None of us like the thought of winterizing the boat or hanging up the rods, so a few hearty souls will jump at the chance for a little winter bass fishing. One drawback, however, fishing for bass in the winter can often be a hit or miss affair, especially for the weekend bass angler.
So in my case, I am always open to a few winter specific bass fishing tips (for those brrrry trips). One of the best winter bass fishing tips I came across long ago is how fishing bluffs this time of year can provide a number of distinct advantages to help catch bass.
As winter approaches, many bass retreat from the shallower bays and creek and head out to the main lake areas where conditions are often more stable (a definite environmental condition bass seek during winter). They also display a tendency to stage in areas where there is ready access to deep water (stable conditions) and their movements to shallower depths tends to be more vertical than horizontal.
What structural feature present in many lakes and reservoirs that fits the bill almost perfectly? …
The answer: A main lake area where bluffs are located since they offer one of the best vertical structures on any body of water.
One thing to remember is that not all bluffs or even specific sections of any given bluff have the same bass drawing potential. Some of the secondary structures helping to make one section of a bluff better than another include:
- Areas were rock falls and slides create mini-point features along the bluff helping to draw bait and bass;
- Sections of the bluff with either standing trees or brush piles at the base;
- Indentation areas that recede back from the normal bluff face providing a funneling feature for baitfish and bass;
- Bluffs with a series of ledges (stair-step profile) at depth allowing the bas to stage at different positions in the water column; and
- Areas where the channel diverts away from the bluff which again provides a funnel-type feature often drawing bass.
Though these specific features may take a bit of scouting to locate (especially during low water periods), finding them is well worth the effort in future winter bass fishing and catching pay-offs …
Here are a few more tips that can help you fish bluffs more effectively…