How To Catch Bass After a Cold Front

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Photo © Ken Schultz

I discussed some of the reactions of fish to cold fronts, and some of the problems that cold fronts cause for anglers, in another article. That was the bad news. The period after a cold front often brings bluebird days, and with that wind, and here's an article about dealing with windy days. Here's another one about how weather affects fish in general.

There is some good news, though. Some tactics, lures, and techniques will help you improve your odds of catching bass during and right after a cold front.

Remember that bass and other fish react to the bright sky and high pressure by going deep or getting really close to cover. They also tend to become inactive. Responding to those changes and behaviors will improve your odds.

To catch them at this time, try three tactics. Go deeper, go slower, and fish in the cover, not just close to it.

Go Deep

Vertically jigging with spoons is a good way to entice not-so-active deep-water fish. You can get right over them and put the spoon right in their face repeatedly, often observing the lure and the fish simultaneously on your sonar. If you can find a deep brush pile, jig right in or over it. It may take a while, but this is a good way to get a bite. Also try using a worm, but downsize to a smaller version of what you might otherwise use. Fish a finesse worm slowly in deep water, dragging it along until you hit a rock, stump or brush. Then slow it down and work it around the cover.

Go Slow

Go slower with anything you fish, and downsize. Choose a suspending crankbait in a small size and fish it very slowly. Crank it down and then work it with frequent pauses, letting it sit in place to make inactive fish hit. Try a suspending jerk bait in a similar manner, with infrequent twitches.

 Use a small spinnerbait and slow-roll it over objects, letting to drop on the near side of them. Also crawl it along the bottom.

Go To Heavy Cover

Probably the best way to catch bass after a cold front is to flip a jig into heavy cover, bounce it up and down repeatedly in the thick stuff, working it as slowly as you can. Going upriver to find flowing water may also help. Fish in moving water tend to stay more active, so flipping heavy cover in appropriate upriver areas may be the way to go.

Spotted bass seem less affected by cold fronts than largemouth bass, so if there is a population of them in the lake you're fishing, target them. Fish the kinds of places they like, and improve your odds of catching bass.

This article was edited and revised by our Freshwater Fishing expert, Ken Schultz.