Even though bass fishing in the winter is difficult and cold, you don’t have to skip these months if you have the right gear and some drive. Until it’s time to break out the ice fishing gear, you can keep catching winter bass with the right winter fishing lures. For more information on the 10 best cold water bass lures, continue reading.
Winter Bass Fishing
As you may have noticed, the aforementioned list of the top winter bass fishing lures features slow-moving lures. In the winter, the bass is sluggish and lazy and will only travel close to their food. Therefore, running power lures like spinnerbaits and crankbaits won’t work.
You will thus spend a lot of time sitting still. Naturally, you should wear warm clothing when fishing in the winter. It will be challenging to stay focused if you start to shiver outside. which, when you’re fishing slowly, is crucial.
Winter fishing offers a great chance to catch a big bass, which is one of its biggest benefits. The fact that fishing pressure is extremely low on most bodies of water is a significant factor in this.
In the winter, waters often clear up, so it’s a good idea to use the less obvious lines. Fluorocarbon is the ideal line material in this situation. The subtle bites that bass make in cold water, it’s not only less visible but also more sensitive.
Best Time To Catch Bass During Winter
As was already mentioned, you need to adopt a different attitude when it comes to fishing in the winter. We are aware that when the water is warm, the best times to fish are early in the morning and just before sunset.
Because you have to wait for the water to warm up when fishing in the winter, you’ll want to fish more in the middle of the day. You have the best chance of catching more bass after the sun has been shining on the water for a while and the baitfish have had a chance to move around.
Even though this is true 99% of the time, some knowledgeable smallmouth bass fishermen advise fishing in the morning. They advise getting out on the water as the sun is rising, which is intriguing because it goes against everything I’ve ever been taught.
I would advise fishing the bottom near some of the lake’s deep water if you want to try this tactic. During the winter, a bass typically hides in groups and seeks out small ledges and crevices where baitfish and other potential food sources may congregate.
Choose The Best Winter Bass Baits
The best winter bass fishing lures should be your first priority. No matter how you look at it, you can’t use the same approach you do when the water is warm. Winter fishing techniques call for finesse, but they also demand some advance planning. When the water temperature drops, fast-moving and loud lures won’t be effective.
In the end, bottom feeders and slower-moving lures like jigs, spoons, and blades are what we catch. Football head jigs are among my preferred options for bass lures in the winter. When the water is cold, you can slowly drag these along the bottom to force the reluctant bass to bite. This works really well. These jigs are crawfish-looking.
I wouldn’t use lipless crankbaits, suspending jerk baits, spinnerbaits, or other fast-moving lures in the winter.
If you’d rather imitate the look of smaller baitfish like shad and minnows in the shallow water, you can also use hair jigs. Always use natural-looking colors and try to mimic the color of the fish in the water where you are fishing.
For me, the best options for bass fishing in the winter are metal lures like spoons and blades. They help provide the appearance of a dying baitfish, which is crucial during the winter, and the hard metal holds up well in the chilly water.
You don’t want to challenge the bass when the water is cold. The best way to achieve this is to imitate a dying fish so that it appears as though it will have an easy meal.
On days when the sun is shining, I strongly advise using spoons and blades. In many parts of the country, the sun shines brightly in the winter, and when light reflects off the blades, it makes for a potent presentation that can be dangerous.
You want to irritate the bass just enough for them to strike, but you don’t want to attract too much attention because the bass might feel overwhelmed. See what works by giving it a shot.
A drop-shot or split-shot may be the best choice if you’re trying to fish the bottom. Because you can fish slowly and choose exactly how far you want your lure to swim off the ground with a drop shot rig, I’d recommend it.
If you have no other option, I recommend using a drop-shot and a soft plastic worm to troll the shoreline in a boat or fish from the shore. For cold-front bass fishing, soft plastics are a fantastic option.
Best Cold Water Bass Baits
Bass fishing in the winter requires both patience and slow retrieves. Slow might even be an understatement. There are times when you may need to cast a lure out and retrieve it for five minutes or more before you get a bite.
Before choosing to strike, the bass may observe a bait remaining motionless for up to a minute. When used at these slow speeds, some lures work better than others. Some of the best of them are listed below. You may be interested in 6 Best Braid For Bass Fishing: Fish More Bass!
