Winter JiG Fishing 101 by Preston Henson

Winter Jig fishing 101

 As we move into February and the lakes still are cold and have not hit that magic 53-degree mark and fish either suspend or lock themselves to the bottom. In this article I will talk about those fished glued to the bottom and how to attack them with a jig.

 First will start off by looking at the different jigs I use to attack this scenario. First is a good old fashion rubber jig with a twin tail grub or some kind of plastic trailer. My go to is the River2Sea Papa Mur. I wont get in to specific colors because every lake has its colors, I will say this browns always seem to be a good start with some king of other color mixed in. Remember to match your hatch. When fishing these jigs I prefer a football style head since I will be most likely be crawling and dragging this jig keeping constant bottom contact. For weight I start with a ½oz or 5/8oz in the Papa Mur for 25 feet or less and move to a 3/4oz or 7/8oz in the Papa Mur when fishing deeper. The biggest key is to keep bottom contact and drag your jig along the bottom.

 The second Jig is an over looked but my favorite style for cold water fishing, THE HULA GRUB or also called a spider jig or grub. Colors I prefer are your cinnamon and green pumpkin colors. I attach them to a 1/2oz football head for 25 feet or less and 3/4oz for deeper. Same retrieve as the standard jig just a crawl and drag.  I use an open hook setup witch means no weed guard.


 Lets look at the equipment I use for these baits. The rod I use is a Phenix Ultra MBX 707MH paired with a Lews Team Lews Custom in a 7.5:1 gear ratio. I use the higher gear ratio to pick up more line since we generally are fishing deeper. Line size varies, I prefer 10lb Fluorocarbon when I can get away with it but will go up to 12lb if I have to if there are more rocks or if the water is dirty.

 Areas of the lake that I target are main lake humps, river channel and creek swings and point near the main river channel. Allot of times these fish will be so tight to the bottom they will not show up on your graph. Look for clues such as bait near by or bottom type change like sand to rock or small to big rock etc. etc.

 The retrieve is very simple. Like I mentioned earlier it’s a slow crawl and drag. I sometimes use my trolling motor to just inch the bait along.  One key I have success is dragging my bait up hill, allot of amateur anglers make the mistake of always fishing shallow to deep. I get allot of my bigger bites with this technique dragging up hill, what I mean by this is casting out deeper and bringing the bait shallower.

 The bite can be very light and can just feel like the slightest change of pressure and other times they will knock slack in your line. If you find yourself missing allot of fish try reel setting on the fish what I mean by this is just reel into the fish and when the rod loads just lean into them.

 I will use both styles of jigs and listen to what the fish prefer that day. I hope this helps you on your next outing during these cold winter days and remember to be slow and patient this time of year and listen to the fish.



Tackle Management with Ron Howe ICast 2016

I Cast Cal Coast Fishing

Ron Howe talks about tackle management and a new product the Cali Clip from Cal Coast Fishing that will be on display at ICAST 2016. Make sure to go bye Booth #2011 and check out all the Cal Coast Fishing products!


IMA-Skimmer Grande


Ima Lures Skimmer Grande

The Ima Lures Skimmer Grande is a topwater walking bait that subtly glides across the surface replicating the action of small shad that are often found roaming the surface. The Grande size Ima Skimmer retains the design of the original, but increases the size from 4.5″ to 5″ in order to mimic lager species of forage that predatory fish feed upon. The Ima Skimmer Grande possesses a slim profile that has proven to be one of the most appealing bass lure shapes ever. As a result of this subtle shape, the lure will glide across the surface softly much like the wake of a lone shad as it seeks refuge from the predators below. There’s a whole lot to be said simply for this slender profile and silhouette, and the Ima Skimmer Grande is really the only topwater hardbait that has perfected it.



A large part of the Skimmer Grande’s action is caused on the ending movement of each zig or zag as the tail-weighted back end of the Ima Skimmer Grande stirs the water slightly causing a natural boil. So every time that the Skimmer zigs or zags left or right, the final movement of the weighted tail interrupts the consistency of the slick surface and the lure slips out barely ahead of the boil, just like a desperate baitfish narrowly escaping a bass’s lunge.The Skimmer Grande’s action then becomes a non-stop series of ever-widening boils emanating behind it. It’s like having a school of surface-feeding bass on the scene, all boiling the surface behind the Ima Skimmer’s tail. If there’s ever anything that gets a non-committal bass to bite, it is other bass feeding in front of it – and that’s the competitive feeding cue that the Skimmer’s tail-stirring movement sends out to all bass within range of sensing the surface-feeding boils trailing out behind the Skimmer.

