Author: FishTalk Magazine
Published: January 5, 2023

Check out this recent article from FishTalk Magazine!

“Winter is here and most anglers focused on Chesapeake Bay fishing have hung up their rods and winterized their boats for the season. But a few of my fishing buddies and I are checking our tackle, dusting off our cold weather gear, and making a mental list of places we plan to fish over the next few months. I’ll be fishing lakes, the millponds on the Eastern Shore, and several of the rivers, plus any other open water to catch and target a variety of species of fish — kayak fishing or fishing from a small Jon boat that doesn’t have to be winterized is the perfect way to keep getting out on the water during the winter months.

There are a number of fish species that can be found during the cold months in the region, such as largemouth basspickerelwhite perch, and black crappie, just to name a few. But fish react to the water temperature they are in. When it’s sunny out and the water is warm they move faster than when it’s cloudy and the water is cold. So slow your presentations down, and adjust throughout the day as needed. Also remember that many waterways have very clear and clean water during winter as compared to the summer months, so use lighter weight fishing line and leaders to reduce their visibility.

The type of fishery is a player here too. A millpond on the Eastern Shore will need to be approached differently than a reservoir, and some of the millponds will need to be fished differently than others just a few miles away. Keep in mind that a millpond will normally have water no deeper than eight to 10 feet, and that the deeper water will be near the dam. I look for structure along the shoreline and target it, but there will be times when the middle of the pond will produce more fish than the shoreline. This is because the millponds are basically shaped like a sheet pan, the same depth the entire width of the lake. Fish in these ponds will patrol and hunt bait on a warm day and they will stay put on colder days waiting to ambush prey.

As for reservoirs, fish will move to shallower water, following the bait, if there has been a string of sunny warm days in a row. But they may be sitting in 20 feet of water along an old river channel on very cold days.


I just love to hunt largemouth bass in the cold because they provide a challenge that most other fish don’t. And I catch my biggest bass during the winter months! So let’s talk about largemouth bass. They can be almost anywhere in a lake or pond, from a shallow bay to the deepest water in the lake. Here is what you need to keep in mind when you head out for a day of winter bass fishing.

  • Weather Patterns – If it has been warm and sunny for a few days head for shallow water, throwing inline spinners, spinner baits, jerk baits, and paddletail jigs. As the day progresses and the shallow water warms it draws in baitfish and the bass are on the move to hunt them.
  • Types of Fisheries – Eastern Shore millponds have big bass and plenty of them. Look for surface action from bass feeding on baitfish, normally between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on warm days. This is the time of day when the water has started to warm and the baitfish are on the move.
  • Time of Day – I have noticed that I am catching more bass on the millponds between 9 and 11 a.m. but I’ll continue to work the pond throughout the day, shifting areas of focus while checking for fish that have moved to structure or shade as the sun rises, and deeper water along the dams on very sunny calm days.”

The full article can be found here.

Photo Credit: Original Author

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