Shoal Bass Winter Fishing Facts and Information
Fly fishing is a great way to catch Shoal Bass in the winter months. Use wet flies as you will want them to drop.
Unlike other bass, the winter months can be quite successful when fishing for Shoal Bass in the deep south, though not to the same degree of success as in early summer or late fall. Shoal Bass are not found very far north and as a consequence, they are not significantly slowed down and remain quite active during the winter months. When a cold snap comes in from the north, they will seek deeper waters and become lethargic.
Shoal Bass often gather around springs in the rivers where the water temperature is 68°F degrees and goes no higher than 73°F. Knowing the temperature range throughout the water will help you when the water is not clear enough to see the fish, and in rushing river systems, that is most times.
The best fishing techniques to use during the winter months are to work the top baits and lures that attract Shoal Bass like crayfish, leeches and minnows. They are still found in and near shoals and riffles, often located near large rocks on the down-stream side.
If the water temperature drops below 50°F/10°C, the Shoal Bass may be found even deeper. However, the same baits will work, but the use of a deep diver will work better.
Spinners work very well to elicit strikes until the water gets really cool. When this happens, the best way to get the shoal bass to strike is to get in loser to their positions. Look for them in the shoals a few feet off the bottom.
Fly fishing is a great way to catch Shoal Bass in the winter months. Use wet flies as you will want them to drop. Focus on insect flies instead of bait fish. Check with the local bait shop to find which insects are most popular this time of year and select the appropriate fly.