The IMA Skimmer Grande measures 5″ in length and weighs 5/8oz.


IMA Skimmer Grande Specs

  • Length: 125mm, 5in
  • Weight: 17g, 5/8oz
  • Classification: Top Water
  • Hooks: Owner ST-36 #4

Preston Henson and James Matsuoka Win Bass Pro Shops Top 100 event

Bass Pro Shops Top 100

Preston Henson and James Matsuoka Win Bass Pro Shops Top 100 event

The First ever Bass Pro Shops Northern California Open was held at Folsom Lake last weekend. This was a event where 100 Teams fished for 2 days and only the top 10 Teams moved on to weigh in at Bass Pro Shops is Rocklin Ca on Sunday. Two RB BASS Anglers made the top 10 Randy Walker and Preston Henson, both Anglers Teams had a shot at the title.

The Team of Preston Henson and James Matsuoka squeaked out the win as they edged out Corey Fenske’s Team by a very narrow margin. Preston Henson stated that the bite changed each and every day, the fish were transitioning from eating bait to eating craws. The team used the River2Sea Rover for key topwater bites and then changed to dartheads and the River2Sea Papa Mur Jig for most of their bites that they weighed in over 3 days to take the win with a total weight of over 40lbs.

Preston Ninja

Preston Hensons Sponsors are: Phenix Rods,Lews Reels,RBBASS,River2Sea,D&M Custom Baits

James Matsuoka’s Sponsors are: River2Sea and Phenix Rods

Soft Jerkbaits by Josh Parris

Zoom Fluke
You could write a book on the various rigging options and techniques of soft jerk baits, but for time sake I’ll stick to shallow weightless tips for now. I have always stuck by Zooms super salty Fluke, it’s soft, durable, and has enough weight to be cast a mile weightless. I throw my flukes on a medium heavy rod paired with 10lb fluorocarbon line
Berkley-Floiurocarbon line
on most lakes and 12lb on the Delta and Clear lake. I like to use the fluke Texas rigged with a 4/0 Gamakatsu EWG hook in both light and heavy wires. Many will say a round bend hooks helps increase hook up ratio, but I haven’t noticed a significant difference between the two and prefer the EWG. The light wire hook will give a great soft jerk bait presentation, working just under the surface. I use that presentation in winter and when the bite is tuff and I’m going more finesse.
Tullcoh Josh
Just like a hard jerk bait the fluke will pull fish from a long way, but because of its soft bait action it tends to draw more bites than a traditional hard jerk bait. I use the heavy wire hook during most of the year. Despite it being a heavier hook it actually makes the bait want to jump out of the water. The majority if the hooks weight is in the back of the bait and points the head at the surface. It creates a blend between soft jerk bait and top water. It will jump out of the water if given a hard twitch during the retrieve. Its possible to do a top water presentation with out a heavy wire hook. It just takes much more work on the anglers part and isn’t typically as controlled. When fishing heavy cover I like to skip the bait in to it and immediately start retrieving it breaking the surface. After a few pops I kill it and let it set for a few second. Ninety percent of the time as soon as it stops is when it’s going to get bit. In open water or on rock bluffs and spars cover I make a long casts past my target. I don’t want the fish to see or hear the baits entry. If my target is close to the bank, I cast on to the bank and pull the bait in silently. I work the bait to my target with the typical twitch twitch pause. When I get to my target I start jumping it out of the water followed by a brief pause. I try to mimic the conditions if bass are chasing bait I try to be erratic, on calm days or if it’s slow I use a more slower retrieve throwing in little busts of breaking the surface. With colors I throw two, albino white and baby bass. Most of the time I throw white because I can easily track it and most bait fish have some white on them. During post spawn or if the water is really clear and the sun is bright sometimes I’ll switch to baby bass. Like all jerk baits the fish are most times just instinctively swiping at it. Sometime they are completely missing it or just grabbing the tail. To combat missing and losing fish, I always try to wait to feel the fish before setting the hook. Most times if they don’t get it and you don’t rip it out of there with a hook set they will immediately come back for it on the next pause. Easier said than done when they violently exploded on it, but loosing or missing fish will quickly reinforce it. I almost always have a soft jerk bait on my deck, it’s a great search bait for covering water as well as follow up bait for a fish that missed top water baits such as Spooks, Frogs or Whopper Ploppers. I hope this helps, and good luck out there!
Josh Parris

