It’s a common misconception amongst newbie fishers that the bass fish tends to disappear during the colder seasons. However, these fish are still there and only change their location based on the temperature and structure.
The reproductive cycle of bass fish is what dictates their migration throughout the year. The bass fish is relatively indolent during winters, so they rove to deep waters where they don’t have to exert much throughout the season.
During the fall season, they move towards shallower water bodies so they can stock up on food and nutrients and migrate to the deep end of water bodies during the winter season.
This migration process is gradual. However, their disposition often confuses the angler to believe that the bass has vanished from the area.
Here we explain and comprehensively answer the famous question of where do bass go in the fall and winter alongside tips on how you can catch them during these seasons.
Where Do Bass Go in the Fall
Bass are cold-blooded creatures. As soon as temperatures drop, their main focus is to migrate to an area where the temperature is relatively warmer.
Before their migration, bass like to stock up on nutrients in their body so that there’s sufficient energy within them to survive the cold weather. To do that, they follow their primary food source, shads, to shallow waters.
While it seems that the bass has hidden, it actually moves to shallower waters to feed themselves and fulfill their nutritional requirements.
Since feeding themselves is their priority during autumn, they can be found in places where bait creatures are abundant.
How to Catch Bass During Fall
When finding out where do bass go in the fall and winter, firstly, you’ll need to have a thorough understanding of the structure of the water body where you usually fish for bass and wear the right gear such as gloves for ice fishing or fishing gaiters.
Determining the shallower areas of the creeks and lakes will help you get a rough estimate as to where the bass will be found.
Then it would be best if you prepared crankbait that resembles the shad or minnow. Since the bass is ready to jump at any opportunity of food, the realistic crankbait will lure the bass right towards itself.
Another option is a jigging spoon. This makes the bait look an injured fish which is easy prey according to bass fish. They will jump at the sight of an injured specimen to devour them, so be sure to use a strong fishing line for this purpose.
If you’re fishing near the end of fall, there might be some luck for catching bass if you use spinnerbait. Spinnerbaits allows you to precisely lure the bass and tempt them to fill up their last bits of nutrients before their winter transition.
By understanding the water body’s structure and using the right techniques, catching bass during fall is a breeze and requires less effort than regular fishing.
Where Do Bass Go in the Winter
Unlike the autumn season, Bass prefer to travel to the deeper end of the water body than the shallower end. This deeper end provides them with the hollow or drop-off point where the threat of fishers and predatory fish is less.
On the deeper end of the lake, there’s less commotion which allows the bass to suspend themselves to hang there peacefully. They recover their bodies through the nutrient consumption they have done prior and have little to none threat of predators attacking them.
However, if the bass happens to reside in a water body where there isn’t a significant difference in the water levels, they will try to hide. As a result, most bass are found hidden under rocks and other plants to hide from any threat.
Thus, there are three consistent patterns when it comes to determining where do bass in the fall and winter:
This is the lowest point of the water area. Bass tend to migrate to deeper ends, so hollows or flatlands that lay lower than the rest of the area are the perfect places to find bass during the winter.
Rocks are often filled with smaller baitfish which automatically attracts bass towards them. In an area with no depth variations, you can find bass hidden in rocks feeding off the smaller baitfish.
Deep rocks are vertically upright rock structures often found inside water bodies. They offer warmth and are the perfect cover for bass to hide behind. If your lake has deep rocks, then you can undoubtedly find bass there.
How to Catch Bass During Winter
Since bass don’t use much of their energy during winters, it’s harder to devise strategies that would effectively lure the bass.
Rather than using the conventional horizontal baitfish technique, you’ll need to take a more vertical approach when placing your baitfish.
The key is to make the baitfish look as if it’s injured so that the bass believes it won’t require much energy to capture it. A jigging spoon lure would work best while implying this technique.
If you’re fishing in shallow water, then the horizontal luring can work just as fine, although you’ll need to use heavy and slow-moving bait. This gives the impression that the bait itself is stationary due to being injured.
Since the bass is sluggish during this time, it will move towards it. However, you need to be careful while reeling in and try to make it slow so that the bass doesn’t sense any threat.
When you understand the answer to where do bass go in the fall and winter, you’ll find it easier to fish during these seasons and also get a deeper understanding of the area you fish in.
While understanding where do bass hide, you get a profound insight on why they migrate and what actions are necessary on your behalf to reap the benefits of fishing during colder seasons.
By recognizing the importance of luring techniques and comprehending the water body structures, we hope that this guide has helped you in understanding where do bass go in the fall and winter.