Catching bass during winter isn’t impossible. Some bass anglers actually prefer fishing this time of year. Others tolerate it, knowing that some of the best fishing of the year is right around the corner. And even though spring is typically a great time to land some lunkers, anglers can improve their springtime bass fishing by doing something right now.

Marc Deschenes (843-708-5473) is a legend at doing things during winter that make him a better angler when the spring comes. His secret is building brush piles in the bodies of water he will be fishing once the flowers start to bloom.

“Building brush piles right now is a surefire way to improve your bass fishing in the spring. You can actually fish the brush piles all year long, but the ones you build right now will benefit you the most once springtime comes,” said Deschenes, a tournament angler, guide, and owner of VIP Adventures in Summerville.

“I build brush piles every year. I do it on my own ponds, I do it at Santee, and I do it at other lakes that I know I will be fishing in the spring, including out-of-state lakes. When you build brush piles, you are giving yourself guaranteed places to fish. I’m not saying you catch fish on all the brush piles you build, but you will definitely catch your share at a portion of them,” he said.

Deschenes (said plenty of artificial brush piles are available from retailers, but he doesn’t use any of those. He uses limbs and saplings that he cuts on his property, secures them in a 5-gallon bucket with Quikrete, then hauls them out to the lake of his choice. He plugs in the GPS coordinates on his radar so he can easily find them again.

“Most of the artificial ones are made of slick plastic like PVC. Algae just won’t grow on them as quickly or as abundantly as it does on tree limbs and saplings,” said Deschenes.

One of the reasons these brush piles are so effective in the spring is because of the weather. 

“Especially in March, the weather is really unstable usually. Bass are wanting to head to the shallows to spawn, but until it is warm enough, they hang tight to cover. Then, when it begins to warm up, they head closer to their spawning ground. But anytime a cold front comes through – and they come through every March – those fish will head back out to that cover and wait again,” Deschenes said.

Deschenes recommends deploying five or six brush piles in a straight line so that you can make one cast and cover each of them, then move to another spot and deploy five or six more the same way. He said it doesn’t take long at all for fish to find these brush piles and begin using them.

“I’ve put brush piles out and come back just a few days later and had fish on them. It will get better as the algae grows and baitfish get clumped up, but bass like fresh cover and will relate to it almost immediately,” he said.

The real payoff though, comes in the spring. Get ready now.

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