Whether you’re cranking a Hard Knocker, slow rolling a spinnerbait or flipping a jig, winter bass success hinges on understanding your quarries’ seasonal particulars.

Where’s the Food: Winter bass may not need to eat as often as they do during the warm seasons, but they still need to take in calories to keep the engine running. Crawfish factor into the dietary plan, but baitfish are almost always the main deal.

Shad, alewives, shiners — whatever the indigenous forage, expect bass to position close to the easy food sources. Electronics play a significant role this time of year, because finding the bait schools means finding the bass.

Positioned to Pounce: Cold water has the fish in a generally lethargic mood, so they’ll be less likely to roam and chase food. Their preferred winter strategy finds the fish stacking in channel bends, points or anything that directs baitfish into easy ambush spots. This is particularly relevant in river systems; but even without significant current, bass will still look for spots where the food comes to them.

Escape Route: Given the volatility of winter weather, bass need quick access to deep water to ensure they can reach comfortable temperatures when a front marches through the area. Find the key spots that are located close to a drop-off and you’ll find your fish.