Tournament Bass Tips Improve your success

Howe Hog

Tournament Bass Fishing Tips by “Ron Howe”


     I am by no means any super Pro Bass Angler, but Ive had a lot of Tournament success in recent years and I want to share what has made me better and hope it can help you be a better Tournament Bass Angler.

     We all start out as Beginners or Rookies or Future pro’s. We develop a love for fishing and a love to compete. Throw a high horse powered bass boat in the mix with a cool looking gel coat and were hooked! Blasting off against 60,70-230 boats is a serious endorphin rush! You against the world the weather the water and oh ya the fish! Once a Angler fishes a few events they get addicted to Tournament Bass fishing. I did!



     Very few Anglers ever make it to the top level of Bass fishing and fish as a “Pro” for a living. Many of us can live the dream regionally near home and are happy to do so. With kids a full time job and few sponsor dollars available for a weekend warrior we are limited in our opportunities.

Delta BHQ Ron Howe_Steve Adams - 16

      I have been tournament fishing for over 20 years now. I love it! I love meeting new people and love to compete. Along this journey I started at a club level. We caught fish, but rarely got in the money or won a Trophy or some Wood! The same guys always did well. We new we were good anglers, but couldn’t get to the top of the club event level. Then you meet new people and learn about events with a higher winning potential. So you say sign me up im in! And much like the club level you fish well, but never end up in the top level of the circuit. The same guys always do well??

Second Placeweb

      When we fish at the club level or regional semi-pro level it is the last time we will ever get info on how these Anglers did better than us. You must stay to the end of every event you fish to learn and get better. In time you will find out what won the events or what the top 5 teams did to out fish the rest. If you leave the event early because you didn’t place well you are loosing the chance to get better! Stay, ask questions, hang out with those willing to talk, many Anglers love to brag! Heck I do! That’s how you learn!

Ron Howe Delta 9.60


      Take what you learn and go practice it, get better at it. When you tackle your weakness find another tournament tactic and get better at it. The more versatile you are the better you will become at Tournament Bass fishing at any level! Don’t get mad when a team does well, try to find out what they are doing that you are not! Now go get good at it. Many years ago I forced myself to practice Punching or heavy flipping. Its not that I couldn’t do it, I love to flip just not in the junk. If I can open water fish I would rather do so. By forcing myself to practice this and get better at it I Punched 25lbs in 15 minutes. That’s all I needed to do 1 time to get me to get over what I want to do and what I need to do at the right times. Drop shotting was an other one, Its not hard, I just didn’t like to do it. I would rather drag a jig or a 10” worm, but quickly I forced myself to improve at this tactic and believe me it has paid off! Get better at what you don’t like to do, it will make you a better Tournament Bass Angler.  

clear lake 2 bass

     One big bit of advice I can give you is to take control of as many things as you can. This is one of the most important steps to becoming a better Tournament Angler. Make sure your line is new or in great condition. Always tie new knots. Always use new hooks. Make sure your boat is fully ready before you leave your house. Know the weather, the tide, the water level, the seasonal pattern you will fish and know the primary food source at that time of year where you are fishing! And as I have asked my partners on a few very sad occasions when the big fish gets off, did you have a trailer hook on? Being pre-paired is the best thing you can do that will improve your Tournament results as a weekend warrior.

