October thru March in the upper Midwest usually means that bass season is pretty much over, most folks take their bass boats in for their end of the season maintenance and winterization and start focusing on deer and waterfowl season. Hey what do you expect it’s the North Country; the first major snow storm comes in and you’re stuck at home watching fishing shows and going in & out of Bass Pro Shops or your favorite tackle store just to keep that desire for April spring fishing on your mind.
That works for some but there are a few of us that will get our bass fishing fix by fishing Power Plant Lakes. These are cooling lakes for Power plants, whether its nuclear or coal generation, these lakes don’t freeze in the winter months.
One lake in particular that I like is Clinton Lake, (about 2 hours south of Chicago) a 4,900 acre reservoir that’s a cooling lake for the Clinton Power Plant. In the dead of winter we’re catching bass in 50 degree water on crankbaits, plastic worms and slow rolling spinnerbaits.and believe it or not stay fairly warm in the cold months. The other nice thing about these lakes is that they are usually stocked lakes, most of them are bass factories, so you will likely get some kind of action all year. Here in Illinois, where I live, we have several lakes just like these all over the state.
This is a great practice lake in the winter month’s because with the warmer water from the hot discharge it will teach you how to fish currents, practice your prespawn-spawn techniques, and it will help you gain confidence with baits as well. On Clinton you can use rattle traps in 50 + degree water temp and 38 degree air temp and catch 15+ bass in a day.
Clinton Lake and other Power Plant coolings are a great option to work on your bass techniques in the winter months, and will keep that winter monkey off your back!!!