Posted by: socalsalty | February 14, 2011

Tactics For Winter Bass Fishing

Sandies hugging the bottom

As I mentioned in previous articles, we’re currently in the winter season for fishing here in SoCal, and that means that Sculpin, Sand Bass, and Calico Bass are the primary target gamefish.  I know you readers in colder climes are smirking and saying, “Yeah, tough winter you got there Salty!”  Believe me, I know and respect that fact.  Spending half my life in the Pacific Northwest, I’m well aware of what winter really means. 

What this post is about is how to change your fishing tactics in the winter months in order to be successful catching these target species.  Whereas in the summer, your half and 3/4 day boats focus on fishing the kelp paddies, flylining a live anchovy to tempt calicos to come out and attack it on or just below the surface, winter fishing means the fish move lower in the water column.

Ron Ballanti, writer for great salty reads like, Saltwater Sportsman and Western Outdoor News, has an excellent article posted at Earth Sports today.  Check it out to learn how to successfully target saltwater bass in SoCal.



  1. Are they mainly bottom dwellers?

    • Hello Simon. The sand bass are definitely bottom fish. They are also kind of nocturnal, tending to be more active feeders at night. The picture in the post is when I observed them in the Cal/Baja tank at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. They just sit on the bottom when they aren’t active. The calicos or kelp bass are true to their name. They hang out in the kelp, usually mid-column or just under the surface. I have noticed though guys catching them in the same spots/ways they are catching sand bass right now, especially on the twilight runs.

      Thanks for stopping by. Keep up the good work on your blog. I’m enjoying reading it!

      • Thanks for the info Salty…Hopefully one day i can use it to my advantage 🙂

  2. Simon, come on down anytime. Like the video you posted today. I used to look for worms like that when I was a kid fishing Puget Sound (Washington State, USA). We’d find big green ones under the dock amongst the mussels, and they would kill on flounder. Do you rod/reel fish when the conditions aren’t good for spearing?

    • Yeah, when we can’t spear then we’ll be out on the boat with a rod n’ reel looking for something BEEG 🙂

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