2013 March 27 Bullards Bar - 012


      This one is tough, but invest in good quality products. Make sure you buy products that are proven tournament products. Have the right rod and reel for what you’re doing! A red crank bait just aint a red crank bait if it doesn’t work correctly. If a spinner bait doesn’t work properly it just wont catch as many fish. Bite the bullet and buy good stuff. Make sure you bring enough product that you do well with, do not run out! I have multiples of my favorite baits; I don’t want to run out.

b howe 9er

        Time management. This is critical to your success in tournaments. This does not mean fish too fast. This means fish every second of the day effectively. Each time you start and stop do it quickly. This will add 1-25 more casts per day in every event. If you made 25 more casts in 5 events that is 125 more chances to catch a big one! It is a percentage game and you are improving your chances. If you are the non boater, are you getting ready to go quickly? When the boater puts his pole down and grabs the trolling motor rope that’s a big clue you need to be on the move. Timing is everything!! Think how many times in practice you pull up and first or second cast BANG you get a big one! If you manage your time in tournaments you will increase these odds in your favor. I do a lot of Salmon fishing and I get asked a lot “how come you hook so many fish?” I always answer because im a tournament Bass Angler! And then respond by saying I make more casts than the average angler. Make the most of your time and you will become a better Tournament Bass Angler and a better fisherman.

Berryessa BASS

Berryessa BASS


    I hope you can use some of these valuable tips to improve your time on the water and your success in your next Tournament.


Good Luck

“Ron Howe”

Ron and Dan Win Snag Proof Open


Spring Bass tips by Dan Wells


Brought to you by

Spring bass fishing tips.

As late winter turns to early spring bass began to feel the urge to full fill their primary need in nature, reproducing!  Keeping in mind that bass must reproduce every year and understanding what they need to have a successful spawn are the best tools you can keep in your tackle box during the spring transition.
Largemouth’s optimal water temp for spawning is 63-70 degrees and the best bottom composition for them is a light sand/gravel bottom that can easily be swept clean. The first step is finding the good bottom that they will spawn on. Look in the back of coves, pockets and flats. Once you have found the right bottom you can start to track and anticipate the water temps  as to when they will actually show up to do their thing and you can be one step ahead of them.
Knowing that the majority of bass have wintered out on the main lake points and features, you now have your starting point to search for their migration route to where you had found the prime spawning grounds.  In the late stage of winter and very first signs of spring fish the very outside of the spawning areas near the main lake, as the water begins to warm and spring progress work your way to the secondary points heading towards the spawning area. As spring has progressed into the later stages and the water temps have started to reach 60 degrees start looking from the secondary points all the way back to the flats  where they will spawn.  In other words as the water temps increase fish further and further back into the spawning bays that you have found to have the good spawning bottoms.
Some simple research and a good understanding of bass seasonal movements will increase your catching greatly in spring. Get out to your lake way ahead of spring and even during the winter draw downs and start looking for those good spawning grounds, this way when the water rises and the temps start coming up you will already know where they are headed to and you will be there waiting!
Good luck out there and please practice catch and release during the spawn.
Dan Wells

Winter Bass Fishing Tips by Ron Howe



A few Winter Bass Fishing tips and presentations by Ron Howe

Once fall passes and winter comes on in full force it is down right cold outside. I know that the 100mph Goretex suit is coming off the hanger and going in the truck with me. My beanie will be on when I leave home and my whool gloves will be in my truck warming up for when I arrive at the lake. A warm cup of coffee and Im good to go!

The fish are much like we are in winter slow! So when you are approaching winter time bass fishing you must think the same way. SLOW! Slow down your fishing presentation. You can still catch many fish on reaction type baits just slow down!

One of my winter time favorites that I recommend is to use rip baits or minnow type baits.  If fishing in shallow water say 8-10 feet deep I use a rip bait that dives 4-5feet deep Like the IMA Flit 120. 8-10lb Berkley Trilene flourocarbon fishing line is recomended and will help to get the bait down a little deeper since flourocarbon line has a better sink rate. Cast the bait out reel it down to the desired depth and stop! Let the bait sit for 15,20,30 seconds then twitch the bait once! And stop! Let the bait sit for 15,20,30 seconds then twitch the bait twice really slow twitches and repeat. Be patient you are trying to get a slow lazy cold Bass to rise up and grab the bait! If fishing in water that’s a little deeper try using a Rip Bait that dives say 8-10 feet deep once again light Flourocarbon line will help the bait get a little deeper. I add suspend dots to the IMA Flit 120 to get it down deeper and help make longer casts. Use the same application as above slow twitches with long pauses. You will catch some good size bass doing this in winter.This is effective on all species of Bass. In clear water use shad or white colors. If the water is slightly stained use a little bit brighter color like chartuese. 

