Some of the toughest Florida bass fishing trips I’ve experienced have been on the days immediately following a cold front when the barometric pressure is high and skies are clear. When faced with these conditions, don’t get discouraged. While it’s true that the passage of a cold front may mean that it’ll take more work to get the bass to bite, it doesn’t mean that you can’t catch fish. What it does mean is that you have to be a bit more patient and much more willing to switch up your techniques.
Consider these five suggestions if you have plans to go fishing following a cold snap, particularly if you’re targeting Florida-strain bass.
- Slow it down. Largemouth bass are usually in energy conservation mode after a cold front blows through and are much less likely to chase down a fast-moving lure or bait. When fishing after consecutive cold fronts, remember to fish your baits and lures slow since bass will become less active with each passing front.
- Use smaller lures. Since bass can become very finicky after a front passes through, use smaller lures in order to coax them into biting. Smaller lures or baits take less energy for bass to pursue and strike. For example, try a 2.5 to 4-inch plastic worm or small tube jig instead of a 6 or 7-inch plastic worm or crankbait.
- Look for heavy cover or thick weeds. On clear days when the skies are bright blue, the sunlight often sends bass into the shade of heavy cover. Use a Texas-rigged plastic worm on the outside edges of thick weedlines. Cast your line out, let the worm settle on the bottom, and then slowly lift it a few inches off of the bottom and let it settle again.
- Keep moving and look for holes. If your best spots don’t produce a bite after 15 to 20 minutes, move on to another area in an effort to find fish that are actively feeding. If you have a depth finder or know where there are a few deep holes, try those areas since fish may have moved off into deeper water in an effort to avoid the more dramatic water temperature changes that can occur in shallow areas.
- Switch to live bait. If you’ve already tried tips one through four above, and still can’t get the bass to bite, switch to live bait. Use a live golden shiner, minnow, frog or crawfish on split-shot rig or beneath a slip-bobber.
Have you defied the odds by catching a lunker largemouth following a cold front? If so, I’d love to hear your fish story. Comment and share your bass fishing photos on the Shefishes2.com Facebook Page.