winter bass
Lone docks and secluded boat ramps are key places to target for early-winter bass.

It’s getting cold out there, and while there is plenty of season left, we all know we’re getting to that point where bites are going to get fewer and further between. Here are a few ideas that can close the gap for all of us willing to don wool hats and gloves for bass.

Many lakes experience drawdowns at this time of year. If falling water is the norm on your lake from late November into early December, never pass on the chance to cast at a lone dock or a secluded boat ramp. These “loner” features are usually associated with deeper water. Most people simply take their docks out of the water for winter instead of taking the time to adjust the cables and ropes to make sure they don’t end up sitting high and dry on land. The homeowners that do take the time to adjust, however, leave the bass with some secluded cover on what can be an otherwise sparse shoreline now, and believe me, the bass will use it.

The same goes for secluded ramps. If you’ve ever seen a lake in extreme drought conditions, you understand that boat ramps’ concrete slabs are built way down into the water to accommodate access during low levels. Bass use that concrete highway as a refuge during the winter, and if there is an associated dock along side it, even better. Even if the dropping water has fallen up-to or below the levels of the underwater concrete, be sure to look for the trough at the end of the concrete that is created from people repeatedly power loading their boats over time. Many times that trough will hold the loner bass of the area, and if you find 5 ramps in, let’s say, one creek arm, that could be the limit your looking for on a tough, cold day.

Finally, I’m big fan of laydowns in early winter, particularly the ones that extend far out into deep water, providing an overabundance of cover throughout the entire year. When the water drops, it leaves just enough tree branches submerged for both the bass to live in, and the bass angler to pick apart.