Jerkbaits are the best lures for luring bass in cold water. A Rapala X-Rap and a Zoom Superfluke are two examples of hard-body suspending jerkbaits that are more specifically appropriate. Both models operate similarly; they are “jerked” between pauses, which causes the bait to dart in various directions.
They are best known for getting bass response strikes. A bass will observe a hard suspending jerkbait suspended in the water column, and as soon as the bait darts in a particular direction, the bass attacks the bait.
When a soft jerkbait is used, the reaction occurs when the bait is jerked while it is naturally sinking or while it is resting on the bottom. Soft jerkbaits have the big benefit of being able to be rigged weedless.
Jigging spoons are a great lure to use for those suspended, deep water baitfish eaters and are a wintertime favorite of highland impoundment fishermen.
What a tease, this subtle lure with lots of flashes is made to dangle in front of a picky bass’ face for extended periods of time.
To maximize the effectiveness of this fantastic winter lure, these baits are almost always fished vertically below the boat, and using good finders to locate suspending schools of bass is advised.
To simulate a simple meal for sluggish winter bass, anglers like to cast these baits over tree tops, along long points, and over dense brush piles with spinning gear.
Jigs are fantastic lures for working the bottom slowly and producing an alluring presentation. And in cold water, you want to do just that with a jig—let it sink to the bottom and stay there.
After some time, drag the jig carefully along the floor before resetting it. Additionally, lift the jig off the ground and let it fall back down. To find out what causes a strike, you should vary these presentations.
The length of rest periods varies with water temperature because you want to move the bait less in colder water. However, whether or not you get bitten will determine the precise amount of time.
In very cold waters, using a blade bait like a Heddon Sonar is an extremely effective tactic. These lures are known as deadly smallmouth bass lures in addition to being effective for catching largemouth bass.
Allowing a blade bait to sink to the bottom and giving it some time to rest is the best technique to use with one. After that, you want to abruptly raise the rod tip to cause the bait to dart and vibrate upward.
However, only for a foot or two before coming to a stop and falling back to the ground. They keep doing this process over and over again.
Additionally, this method can be applied at various water column depths. Simply allow the bait to fall a few feet before pulling it back up. Targeting suspending bass is made easy with this yo-yo action in the middle of the water.
When the bite gets tough, pros all over the world use finesse crankbaits, which are long, skinny crankbaits made of light plastic or balsa wood.
When the water is cold, these baits are cast along rip rap banks to imitate a slow-moving shad. Since finesse crankbaits are relatively light, your best bet is to attach them to a spinning rod and use a light line to cast them as far as possible.
All winter long, one of the best ways to get that reaction strike is with a loud, proud lipless crankbait.
These baits are substantial and can be cast far over wide weed flats. These loud, metal-bead-filled baits can be heard by a hungry bass from a great distance away.
When the water gets chilly, anglers find vibrating jigs to be one of the best baits to have on hand. They first appeared on the scene in the early 2000s.
These baits are loud and produce a ton of vibration, much like the lipless crankbaits mentioned above, which causes reaction strikes. These lures typically have a plastic swimbait for crawfish as a trailer on the tip.
The underspin is another item that has been a staple in anglers’ winter tackle boxes for decades, much like the jigging spoon.
It’s a very basic lure—basically a jig head with a small blade of willow attached to the bottom—but when you come across deep suspended fish that are in the winter, it works wonders at luring bass.
Hair jigs, once a lure only found in the tackle boxes of northern walleye anglers, are now a common sight in bass anglers’ tackle boxes worldwide. These furry lures are great bait to imitate the deliberate and slow movements of a cold-water crawfish or baitfish because of the subtle way they wiggle with the slightest move of the rod tip.
A spinner bait is likely the first lure that comes to mind when most people think about bass fishing. It’s one of the most traditional tricks, and for good reason—it utilizes one of the most adaptable lures in an angler’s toolkit. It can be fished all year round, and winter fishing is no exception.
A large Colorado blade spinnerbait is among the best lures for slow rolling. Fish can’t resist this large imitation baitfish because it has a lot of flash and vibration.
Finding Bass From The Shore
One of the most important winter bass fishing tactics to learn revolves around two main points:
You must comprehend these two ideas and why they are crucial for winter fishing. As a result, because there is more oxygen in the water and it is generally warmer, baitfish prefer to congregate along the shores of rivers. Bass follows the baitfish, as we should all be aware, so this is where you’ll probably find more bass.
