Spotted Bass Winter Fishing
Like all bass, Spotted Bass head deep in winter months and are hard to spot without a depth finder. They can still be aggressive but are not as hungry as they’re not very active.
Spotted Bass start to slow down as the temperature closes in on 50°F/10°C, but when the temperature drops below 45°F/7°C they are even more difficult to catch.
Your best approach during these months where the water temperature is below 50°F/10°C is to appeal to the bass’s instinct for survival and to protect its territory.
Casting so that the lure comes close to them can cause them to strike out of anger and be more successful than appealing to their sense of hunger.
In late fall Spotted Bass start to move out of the shallows and by the time winter has arrived, they’re all in the deep areas in an almost hibernation state. They form tight schools and feed on roaming schools of baitfish in the same deep water in which they roam.
In these conditions, heavy spoons works best as they imitate a wounded fish. Jigs are another successful lure for attracting spotted bass.
When fishing deep water, aim for some vegetation with a good spinnerbait over the top of the grass. If the Spotted Bass are not striking, try a crankbait over the top of the grass. Be sure to reel in the lure at a fast rate as this will get their attention.
The Spotted Bass’ native distribution includes southern states like Alabama and Georgia and can now be found in California and South Africa. None of these locales have sustained freezing temperatures that allow for the formation of ice. If you think you’ve found a Spotted Bass via ice fishing, check to make sure it’s not a Largemouth Bass.
When the water temperature reaches below 50°F/10°C the Spotted Bass become slow and lethargic, hovering above the river or lake floor in a state that appears like hibernation. However Spotted Bass don’t hibernate. They’re warm blooded fish and cold water slows them right down.
They still eat, but at a much slower rate. The best way to get them to strike at a bait is to cast beyond them and reel in the line within a few feet of their position.
Spotted Bass are not protected by law, nor are any freshwater fish. However to protect the fish populations for future generations, it’s well advised to practice catch and release during the winter months.