Contrary to popular belief, Florida is not the only place in the U.S. you can go in the dead of winter to both escape the cold and enjoy hot bass fishing. South Texas has quite the bounty of big bass to offer as well — from Lake Conroe just southwest of Sam Houston National Forest, to the border waters, Choke Canyon, Lake Amistad and prized Lake Falcon.
While there are no guarantees in bass fishing, these lakes are all high-percentage bets for solid numbers of quality fish and relatively high chances for true giants. And although each fishery has its own unique characteristics, patterning winter bass on them can be pretty simple.
In southern Texas, water temps usually get down to about the mid-50’s, so the transition from fall, to winter, to pre-spawn is a pretty tight turn around. Outside of Lake Amistad, most of these lakes have good color, so you can always find some good fish without needing to go super deep.
On a mid-December trip on Falcon with my dad, our most productive area was pretty classic — a nice channel ledge that topped out around 4 to 6 feet, dropping off into 20 to 28 feet. The ledge top was covered in nice hardwood timber that flattened out and extended all the way to shore.
As far as baits, it was pretty simple — large creature baits, heavy ¾ -1oz jigs and Carolina rigs with large, fluke-style baits in dark green and junebug colors caught plenty of quality fish in the 4- to 6-pound range (that's me with two 6-pounders in the photo at the top) , as well as two brusiers -- 9-pound, 1-ounce and 10-pound, 7-ounces (which my dad caught; pictured above, right). Nothing fancy, basic bass fishing.
For more details on the baits we threw, check out my other blog on the topic, posted at my site, Rich's Bassin' Blog.
When you get the itch for some big winter bass, consider a trip to South Texas!
A Twin Cities-based tournament angler, FishingClub.com guest blogger Rich Lindgren posts regularly at Rich’s Bassin’ Blog and writes the “Bassin’ Insider” blog for NBC Sports. You can follow him on Twitter under his moniker HellBass, or Like his blog on Facebook.