Capt. Ethan Hamrick
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7 Tips for Catching Bass AFTER Cold Fronts

We all know that from late fall through early spring, cold fronts can roll through at any time. Windy conditions and blue bird skies are frequent occurrences this time of year.

This change in weather and air pressure can have a serious effect on bass and their behavior. That doesn’t mean, however, that anglers have to throw in the towel and skip their trip to the lake when a cold front comes through.

A bass’s metabolism will slow down as the water gets colder and they will have less of an appetite. They begin to focus more on staying warm and may push further beneath certain cover and structure. However, they are still predators and although they may not feed as much, they will often react to a bait even if they aren’t necessarily hungry.

1. Take Note of Water Temps

The most important thing to keep in mind when fishing in cold weather is water temperature. The colder the water gets, the more lethargic bass become. They begin looking for the warmest water possible or structures that hold the most warmth.

2. Look for Warm Areas

When out on a fishery, look for areas where the water may be warmer than the majority of the lake. For example, places that are protected from the wind, especially cold north winds, will be warmer, as will the west side of a lake where the most sunlight will fall throughout a day.

In addition, large pieces of cover, such as wood, rocks, and vegetation all hold warmth and are likely areas that bass will hang around in cold conditions. These areas may only be a few degrees warmer than the rest of the lake, but that little change in temperatures can make a huge difference.

3. Plan Accordingly

Another important part of fishing around fronts is planning your trip the right time of day.

During the winter, the first few hours of the day are going to be chilly and so will the water. As the sun rises and it gets later in the day, the water will gradually begin to warm up. Giving a fishery time to warm up is key.

Therefore, late morning and afternoon are the best times to target cold water bass. The warmer that water, the more active bass are going to be, which increases your chances of catching fish.

4. Slow Down

Cold fronts can force anglers to slow their approach and turn to more finesse tactics.

Don’t get in a huge hurry this time of year. Fish slow, be precise with your casts, and focus on those key areas where the water is warmer.

There will often be more than one or two bass around cover that is holding warmth.

5. Make Repeated Casts

Once you do find a place holding some fish, don’t be quick to move on. Slow down and dissect that area carefully, as it could be holding an entire school of fish.

When fishing is slow, try making multiple casts to the same spot. Fish often won’t strike the first time they see a bait, but after several casts, could eventually become agitated enough to eat it.

6. Use a Finesse Approach

Some of the best lures for a finesse approach include a jig, shaky head worm, and small swimbait on a jig head. You also can’t go wrong with slowly working a hard jerkbait around cover.

In addition, slow rolling a spinnerbait or using the yo-yo retrieve to fish a lipless crankbait near structure are reliable options.

7. Downsize Your Tackle

Remember, around cold fronts and anytime the water is cold, bass don’t eat as much and aren’t as aggressive. Therefore, the more anglers can do to disguise their lure and make it look as natural and real as possible, the better.

Using lighter line and smaller lures are effective ways to entice bass in both pre and post frontal conditions. For example, use 10-12 pound line instead of 15-20, and tie on a ¼-3/8 ounce jig or lipless crankbait instead of a heavier ½ ounce lure. Instead of a 6-8 inch worm, downsize to a 4 or 5 inch worm and tear your jig trailers in half to decrease the profile of the bait.

These small changes can be the difference between catching fish in frontal conditions and getting skunked!

Final Thoughts

Try to remember these techniques the next time a cold front tries to ruin one of your upcoming trips to the lake or pond. Use your depth finder’s thermometer to locate the warmest water you can find, and if you don’t have a depth finder or are fishing from the bank, focus on key cover and areas out of the wind. Try to plan your trips later in the day, fish slow, and downsize your gear. If you can employ these tactics you might be surprised at how many bass you are able to put in the boat on your next outing!

Thank you guys so much for reading! If you enjoyed the article and want to read more helpful fishing tips in the future, be sure to subscribe to the website. Plus, check out and subscribe to our YouTube channel for some awesome weekly fishing videos! As always, happy fishing and keep your hooks wet!


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