This time of year, you can go from Indian Summer to winter overnight. One day, you’ll be fishing in shirtsleeves and then it snows on you the next. When you get a sudden cold front, bass fishing often gets extremely tough. Luckily, all is not lost. Professional bass angler Fred Contaoi has a few tricks up his sleeve to keep the bass chewing — even when they’re hunkered down after the first storm of the year.
While most folks turn to drop-shotting finesse baits and spooning in deep water when the temps go frigid, Contaoi says that there’s a short window in which the bass will still be up in the shallows and he employs three main weapons to get the fish to go.
“I know it sounds funny, but it has been proven to me many times over that buzzbaits work really well in this situation,” he says. “I fish ’em as long as the bass want to bite. Then, I will go to a small jig like the War Eagle finesse with a compact trailer like a small chunk, Chigger Craw or Ultra Vibe Speed Craw. Third, I’ll throw a Senko rigged wacky-style.”
Contaoi says that the fish will really stick tight to the tightest of spots in these conditions and that’s where you need to fish.
“I fish the shallowest cover I can find,” he notes. “Under dock walkways are good — I also like to work tight against seawalls.”
As far as retrieve speeds go, Contaoi says that, hopefully, the fish will tell you want they want it before you get too far into your day. A basic rule of thumb would be this: Fish slowly in the AM and then the water temp may come up a degree or two by late afternoon, so you can kick it up a notch.