Things I do when the water is cold and the bite is slow:
Smaller baits! I have a theory that if you put a small bait in front of any fish with a natural presentation there is a good chance the fish will take it. Why pass up an easy meal? Some people belive in using a bigger bait because the fish are "looking for one big meal to last them a while". I believe this too during colder months but a bigger bait not only looks like more calories to a fish but as something that MIGHT get away. After years of experimenting ive found that a smaller bait fished slowly is the key!
Fish slow! Fish are cold blooded which means they are the same temperature as their surrounding. If its hot the fish are hot and if its cold they are cold....and lethargic. This means a few things...but the most important is that the fish are not going to chase down a fast moving bait or even go far to capture its meal unless it is really worth it. A lot of research has proven that fish will choose to eat only if the calories they consume outweigh the calories needed to capture their meal. Some research on eels have shown they will choose their meal based off of how many calories it takes to consume the (dead) meal based off of the toughness of the meal....i dont have the data in front of me but eels will sometimes need to bite while thrashing their body around to break off the food. Its amazing that they will take a soft meal vs. a hard meal in order to save calories. I suppose some of this doesnt apply in every situation....using a reaction bait for example might trigger the fish to eat not because they are hungry, but because they are mad or feel threatened.
Here is what i get when i combine all of this:
Fish a smaller bait (fish views it as an easy meal not likely to eacape). Fish are lethargic so they won't travel far from their "home" to capture food. This is especiallytrue with ambush predators like spotted bay bass. So....fish your bait TIGHT to structure.
One final thing i like to do is use a scent. The fish are lethargic and you are working your bait slowly tight to structure right in front of their face. They have more time to inspect your offering and a scent could be the deciding factor for these fish to eat. I prefer hot sauce because first off it works and second i feel like it is easier to apply that uni-butter or other similar products. Uni butter is amazing too but in my opinion hot sauce just happens to be more convinient for me especiallyw
when i use a small caribiner to attach the bottle to my tube. I am no fishing expert (yet) but have been fishing long enough to come up with this technique.
I hope it helps some people out and i am really curious to hear other peoples tips for cold water bassin. Feel free to share some other ideas....its
a perfect time for us to change up our tactics and try new things to catch more fish!