We’re entering into my favorite time of year on Lake Fork. Things are quiet around here in December and January. Most folks are busy with holiday plans and avoiding the colder weather. They’re longing for spring, while a few of us more “hardcore” anglers are out there enjoying one of the best times of the year.
Winter is when the biggest bass are often caught. Sure, there are a lot of big bass reported in the spring months, but that’s when the lake is crowded and the fish are shallow. Odds are, somebody’s going to catch a big one. However, the colder months are special. This is when the biggest of the big are making their move, working into creeks where they’ll spawn as early as they can, and make their way back into the safety of deeper water.
The two largest bass ever caught in Texas weren’t caught in spring. The state record was caught in January, and Mark Stevenson caught the famous Ethel (17lb 10oz), at the end of November. A quick browse through the photos on my website will also back this up. When you see those pictures of giant bass, the person holding the fish is most likely bundled up in cold weather gear.
I always loved winter fishing. The cold water never intimidated me. Big bass are pretty predictable in winter. One thing many find surprising is that big bass don’t go deep in winter. I’m just sharing my personal experience. I’ve only caught one big bass in winter that was deeper than 15’, and she was probably in about 12’ before she swam down a ledge to eat a jig. The heater is in the sky, they’re going to stay in a position to warm up when the sun comes out. Also, they’re going to stay close to the food source. While threadfin shad go deep in winter, the bigger, heartier gizzard shad stay in relatively shallow water all winter. Those big female bass know this, that’s why you’ll often see a gizzard tail fin sticking out of their throat when you catch them in the winter.
These are just a few things I love about this time of year. I also love Christmas. I enjoy the time with family and the good food! But most importantly I love that my Saviour came to this world to save us. I hope you know Him today, and if you don’t I’d love to introduce you.
I hope this helps you if you’re planning a fishing trip this month. As always, if I can be of any assistance please don’t hesitate to contact me.