Importance of Adjusting Your Retrieve Speed
A common mistake for winter fishing is the speed at which you are reeling in your bait. Most people make the mistake of fishing at the same speed as they do in the warmer seasons. In the winter months, retrieve speed is crucial for catching fish in colder waters. The cold water causes the bass’ metabolism to slow down. Because of this, bass won’t move far or expend much effort to feed. They are just simply inactive most of the time, which makes it difficult to catch.
Slowing down the presentation creates a more attractive meal for bass and other fish you wish to catch. Also, soft plastic worms work very well. Let them lie motionless with occasional tugs. To catch these fish, anglers need to slow way down, and drag jigs and plastics slowly on the bottom. There will be days when the fish are in 25- to 35-foot of water and you have to fish slowly, directly over the fish. On other days you may have to cast to the fish, especially if they are suspended.
Fish are not going to chase your lure. They want something that requires little energy to catch, so make sure you slow down your retrieve speed significantly. We know your excited to get out there and fish, but during the winter and early spring, patience is key. When bass fishing, target rocky areas first. Shallow rocks heat up quickly on sunny days, warming the water around them. This tends to be where bass like to feed.
Extreme tactics are often necessary on cold winter days. Most people will vacate the cold-water lakes, or just wait for spring. It is often during these days that some of the best fishing occurs for those who understand what to do, and how to do it in winter.