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Thread: Bass fishing in wintry southern New England?

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  1. #1

    Default Bass fishing in wintry southern New England?

    Howdy all,

    I had a lot of fun in my first summer trying bass fishing... so much so that I'd like to hear your view on fishing as winter sets in. Is the bite still on? Worth the shot? If so, what are your favorite flies? Topwater? Streamers?

    As always, many thanks.

  2. #2



    I know about lake fishing for winter bass, never done any winter bass fishing in moving waters...

    Winter can be tough on the bass angler. Cold water means slower metabolisms (less active fish). The bass will focus on two things, finding a comfortable temperature/oxygen level, and finding enough food to survive.

    In colder water, this usually means deep water. You can find bass VERY deep in winter, if your lakes have the depth. I don't like to use a fly rod for deeper than 25 feet or so, and if the bass are deeper than that, I just don't fish for them. But if you can get to them, you can catch some nice fish from cold water.

    Winter basics are simple. Fish slow, then slow way down. Use larger flies, bass are looking for as big a meal as they can get with as little energy expense as possible. Did I mention to fish slow? Use a sinking line, fish on the bottom and as close to any cover on the bottom as you can. Make sure to make as long a cast as you can and let the fly sink all the way down before you start moving it. A very slow hand twist retrieve is your best option this time of year. To keep control of your fly, you'll want to be in an anchored boat or standing on the shore. ANY 'drift' is way too fast this time of year. Make multiple casts to any target. By multiple, I mean more than five. Bass are unlikely to chase a fly this time of year. If it's not right in front of them, they probably won't eat it. Keep your line as tight as possible. Takes can be very subtle, and feeling a strike is much more difficult this time of year.

    Where to fish is also simple: Fish main lake points that extend to the deepest water. Stay out of shallow areas, coves, and bays. I always try to fish in areas that I know hold fish. You just can't cover a lot of water this time of year, so pick the best spots and fish them thoroughly.

    You can take some of the largest fish of the year in the winter months, but it's generally not numbers fishing. One or two good strikes a day is a good day. Anything over that is outstanding.

    Good Luck!

    It Just Doesn't Matter....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    where are you thinking. i can tell you a few good spots. but it also depends how you fish float,boat, wade.

    echo pond in riverside, roger williams pond, lake tyoage in coventry (spelt wrong) fishing is great till january then it dies down

  4. #4


    Hi again,

    Buddy, it sounds like this could be a pretty challenging time for me... but I may still go for it. Charlaine, I'm usually mid-state or south; I'm from Richmond. Really don't know the topography of the ponds here; last summer was mostly a matter of tossing out a popper and hoping for the best. I'm fishing from a kayak.

    Keep those answers coming, all! Great hearing from you!

  5. #5


    Look up the float-and-fly technique that some bass fishermen use..... that may give you some ideas. Think outside the box!
    The Green Hornet strikes again!!!

  6. #6


    I like streamers during the day and you can still catch an evening topwater bite around dusk until the water freezes. The bass will keep in the deeper warmer water holes most of the time but they will venture into the shallows to feed all winter long, even under the ice. When fishing through the ice I always throw a tip-up trap in the shallows where I think the fish are moving into the coves to feed and always produce fish on them.

    I like big flies with lots of built in action and keep my retrieves on the slower side. Depth of retrieve varies. I have learned not to just key into always fishing deep. It is a good tactic but not the only one you should key on. In the winter I like to look for warm sunny days, better if fishing after a few warm sunny days and target sunny shallow coves mid day to late day. An exposed rock will heat up and the water around it on a sunny day. Sometimes it only takes a single degree change to get fish active.

    Being in the southern part of the state without naming water bodies specifically I would look into waters that feed herring runs, just make sure you maintain legal distances from any fish ladders. There is a lot of bait moving in and out of these waters from the ocean all winter long and the freshwater bass key into them. They are some of my favorite waters to fish because they don't get a lot of traffic and are quite small. I have caught striped bass and largemouth bass from the same body of water during the same outing just a few yards apart.
    Your hooks sharp????

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