Winter: (1) Water Conditions – During this season, water will be 45 degrees or
colder over much of the country except the deep South, and usually fairly clear. (2) Bass Location – Most bass will be schooled in deep holding areas at this time, although they may make occasional forays into shallow water along major migration routes. Winter bass prefer vertical holding areas such as bluffs, submerged trees and deep creek channels, rather than the sloping areas of shallows, flats, etc. The reason is that they can adjust to light and temperature changes simply by ascending or descending, rather than making a more strenuous horizontal migration. (3) Water Depth – Varies according to structure, water temperature and water clarity, but most bass hold at 18 to 30 feet or deeper. (4) Lure Choices – The pig-and-jig or a jig with some other sort of dressing is the top wintertime choice in many areas. Jigging spoons can also be successful, and modified jerkbaits work in some areas. (5) Tactics – Start medium-shallow and gradually work deep until you locate fish. Work the vertical areas such as submerged timber, bluffs, etc. Look for bass to be suspended there or just off the edges or drops of the creek channels. Bounce a pig-and-jig slowly down a bluff wall until you locate the depth where fish are holding; then fish similar patterns at that depth. A jigging spoon fished vertically in the treetops for suspended bass may also be effective. Jerkbaits modified by adding shot to give them neutral buoyancy can be cranked down to suspended bass, then stopped. Even lethargic fish will often hit the lures as they sit motionless in the water.