat and head to Roosevelt Lake. If you have any questions, stop by The Tackle Box, one mile south of Punkin Center, for an up-to-the-minute fishing report, and today enjoy God's creation.

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