John's Journal...

How to Vertical Jig for Winter Bass

Day 2: How to Locate Wintertime Bass with a Depth Finder and Denny Brauer on Jigs

Editor’s Note: Wintertime bassing can be some of the best bassing of the year, if the outdoorsman knows three-important ingredients for successful bass fishing – where the bass are holding during the cold months, how to locate these bass with a depth finder, and how to catch them.

Click for Larger ViewThe most-effective way to identify any underwater structure is with a depth finder. When you’re fishing for wintertime bass, having more than one depth finder mounted on your boat will give you an advantage. With a console-mounted depth finder, a sportsman easily and quickly can run to an area where he anticipates finding bottom structure intersecting a thermocline. A thermocline can be identified on a depth finder by the angler seeing a lot of bass activity on his depth finder at one particular depth. Click for Larger ViewOnce a fisherman locates the bottom break where the thermocline intersects it, he may want to use a liquid crystal display (LCD) type of graph to examine the bottom structure and the bass it’s recording more closely. However, don’t be fooled if you don’t see the nice arches that a bass will make on graph paper, or if you only are reading baitfish and not bass. Often bass will be holding close to structure under the baitfish. Sometimes depth finders may not be able to discriminate the bait from the bass. However, anytime you observe baitfish concentrated, assume that there are bass under them or close to them. With this much information, the wintertime sportsman is now ready to begin to fish. Oftentimes schools of bass are so concentrated, and the bass will be so slow in biting that if you’re not bouncing the bait right-off the bass’s nose, you can’t catch the bass you’ve found. Therefore, most productive wintertime bassers have the transducers of their bow-mounted depth finder attached to the foots of their trolling motors.

Click for Larger ViewAs Denny Brauer, noted bass pro from Camdenton, Missouri, explains, “If you’re not bouncing the bait off the bass’s nose, and you can’t see where your jig is fishing, then the likelihood of catching a bass is greatly reduced. Many times during the winter, a bass may not move more than 1 to 1-1/2-feet to take a bait. If you’re fishing 3- to 4-feet away from the bass you’ve pinpointed, then you may not even get a strike. Click for Larger ViewIf you’re angling 3- to 4-feet above those bass, there’s a very-good chance you may not get a hit. By fishing a big spoon and having the sensitivity on your depth finder turned up high enough to see that spoon as it falls, many times you actually can see yourself jigging your bait right in front of the bass, which is where the lure has to be if it will catch the bass. I prefer to fish directly over my trolling motor and right through the cone of my depth finder. Then, I can constantly stay in touch with where the bass are, where my jig is, and at what depth I need to be fishing to be successful. I don’t believe a wintertime bass fisherman can consistently catch bass, if he doesn’t have his transducer mounted to his trolling motor and fishes right under it.”

Tomorrow: How to Catch Wintertime Bass with the Jigging Spoon with Bass Pro Paul Elias

Check back each day this week for more about "How to Vertical Jig for Winter Bass "

Day 1: Locate Schools of Baitfish to Find Wintertime Bass and Deep Drops on Points with Paul Elias
Day 2: How to Locate Wintertime Bass with a Depth Finder and Denny Brauer on Jigs
Day 3: How to Catch Wintertime Bass with the Jigging Spoon with Bass Pro Paul Elias
Day 4: Fishing the Plastic Worm and the Flutter Spoon for Bass in the Winter
Day 5: What Tackle and Equipment to Use for Wintertime Bassing with Paul Elias


Entry 601, Day 2