Unless ice fishing is really your thing, you might do better fishing for southern smallmouth bass in the winter where the fishing can be good all year around.
You will often find smallies suspended over points, humps, next to bluffs and ledges. Look for irregular features. Quick drop-offs with quick access to deeper waters are good prospects.
As with most any type of fishing, if you can find the bait fish, you will find the smallmouths.
When smallmouth bass are suspended below schooling baitfish, try spinnerbaits, tail spinners and spoons. These can easily be fished in deep water and directly mimic a wounded or falling baitfish.
The small profile of these baits attracts finicky bass in coldwater. They also sink quickly to feeding bass and can be fished vertically like a jig in deep water.
One popular cold water method is the “float-and-fly.” This is a tiny leadhead jig or fly constructed of craft hair, a small bobber and a long spinning rod with clear line. It’s ideal for smallies suspended below baitfish in 45 degree or colder water. It works when other lures don’t.
Suspended below a fixed float, the hair on the jig puffs out and pulsates, mimicking a small baitfish. Putting a stationary float 8-15 feet above the fly enables the jig to suspend and the bobbing float adds lifelike action. Smallmouth bass have a hard time resisting this.
Put on the gloves and muffs and give the winter smallmouths a go. You are likely to catch yourself some real bruisers.