It is now reaching the cold time of year we know as winter but don’t pack your rods and boat away yet there is plenty of fun to be had. In winter fish will slow way down as they simply have a decreased metabolism and don’t need to eat as much. With that being said the spotted Bass and Small mouth Bass will still eat pretty well and tend to be my target this time of year you can catch plenty of Large mouth too but it gets tough for the average angler!
Dress warm and bring thick socks and extra clothes in case of rain, a dry ride home is worth the effort! In winter Bass wil tend to stay deep much like summer. Look for deep ledges and long tapering points that fall off into deep water. Work you baits down hill and then uphill. Bait fish start to bunch up as the water is now cold and will be the primary forage for most fish in winter. Crayfish hibernate when it gets cold though Bass cannot resist a craw imitation. Cranking can take some early morning fish that may be up shallow. Swim baits will always catch a big fish or two as the trout are up top now. Dart heads,drop shots in shad patterns stay small!,spoons and of course “JIGS” I prefer Berserk Baits Jigs and Persuader casting Jigs for this, and Tubes in natural colors will be your best choices. Rip baits can catch some quality fish as well but your looking for 5 bites with this application.
Work the baits super duper slow and then a little slower for your best success. Stay with southern lakes as it is warmer longer and you can extend your fall/winter fishing. After a storm check your creeks, bait fish will move in with the incoming water and the Bass will be close behind. Birds diving will tip you off to being in the right places. Spotted Bass will get way up in the creeks like a trout sometimes. Try a spinner bait with gold blades and nickel blades in sun and painted blades when cloudy, white in clean water and chartreuse in stained water.
Most of all just get out of the house! When it rains they bite!
If you would like to try some lakes try these in winter:
Don Pedro, Lake Mc Clure, New Melones, Oroville, Shasta, Berryessa, Folsom
“get the Net!”