Palmetto Dec – Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Slow and sTEADY

         Wins the Race

When cold weather creeps up on the Lowcountry, fishing becomes a fire and helps us through the short and cold days of winter. While some anglers wait in anticipation of longer days with warmer waters, others love the numbing fingers as they reel in that winter bass or a nice speckled trout. There are always fish to be caught in the waters of Charleston, whether it is a warm or frigid day.

Bundle up and head out to the lake for some great winter bass fishing. During these colder months, slow down the retrieve of baits. A largemouth bass won’t typically chase bait in those colder waters. Therefore, slowing down the retrieve will cause the fish to take the bait, allowing the angler to set the hook and reel in a good fish. When fishing for these winter bass, cast to the edge of a shallow bank allowing your bait to sink. I use 4-inch Zman curly tailz grubs on a ¼-ounce red Trout eye jig head. I let my lure sink to the bottom, then slowly retrieve it by bouncing the lure up and down. Typically, the bass will hit the lure on the fall of the bait, but that is not always the way it happens! Other popular lures in my tackle box are my spinner baits. I enjoy the Zman and Strike King Spinner bait arms with the curly tail grub, as it gives you the spinning action from the blade to attract the fish, as well as the swimming grub as an attractant. You could also use the scented Streakz curly tail grubs by Zman which give that extra little bit of flavor to your lure.

When targeting freshwater fish, you may also encounter the striped bass. During the winter months, the striped bass, or striper, like to school up and chase the bait. Finding the schools of birds has been my biggest success. When you find the birds, ease up to the spot and cast directly into the school. Using a larger pearl fluke swim bait on a weighted hook and casting into the school, then letting the lure sink for a few seconds, has been a game winner for me. Let the bait sink, then retrieve and wait for the bite.

If saltwater is your game of choice, I recommend dock fishing or fishing the marsh lines. Speckled trout and red drum are two of the most popularly targeted species when fishing inshore in the colder waters. The Zman curly tailz on a ¼-ounce Trout eye are just as effective in the saltwater as they are in the freshwater. Another favorite rig I use when fishing for trout is a 3/16-ounce Trout eye jig head with a Shrimp Po’ Boy Trout Trick. Casting near pylons or into the marsh and letting it sink, then slowly bouncing it back towards the boat, will attract both trout and red drum. I also enjoy using Vudu Shrimp in the tiger color. With the Vudu shrimp being weighted, you can cast directly towards the marsh or dock and slowly retrieve. Using the slow retrieve tactic, the angler is presenting the bait in the face of the fish instead of initiating a chase. Remember, slow and steady wins the race, and the fishing will be on fire, even with the cold temperatures.

Make sure to stop by Palmetto State Armory in Summerville or Mt. Pleasant and visit our fishing departments. We want to help you start some fires on the water this winter, and we want to help you catch those winter fish. Don’t be afraid to stop by, ask questions, and let us help you get ready for the cold.

Courtney Downing

Palmetto State Armory

Send this to a friend