IMA flit120 jerkbait


IMA FLit 120 Ron Ripper


 Another great winter time bait is a jig. There are many to choose from and they all work. A jig imitates a crawfish and a bass cant resist! If fishing in a lake I recommend a football head type jig or casting jig around rocks and mud or clay banks. If fishing around heavy cover I will use a arky head jig or a flipping style jig since they come thru the snags and cover much better. For colors in winter I will stick to brown and purple jigs or black and blue. For jigs I attach a little trailer to make the bait better resemble a crawfish such as a jig chunk trailer,a small beaver or a pork trailer. I use a color that matches the jig best in browns,black,or blue. Largemouth Bass will be from 20-40 ft most of winter 3/8 to 1/2 oz jigs will work fine here. Spotted Bass will be from 2ft to 70ft deep they just dont play by the rules 1/4oz for shallow fish to 3/4 oz jigs for the deep fish will be what you need.

Lake Berryessa Bass caught by Ron Howe

When fishing deeper in lakes I will use 8-12lb fluorocarbon fishing line. I do this to detect light bites in winter. Fish points,ledges and guts or deep v creek arms. I will drag the jig on the bottom as slow as I can. Do this in real short drags. Crawfish dont move very fast in cold water! Look for clay banks with small rocks these are prime areas to fish jigs!

A good example of many points and a deep V gut thats empty here at Lake Oroville CA.

When fishing shallow I recomend using the flipping type jig around heavy cover. Do this on 15-20 lb test line. Fish this bait really slow and get ready to set the hook hard as the bass will hit the bait on the fall many times. If they are not willing to take the bait on the fall let the jig sit still for long periods of time and wait for the bass to come find it!

Below is a good example of heavy cover in the California Delta.

 Persuader Baits Casting jig “Lakes jig”

Our hand crafted casting jig baits are made with the finest components.Powder painted custom head design to minimize chipping, with recessed line tie Mustad Ultra Point Hooks. Custom “Bio-Flex” thin cut skirts .Cork screw plastic holder for attaching plastic trailers.Eight super colors to chose from.

Ron Howe Rogue


Persuader ‘E-Chip’ Flipping Jigs
  • Features an electronic ‘E-Chip’ mounted on the shank of the hook that emits an electrical discharge identical to what bait fish give off when being chased by larger fish.
  • Mustad Ultra Point Hooks.
  • Powder printed heads to minimize chipping.


The EChip is a small tube that encases a ball and proprietary microchip crystal. The rocking of the ball agitates the microchip and it gives off a tiny electrical pulse. The EChip duplicates the electrical nerve discharge of a wounded baitfish. This discharge is detected by predator fish and they will attack. The Echip never needs charging or batteries and it doesn’t wear out.


Stay tuned for more winter tips from RB Bassfishing!




Winter Tactics for Spotted Bass

Winter Tactics for Spotted Bass

By: Jim “Jimbo” Mathley – Jimbo’s Lake Lanier Spotted Bass Guide Service


Many anglers make the common mistake of underestimating the viability of winter fishing.   While the outside elements are not always favorable, the months of December, January, and February on Lake Lanier can offer anglers some of the best fishing of the year.  Big sacks of spotted bass can be taken during these cold-weather months if you approach the lake with an open mind and are willing to try some different techniques and locations.  While the bass’ metabolism is indeed slower due to the colder temperatures, they will still actively feed and can be caught, if you do the right thing, at the right time, in the right place. The notes below will help your winter fishing and make you a better, more complete angler on Lake Lanier. 


A ditch can be defined as a significant depression, typically narrow in width (2-10 feet), which offers a sharp depth change of 2 feet or more from the surrounding structure.  Ditches can be naturally occurring or can be man-made.  An example of a naturally occurring ditch would be a creek channel that feeds a pocket or cove.  A man-made ditch could result from a trench that was dug during the construction of a housing edition near the lake.  These features exist in many places on Lake Lanier, and they hold fish during the winter months.  Ditches can be found both shallow and deep, and can be approached in a number of different ways.  


