If you’ve ever fished with a Skinny Dipper or similar bait down in Florida, there’s not a ton of difference between that technique and what I’m talking about doing here. For me personally, all of the gear is the same as well as the terminal tackle and bait selection. The main difference is the necessity fo the right conditions. Which really, the same conditions are critical in south Florida, you just see them a lot more regularly down that way in the winter.
But for those of you who have never had the privilege to fish this way down south, I don’t want you to relegate this technique to that one specific geographic location. I made the mistake of doing that for years myself and that’s really the main purpose of this piece. Yes, I want to educate you on the ins and outs of this technique. But more importantly, I want to make sure you realize this type of fishing is available to you. No, you won’t be able to fish this way in north Alabama during a snowstorm in December. But let a couple of those sunny 70-degree days stack up and you’ll be shocked how aggressive a bass in shallow vegetation can be in the dead of winter.
Just look for those ideal conditions: sunny skies, a little wind and whatever’s left of the vegetation in your local water way. Make sure you have a swimbait rigged up that you have confidence in and make sure it’s attached to the gear you’ll need to pull a big one out if and when that one special bite comes. You won’t catch a lot of fish this way but I personally would rather have one bite on this bait than two dozen on a Ned rig… most of the time.
I don’t have anything against getting a bunch of bites either. But there’s just something hopeful about a big one boiling up on a swimbait out of the grass in the wintertime that helps me hang onto my sanity just a few more months until it’s a much more common occurrence again.