If you are having trouble finding cold water bass this year you have come to the right place. Tune in with me to this week’s LIVE stream as I break down the basics as well as some more advanced techniques I use to find these bass.
Chickamauga Winter/ Early Prespawn
How to Locate and Target Winter Bass
Finish the Lipless Video:
Change The Hooks: Gami EWG or Mustad Triple Grip; go to 2x if you are around grass in warmer water
My Setup: Lew’s Team Lite 6:8:1 with K9 Fluoro 12lb (not 100%) and okuma TCS 7′ med/ H mod fast.
Every Lipless Crank acts differently in the water. Learn the best retrieves for each.
Early Fall: Fish Mid Depth Ledges, Points, and Cuts where Fish are schooled. I usually yo-yo or rip the bait aggressively to get a reaction strike. Also, Look for grass that does not have a canopy where you can rip the bait through.
Mid Fall: Follow finicky schooling fish into creeks and backwaters. Sometimes they are shallow and other times they are mid depth.
Late Fall: Follow the Fish out. Yo yo or drag on secondary points and the water temps fall into the 50’s but keep an eye out for shallow aggressive fish where you can burn/stop.
Winter: Fish working toward the creek mouths. Many are still shallow so I try for them first but will go deep in a pinch.
Mid Winter: When it gets brutal cold and water temps fall into low 40s or ever high 30s. Often the fish will push relatively deep and there is often a shad kill. You can fish the lipless just like you would a blade bait and pull fish from a distance. Drag it or shake it.
Late Winter/ Early Prespawn: It is still cold out there but the days are getting longer. The big females are on a biological clock and WANT/ NEED to move up. We get many fronts during this time so the fish are all over the place and you often have to cover water to find them.
Water temps are in the mid 50’s.
With the seasonal change comes many fronts which cause changes in water levels and current. TVA is actively dropping the lake
Fish start to spread out into small schools/ pods.
Fish the conditions. They may be 4 fow one day and 18 fow the next.
Last two thirds of creeks and creek mouths can be good.
Follow the bait
Flats and 45 degree banks
Water temps in lower 50’s or upper 40’s
Generally more stable weather is better for fishing. Doesn’t matter if it is cooling or warming as long as it is stable.
Fish tend to stay put because the water levels are consistent.
Fish are in tightly packed schools and big fish seem to be separate and solitary.
Last thirds of creeks and Creek mouths can be great. Also, many deeper ledge spots will have fish.
45 degree banks and steeper so fish can move up and down easily.
Late Winter/ Early Prespawn:
Water Temps from low 40’s to mid 40’s. Sometimes they can be lower with fronts.
Usually our worst weather comes around late January or February. Expect major cold fronts with wind and precipitation.
Fish, especially big fish want to be shallow as the days get longer but they are on the move and locations are not consistent.
Bigger fish start to group together.
The migration begins and the first and second thirds of creeks can be good as well as backwater areas.
Flats and 45 degree banks
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