Shallow Ditches

Often times, if you find a shallow ditch (15 feet or less) in a creek, you will find bait fish present in and around this ditch.  Bass will show up and feed in these areas, particularly in low-light conditions, even in the dead of winter.  Slow-rolling a Fish Head Spin or slow cranking a crankbait in these areas at daylight is a great way to take some huge spots through-out the winter.  Present a jerkbait over these same areas for bites as well.  Cast your jerkbait long distances over the ditch, and work the bait back to the boat with a jerk, jerk, pause retrieve.  Include long pauses of 20-30 seconds between jerks.  Also, ensure that you jerk the bait on slack line to improve the erratic action of the bait, which will trigger more strikes.  The key to this technique is patience.  Long pauses are critical to getting bites.  I prefer a Denali Jerkbait Rod for this technique.  The Michael Murphy Signature Denali Jerkbait Rod is the best on the market.  It provides a fast tip to aid in presentation and plenty of backbone to fight and land a big fish.  If these 2 techniques do not produce, try dragging a worm or jig in the area of the ditch or the ledge created by the ditch.  Again, slow is the key.  Impart short movements of the rod tip and drag the bait on the bottom for more bites. 

Deep Ditches

Many of the same definitions and techniques will still apply to deeper ditches, but there are some key differences.  When you search for these deeper ditches (25-50 feet deep), start by following the shallow ditches out to deeper water.   Once you have moved to the deeper part of the ditch, use your Lowrance electronics to look for cover within or around the ditch that may offer an ambush spot for bass.  Always remember that bass are predatory and constantly seek an advantage through a point of ambush.  Structure changes, such as a ditch, along with ancillary structure/cover such as brush or standing timber, offer a refuge for bait fish, as well as an ambush position for the bass.   If you can find an area with a ditch, standing timber, brush, and key feature changes such as an outside channel bend intersected by a road-bed in 40 feet of water or so, you have found the perfect winter haunts of the bait and our green-backed friends.   Good electronics, such as Lowrance HDS units with Structure Scan Technology, are vital to finding these subtle depth changes and cover.    Once you find a location like this holding fish, start by dropping a jigging spoon down to the location of the fish.  Allow the spoon to sink to the bottom and then real it 2 cranks up before beginning your presentation.  Jig the spoon with quick, short, upward thrusts of the rod and include pauses in your presentation.  Let the fish tell you how they want the bait presented.  Most bites will come on the fall, so after jigging the spoon upward, follow the line back down with your rod tip so you maintain “contact” and therefore “feel” of your lure.   Other options for these deep fish include a drop-shot rig.  Rig a drop-shot with a small worm or minnow imitation and present the bait in the area of the fish.  Shake the bait with your rod tip slightly and include intermittent pauses.  Do not lift the weight off the bottom, simply shake the bait lightly.  Vary the length of your leader on your rig as necessary. When the fish loads up your rod-tip, simply lift your rod sharply upward.  Do not set the hook as you would traditionally.  With the proper set-up to include a small, light-wire hook, lifting the rod is all that is required to set the hook properly.  Jig head worms and jigs with twin-tail trailers can also take these fish.  Again, slow is the key. 

Steep Rock Banks/Rip Rap 

These features consistently hold fish during the winter months.  These “vertical” banks, present both in the creeks as well as the main lake, offer the fish the ability to change depths within the water column without traveling very far.  This provides an optimal situation for the fish whose metabolism and activity levels are slowed by the colder water.  Begin by using your electronics to graph a likely area in search of bait.  You will often find bait fish in “balls” on your graph.  When you see these, you can rest assured that fish are somewhere in the area.  Search for changes in the structure as your starting place.  Look for points, pockets, contour changes, or transition areas where sand meets rock or clay, for example.  Begin your prospecting in these areas with a jerkbait.  Impart the jerk, jerk, pause retrieve mentioned previously, with a focus on long pauses.  If the fish are not active enough to hit the jerkbait, try worms or jigs worked slowly down the rock bank.  Position your boat in deeper water and cast towards the bank.  Work the bait slowly and methodically back to the boat, paying particular attention to your lure’s movements.  Bites in the winter are often VERY subtle.  Once you detect something unusual in your lure’s action, set the hook.  Do not play the “is it a fish” game.  Just set the hook – they are free!  I have found greater success in both the number of bites I get as well as the length of time the fish hold onto the lure by using JJ’s Magic Garlic Scent.  I use the clear on all of my jigs and plastics, and I often dye the tips of my worms in the chartreuse color to provide additional attraction. 

