Finding deep holes adjacent to shallower water is the key to pinpointing large concentrations of bass during winter. Winter bass use these drop-offs to move up into the shallows to feed on sunny days; when inclement wintry weather hits, the fish leave the shallows and suspend out over the deep holes.
Here’s a look at four of the best places that provide winter bass with quick access to both shallow and deep water.
Rock walls usually feature ledges where winter bass can move up to absorb the heat of the sun. A river or creek channel usually runs along a bluff so bass also have deep water access when the weather turns nasty. Bass bunch up and suspend along the rock walls where they can move up and down the water column without swimming very far.
Winter bass sometimes move horizontally along the bluffs, but the fish mainly make more vertical movements since they frequently suspend off the bluffs over deep water. On sunny days, position your boat close to the bluff and cast parallel to the rock wall to target shallower fish on the ledges. When the fish suspend over the deep water, keep your boat out from the bluff, cast directly at the rock wall and work your lure all the way back to the boat.
Main Lake Points
A main lake point with a river channel swinging close to it will hold the most bass in the wintertime. Bass will move up on the point and feed along the bottom on sunny days but will head back to the drop-off and suspend in the channel after a cold front passes. Fishing points can be tricky, but when the temperature drops it is worth it.
Not all bass move out to the main lake during the winter. Some bass will set up their winter homes along long sloping points dropping off into deep water (30 feet or deeper) or a point that splits two coves where two creek channels swing into each side of the point. Learning how to fish the dropoffs in these areas can help you fill your livewell, even during the winter months.
On natural shallow lakes, the best winter bass hideout could be a hole 6 feet deep at the edge of hydrilla. There might be only a 2-foot drop from the edge of the vegetation into the hole, but bass will seek refuge there because it is the deepest water in the area. Ditches featuring stump rows or sunken brush piles are also ideal winter havens for bass in lowland reservoirs.