Winter time bass fishing

Friday, January 20, 2017
Troy Basso

Troy Basso

Tribune Contributor

Even though deer season is all but a memory there is no need for a void in your outdoor time. Bass fishing in the mid-state area is still very good and heats up as the days get longer.

Winter time bass fishing can be as productive as fishing in the summer if you adjust your tactics. Good electronics help, but are not at all mandatory. The keys to winter bass fishing is to slow down and dissect where youíre fishing because the fish are there, they are just holding close to a piece of the structure rather than scattered out all over it.

Currently here in our area water temperatures are in the low fifties to mid-forties and the fish are holding off points in the lakes, especially in Timís Ford Lake and Normandy Lake. These points are almost always the main lake points, not the secondary points you would fish in the spring. Main lake points canít be stressed enough in the winter. Points inside of the numerous bays, creeks and channels are not producing near the fish. Now, not all main lake points are created equal and the ones with rock bottoms are the most productive right now. Chunk rocks hold heat better than mud or even pea gravel.

Depth is probably one of the hardest things to convince fisherman to believe. Most anglers think its winter so I will fish deep and slow. Well thatís only half right because most of the recent good catches of fish in both areas have been in 5-7 feet of water. When itís cold the shallows heat up faster. The fish relate to what water is the most comfortable and what water affords an easy chance at a meal. Deep works at times, but most of your best wintertime bass fisherman go below 15 feet of water for the most part. Think of it like this, when the rocks heat up plankton starts to grow instantly, plankton brings in little fish, and little fish bring in bigger fish.

Most fish in the past month have been coming on Mussel crawler jigs from Tight Lines Jigs Company, jerk baits like the Rapala Husky Jerk, and Shallow diving crank baits like the Rapala DT6.

All in all, Timís Ford and Normandy are fishing quite well and will do nothing except get better. Colder days will in fact be a little slower and warmer days will be better, but no matter the air temperature the fish will bite if your patient enough to tough it out.

Troy Basso is an outdoor writer, fishing guide, and professional fly tier from Chapel Hill, Tennessee. He can be reached at or through his website at