Boat Docks and Slips

 Boat docks in creeks and the main lake, as well as slips in marinas hold fish year ‘round.  There are several important factors to consider as you approach these features.  First, explore the area around the docks you are considering fishing.  Ignore the docks themselves and focus on the contour changes, structure, and available cover in the area.  Does the dock or row of docks sit on or around a point?  Does the dock extend over a creek channel bend or ditch?  Asking questions like these and finding the answers will help your fishing immensely.  Find the docks that are near key bait and fish holding areas, and you will find potentially productive docks.  Do not fish random docks as your success ratio will be lowered considerably.  Evaluate the area and focus on the docks that intersect with other fish attracting features and success will be yours! 

 Once you have identified the docks or marina slips you are going to fish based on the surrounding features, to include bait and fish in the area, there are many ways to approach these fish-holding structures.   I like to focus on deeper docks in the winter that sit in 20-35 feet of water.  This is a general rule and can vary based on the day, water temperature, and weather conditions. There are times when fish will position on shallow docks in the backs of creeks, particularly if we experience a three-day warming trend or a warm rain.  Fish will hold on different areas of these docks and marina slips based on the same factors.  Set up to fish these docks and marinas in such a way that you ensure proper boat control.  Position your boat into the wind, for example, as opposed to drifting with it.  I like to fish a dock or a set of docks with some faster moving bait options first, such as a jerkbait, crankbait, or Fish Head Spin for example.  I will start by making parallel casts to the face of the dock, followed by presentations parallel with the sides of the docks and in the slip itself when possible.  I will vary the retrieve on each presentation to cover different depths of the water column.  Generally, when the sun is out, I like to focus on the shady side of the docks as this creates the best ambush environment for the fish.  If the moving baits are not working, I will then switch to a worm or jig for a slower presentation.  Present these baits in the same manner as mentioned above, but also make “corner” shots with your bait.  Target the corners of the dock at the back and the front, along with any “corners” that are created by boats harbored in these docks.   When fishing the worm and jig, bites occur on the fall, or as the bait is dragged through a likely area of cover or structure within the dock, such as brush pile or corner, as we discussed above.  Again, think in terms of ambush locations.  Also, as the water reaches its coldest temperatures, the docks sporting the iron posts should be of particular focus.  These iron posts, usually found on older docks, hold heat.  Water temperature differences of 1 degree or more can be found in these areas.  This temperature difference, albeit small, is enough to attract bait and fish.  Focus on these objects and make multiple presentations to these areas with your lures.  Remember to be patient and work your baits slowly.  Also, incorporate the use of spinning gear to present your worms and light jigs around these docks.  With practice, you can use these rigs to skip baits around boats within docks and slips and actually present your bait further back in the dock, which can hold a better concentration of fish.   Think like the fish – where would you be if you are looking for maximum comfort/protection as well as an ambush location?  Often, the very back of the dock under a boat is the place. 

While these three areas are not the only possible places to find fish on Lake Lanier in the winter, they are three very good areas to begin your search.  Remember to look for bait and fish in an area before fishing it – fish where the fish are!   Good luck out there and see you on the water! 


For more information or to book a trip, contact Jimbo on Lanier via email: or Phone: 770-542-7764.  Check out Jimbo’s Website:


Dan Wells on Frog Fishing

Dan Wells Professional Bass Angler explains the ins and out of frog fishing, listen close and learn how to improve your frog fishing tactics and catch more bass. Dan will cover the right Dobyns rod, Spider wire line,and ABU Garcia reel to use as well as how to pre pare a frog for catching more and bigger bass, In this case the Snag Proof open is coming up in august and Dan will show you how to prep your Snag Proof frog and help you increase your catch rate.


Dan Wells and Ron Howe holding there Snag Proof champions trophy’s from using the tips in these videos for there success!

Dan Wells