Hey everyone, thanks for checking out this week’s blog.
I was in Oklahoma last week doing a little deer hunting. I was happy to get the chance to harvest this nice 8-point buck, and we also had some time for a little quail hunting as well.
The week before, the family and I headed down to Florida where we did saltwater fishing for Red fish, and I went over to Lake Okeechobee for one day to try my luck with the bass. I managed to catch an 8 pound, 14 ounce bass right away that morning, and it was by far the largest of the day. The weather was great while we were there, and now that we’re dealing with frigid temperatures farther north, I would sure like to see a little of that warmth here in Tenn.
Winter can be a great time to catch fish, but because of the cold, it is important to choose your days carefully. My favorite days in the cold are ones with little or no wind. Wind can make a sunny day seem much colder than a cloudy day without wind.
Probably my favorite lure is a jig when the water temp is below 50 degrees. I use it like you would a Texas rig worm – simply cast it out let it sink to the bottom and use very short hops for your retrieve. You must pay very close attention to your line because most bites will be very subtle.
Another great bait for late fall or early winter is a crankbait. I usually use a smaller profile bait of less than 2 inches in length. I also use crawfish colors instead of shad patterns. The Koppers live craw in natural crawfish pattern is one of my favorites. The detail of that lure in cold, clear water gives it a great look.
I like to fish these lures around steep banks, especially banks that have a channel swing or short bluff wall to them. The fish I caught in Okeechobee were still on the fall pattern and were feeding on shad and other baitfish. I was using a new Bluegill wake bait over submerged vegetation when that 8 pound big girl bit.
One last quick note. When you’re fishing where the water is cold – sometimes close to freezing – be sure to take a friend with you. If you were to fall in the water, it’s very difficult to get back into your boat by yourself when you’ve got multiple layers of clothing on – and it will only take a few minutes for hypothermia to set in. Cold water can be very dangerous. Please don’t take it lightly, be safe out there.
Besides, after you catch all those big fish, someone has to be there to take the photos!