While Spotted bass can tolerate cold water, they slow down at a warmer temperature than largemouth bass. They become lethargic, but once the hook is set they put up an aggressive fight.


In early fall, summer patterns hold, but as water temperatures fall into the 50°F/10°C range, Spotted Bass move into deeper water that offers some protection.


Along bluff banks these fish often stay in 20 and 30ft/6 to 9 meters deep. Shad also hold deep at this time and key location of Spots. The best way to find Spotted Bass in autumn and winter is by using a dual beam sonar device with GPS. Use the sonar to find the schools of bait fish and the Spotted Bass won’t be far away.


If baitfish don’t show on sonar, these are the 3 locations to look for.

  1. Concentrate on rock slides along bluff banks
  2. Transitions from bluff to more gradual shoreline
  3. Shoreline cover like boulders or fallen trees

Where timber remains along creek channels, spotted bass may hold in tree branches 10 to 30 ft/6- 9 meters off bottom.


Worms, grubs and hair jigs drifted through the school work reasonably well but this doesn’t last for long and is not considered successful.


Jigging spoons weighing from 1/2 to 3/4 ounce imitate shad well and effectively reach deep fish.


When water temperatures reaches the lower 50°F/10°C range, spotted bass move shallower and bite more aggressively. Spoons, jigs, and doodle worms work in the typical depth range of 15 to 30 feet/6 to 9 meters.


Spotted Bass form large aggregations, and catching 50 fish a day isn’t rare.

buy a trolling motor

Minn Kota Endura

Trolling with a Small Electric Motor

Too many anglers keep their motors running as they’re trolling for Spotted bass. Engines make noise and cause vibrations and these vibrations scare away the fish.


Get a small electric fishing motor as they run quietly and won’t scare the fish away. Also when fishing rivers, move upstream and drift downwards to take advantage of the flow.