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John's Journal... Entry 72, Day 1

Where to Fish for Bass in the Winter

click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: Ken Cook quit his job as a fisheries biologist in 1983 to become a professional bass angler. Since then the Meers, Oklahoma, resident has participated in a multitude of tournaments, including more than 200 BASS events. Currently, he fishes about 18 tournaments a year and stays on the water fishing for bass about 200 days a year.

Question: What are some tips you can give anglers about catching bass during the wintertime?
Answer: First of all, keep in mind that bass are cold-blooded, and in the winter they become extremely sluggish. They'll live in the deepest waters. Therefore, in the winter, you have to fish differently than you do any other time of the year. You must slow down your fishing because the bass aren't very aggressive. Fish slowly and vertically. Use smaller baits because the bass won't react well to fast-moving or large lures.

click to enlargeQuestion: Where are some places to look for bass in the cold months of the year?
Answer: Search for bass along a steep bluff bank, and fish vertically by a creek channel. Find vertical structure with a wide variety of baits. In the winter, bass tend to bunch-up, so, if you find one bass you'll probably locate lots of them. You often can catch a large number of bass in a relatively small area.

click to enlargeQuestion: Can you explain what you mean by fishing vertically?
Answer: Fishing vertically means fishing straight above the fish, almost like you do when you're ice fishing. You'll have a very controlled lure that you drop to bass, oftentimes on a small structure like a rock or a stump. You'll be fishing about 20 to 50 feet deep. Casting to bass in the winter is very ineffective. Instead, you want to get that lure in a bass's face. You have to go to the bass. The bass won't chase you.

Tomorrow: The Importance of Electronics and Cook's Favorite Wintertime Bass-Fishing Places




Check back each day this week for more about Ken Cook On Wintertime Bassin' ...

Day 1 -Where to Fish for Bass in the Winter
Day 2 -The Importance of Electronics and Cook's Favorite Wintertime Bass-Fishing Places
Day 3 -Equipment for Wintertime Bass Fishing
Day 4 -Common Wintertime Bassin' Mistakes
Day 5 -How to Survive Winter-Weather Bass Fishing

John's Journal