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Because fish can’t regulate their internal temperature, the temperature of the water has a tremendous impact on their behavior.
It can make them more aggressive or turn them dormant.
Virtually all fish are affected to some degree. Among those, we find the all-time favorite bass.
So, with the winter creeping in closer and closer, many anglers turn to us wondering, how cold is too cold for bass fishing? Bass are the most active when the water is between 58 to 77ºF. As the actual temperature differs, bass fishing slows down.
Nevertheless, bass is a productive fish year-round. You just need to know how to adapt to weather changes. This way, you can modify your strategies accordingly to maximize your chances of catching fish.
In the following lines, we will take some time to discuss a few of these strategies, as well as where to find bass when it is too cold outside.
Does Cold Affect Bass?
As we said before, the water temperature has an important influence on how fish behave, including bass. In this case, they become lethargic when the water is below 45 ºF. On some occasions, the water is so cold that small bass will die.
During such cold times, fish will move to warmer water. This means that you will find them in shallow water.
As a result, you should try to move to shallow water to catch bass. We also suggest using jigging spoons, tubes, blade baits, or anything that stays enough time below the surface to attract dormant bass.
It also pays to move the tip of the rod up and down to make the lure more appealing. Ah, and make sure not to use any topwater lure. Even though bass will move to the shallow, this doesn’t mean that they will bite as close to the surface as to use a topwater lure.
So, below 45 ºF is just too cold for bass fishing.
What Temperature Do Bass Bite Best At?
Bass are the most active when the water temperature is between 58 to 77ºF. This does not mean that they won’t bite outside this window. But they won’t be as active for sure.
Because of this, people often use crankbaits, soft plastic lures, or spinnerbaits to draw bass attention.
What is the Best Season for Bass Fishing?
Spring season and bass are two words that are always together. This is because spring is when the spawning season begins. Consequently, they will become the most active, especially when the water temperature is between the threshold we mentioned before.
Post-spawn bass fishing is also quite productive. During this window, bass starts to fish aggressively. Here is best to use swimbaits and spinnerbaits. Nevertheless, make sure to check the local fishing regulations, as these windows might be closed to maintain a healthy population.
Do Bass Bite During the Winter?
Winter is a tough season for fishing in general. But this is what makes it so rewarding. So, if you are keen on fishing during this season, we recommend trying during midday when the temperature is the highest.
If you want to know how the fishing is for the rest of the season, make sure to check our best time to fish for Bass guide.
Wear the Right Gear
Fishing during the winter requires much more than just a rod and line. You might wear the appropriate apparel to combat the freezing winds. We recommend using waterproof trousers and a jacket as an outer layer. This way, your base clothes will remain dry and warm. It also pays to wear high-vis colors just in case of an emergency.
Good footwear is also crucial. Again, we recommend using waterproof boots with a non-slip sole as the best thing you can do. Wearing thick socks is also a smart move, and having an extra pair in your bag is even smarter. You can never be too careful during winter.
Why Does Water Temperature Affect Bass Behavior?
As you should know by now, fish catch regulates their temperature as humans do. As a result, their temperature is somewhat the same as the water they swim in.
Therefore, if the water is too cold their metabolism will slow down. Consequently, they assimilate food slower, which means that they don’t need to eat as often.
On the other hand, water temperature also affects dissolved oxygen concentration. Oxygen is crucial for fish to survive, and it decreases as temperature increases. As a result, fish will try to move to deeper water, where the water is cooler and oxygen-rich. In contrast, if the water temperature plunges, fish will try to move to shallow water to enjoy some of the warmth provided by the sun. As a result, fish will be shallow or deep depending on the season and, thereby, the water temperature.
So, as you can see, there needs to be a balance. It can be neither too cold nor too hot.
Is it Too Cold for Bass Fishing?
Water temperature really has an impact on how fish behave. Too cold, and they will become lethargic. Too warm, and they will die from the lack of oxygen. Naturally, bass will be affected by water temperature.
58 to 77ºF is the optimum range for bass fishing. Anything below 45ºF is too cold. However, this does not mean that you can’t catch bass. It will only make it a little harder. You will need to switch tactics to increase your chances.
Switching tactics means using different lures, targeting different sections of the lake and different lengths within the water column.
Ah, and just before you go. Remember to dress for the occasion. There is no point in having the right tackle at hand if you can’t fish because you are freezing your bones out in the wild.