Because you can cast parallel to the shoreline and catch bass all day long when you’re fishing from the shore, it’s simple to catch bass. In the winter, it’s a little easier for me to stay warm when I fish from the shore, and if I’m fishing alone, it just makes me feel more at ease. You may be interested in How To Hold A Bass Correctly?
Winter Time Bass Fishing Water Temperatures
Understanding water temperature and how a five or ten-degree difference can affect your fishing strategies is a frequently ignored winter bass fishing tip. To determine how deep to fish and what kind of presentation to use, you must first know the temperature. You may wonder How To Bass Fishing In Summer?
Under 40 Degrees
You will face a challenge if you try to fish in this water temperature. The bass is currently consuming only the most basic foods because they are incredibly inactive and have a slow metabolism, which allows them to conserve all of their energy.
You must present your lure slowly enough for them to catch it and throw it directly in their faces if you want to catch fish during this time.
Expect to find bass in this temperature range most frequently in late winter, in the months of January and February, as this is a prime fishing territory in the North.
Although bass will slow down considerably in this temperature, they will still have feeding periods throughout the day. It is at these times that you need to take advantage of using the appropriate lures and making a slow, methodical presentation.
This doesn’t help anyone north of the Mason-Dickson line because although we are in prime fishing conditions where the bass is very active, these conditions are probably only present in the winter in the Southern states.
When the season’s transition from fall to winter and from winter to spring, that’s when you might find temperatures like these. Big bass will still be active in the morning, midday, and evening; however, you should plan on slowing down and scaling back your presentation a little.
Cold Water Bass Fishing Tips
You’ve already learned some great advice for bass fishing in cold weather, but I still have a few tricks up my sleeve. Let’s try to make this winter’s success for you really clear.
Therefore, using some electronic aid while fishing in the winter is the best strategy. The best bass fish finder should always be by your side because it will enable you to detect changes in water temperatures, depths, and obviously, bass.
In the winter, bass won’t chase your lure across the lake, so you’ll need to get much closer to them. The best tactic is to vertically jig right in front of them, forcing them to strike. Although it will require some work, the effort will be well worth it.
Slow It Down
When the water gets colder, you need to slow down your presentation. You need to think like a fish if you want to catch largemouth bass in the winter. They won’t chase a fast-moving topwater spinnerbait halfway across the pond because the water is cold, their metabolism is slow, and they aren’t eating much.
To trick bass into thinking they have an easy meal on their hands, you need to drop something directly in front of its face, make the bass believe it is nearly dead, and move it slowly and erratically. Once you’ve done that, they won’t put up much of a fight and you’ll have no trouble getting them back.
Size It Down
You should also present a smaller lure, in addition to presenting slower. Small baitfish are a fantastic live option, but if you don’t have a way to keep them alive, choose a spoon or jig with a small football-shaped head painted red.
The bottom line is that your strategy must remain in line with the weather. Use the smallest jig head you can find with a tiny Senko or swimbait if it’s cold and the water is close to freezing.
If you do this, the bass will perceive you as less of a threat and believe you have presented an easy mealtime opportunity.
In the winter, color plays a significant role. If you can locate baitfish in the water, observe what color they are, and imitate them. If not, always choose a neutral tack. Use brown, green, white, grey, and black when decorating for the winter. Once more, the goal is to appear as unthreatening as possible. Bright neon colors give off an intimidating appearance, which will cause the bass to stay away.
Keep It Simple
The most crucial thing to keep in mind when using these winter bass fishing tips is to remain patient and calm because, while difficult, winter bass fishing is not impossible. While learning will take some time and be frustrating at times, keep going.
Although you won’t get as many nibbles as you do in the summer and spring, if you use all the advice in this article, you should get more interesting bass. Possess a good deal of patience, and make sure to jerk your lures in rapid succession while presenting them slowly.
The door to a few more months of fishing has hopefully been opened by all these winter bass fishing tips. If you know how to switch up your approach and give the bass what they need, you won’t have to feel like the fishing season is over once the leaves start to change color. There are still plenty of months to enjoy great fishing. I hope these cold water bass baits can help you catch more bass.