There are lots of great options for cold water bass fishing, but if you had to pick one, and only one, I would probably go with a soft plastic swim bait. My Top 5 Dropshot Marabou Jig/Finesse Jig Tube Jerkbait Blade Bait. Bass are cold-blooded creatures, meaning their body temperature is the same as that of their surroundings. Nice, tight and compact is the way to go in the cold. Martens was quick to point out, as we saw in Casey Ashley’s 2015 Classic victory, blade baits are extremely effective even in the coldest of water temperatures. There's no call for a huge flowing skirt or big flapping craws. There are lots of struggling shad in most fisheries this time of year and lipless crankbaits imitate those baitfish very well. But that says more about my style of fishing than it does about fishing in general. That being said, both are still great options in any weather when the water is super cold. This makes cold 50 degree water the best time of year to catch bigger fish. One, the vibration obviously helps the fish locate the bait in muddy water and even in less stained water I believe that same vibration helps trigger the fish into biting. One of my best baits in cold, muddy water is a Redfish Magic, which is basically a safety pin spinnerbait. The best types of crankbaits for wintertime include both lipless and flat-side crankbaits. While it’s true that a bass’ metabolism slows down, he still has to eat. "I grew up in an area where we have those conditions every spring. Whether they’re swimming deep or shallow, cold-water bass eat baitfish. A Shad Rap and baits like it, are extremely productive in cold water. I don't often slow down to a jig, even in the winter. You need to be presenting as long as you can to get that strike! It’s even good along timber and doesn’t snag as much as you think. I rig mine with a swimbait jig head sized to match the depth and speed I want to fish. Best for: open clear water in rocks and small vegetation. Fall bass fishing 50 degree water yielded this beautiful 5 1/2 lbs largemouth bass These baits are best used in open water near schools of fish or right on the edge of structure or cover. Ned Rig. The Z Man Slilm Swimz is a scaled-down paddle tail swimbait that perfectly matches small baitfish and will drive bass crazy especially in finesse fishing situations. You want to pick a spinnerbait with large blades for a couple reasons. Cadence is key; you'll hear that a lot anytime someone mentions a jerkbait and rightfully so. 45 degree water temperature and cold winter air temperature driving it down further can make for a tough day of bass fishing. And, like flat baits, they wobble seductively from side to side. If you're cranking riprap, you want your bait bumping bottom. Whether we're talking a compact flipping jig in 3 feet of muddy water around stumps or a compact finesse jig dragged across a gravel bar in 5 feet of clear water, small jigs catch big fish in the winter. A crankbait is another good choice to throw in cold water. Bass are focused on shad during the winter, and I prefer a suspending jerkbait for fishing around vertical structure, like main lake bluffs and bridges, this time of year. Use what’s known as the yo-yo style retrieve to hop these lures off the bottom. Bass are cold-blooded creatures, so when the water gets super cold, their metabolism slows down and they try to conserve as much energy as they can. I typically use a 3/8-, 1/2- or even 3/4-ounce, depending upon the depth. Bass fishing with water temperatures in the 40s is cold… like, really cold. When it comes to softbaits for clear water bass, senkos and craw baits really stick out and are great lure choices for clear water bass! The digestive process is greatly slowed; according to Doug Hannon, ESPN's Bass Professor, it takes a bass about four hours to digest a meal in 80-degree water, four days in 50-degree water! But I personally never drank that particular flavor of Kool-Aid. Where I will venture into the flat-sided realm more often is when moving to that depth the square bills can't go. Slow rolling a spinnerbait around docks, logs, stumps and through treetops is one of the most productive ways to catch fish and to catch big ones in particular, once the water reaches the 40-degree range. A jerkbait gives you a great bait to toss into that scenario and trick a bass into biting. A jerkbait also offers something different from any other bait on this list - the ability to target fish that are loosely relating to cover as opposed to holding tightly to it. And most anglers don't think of this time of year when they hear the phrase "fun fishing". 1. section: | slug: 5-bass-fishing-baits-for-shallow-cold-water | route: article_single | In cold dingy water here in the southeast, the bass are going to be in about 10 feet of water following the shad..... period. It's easier to be accurate with a jig and you're less likely to hang up if you pick the right jig. In clear water you should try to keep the bait moving and only pause for short periods. Keep those windows in mind and try to make the most of them by putting yourself in the most productive places at the right times. This spinnerbait trailer works especially well for smallmouth and spotted bass. Proven Cold Water Crankbait Techniques So whether other anglers are hunting or whatever the case may be, the water isn't nearly as crowded. Using a blade bait like a Heddon Sonar is a very effective tactic in extremely cold waters. Blade baits are good for fishing edges of deeper flats. When I do slow down to a jig, it's typically when I've found a concentration of fish. I will snap it a few times and let it sit a little longer than I do in the summertime, but always experiment with the action until I know how they want it. When the water is cold, you don’t want to present a challenge to the bass. Some of the worst conditions you can face. But outside of that, all you need are a few baits, some patience and a hard head and you'll be catching bass in no time. They won't often move far or fast and instead just sit still and try to absorb heat either from the sun or from some object around them. There are specific times when Elite Series pros turn to fast-action worming — here’s how they decide between the two most popular tail options. If there’s grass, I like to allow it to touch the vegetation and pull it free. I don't have to worry as much about the fish slapping at a treble-hooked bait or spinnerbait and not getting the hook well. ... and then put these cold water bass fishing tips to the test. And one of the best ways to imitate them is with a soft-plastic jerkbait. That's the time of day the fish will get the most sunshine to warm them up. In cold water, fish tend to slow down and feed only at opportune times that won’t require to much energy to consume. As the temps bottom out, you've really got to slow down. Bass anglers have success with these baits by casting and retrieving and also vertically jigging beneath the boat for fish they have located on their electronics. If you're slow rolling a spinnerbait down the side of a log, you want to try to scrape the bark off. So if you're considerably better with one or the other, you should pick your strength. In fact, as much or more so than several of the other baits previously mentioned here. So be prepared and mindful of that. Best Bass Lures For Cold Clear Water 2021 posted on November 12, 2020 In this article, we will present the top 10 best bass lures for cold clear water available on the market, along with our expert reviews. Here are the five baits I will have rigged for cold weather fishing and how I use them: Jerkbait. Most of the tournaments have either wound down as we work into the winter or haven't started up yet as we move towards the early spring. With the spoon, you can fish through the bait. Then you have ball head and football head jigs meant more for dragging, each with a different shape to the head and orientation of the eye. That's not the case at all. But that jig was designed primarily with skipping in mind. And remember, the baitfish continue to dart and glide quickly for survival, so a bass has to move equally fast to eat during cold water months. If the fish are real aggressive, I will snap it and make it flutter. Find a steeply breaking point; cast a jerkbait like the Ima Flit 100 out, and twitch-twitch-pause all the way back to the boat. In darker or stained water longer pauses are less suspicious looking to investigating bass. Keeping in mind that the bass are more likely to congregate at steep slopes during fall, jerk baits can be one of the best baits. Top 5 Best Cold Water Bass Lures. If it does, jiggle it and it shakes free. But it's not a one-size-fits-all deal. But I married a squarebill early on in my fishing and she's been hard to cheat on. But add a little wind and cloud cover to the equation and the calculus almost always kicks out a blade. I use that slow, pull/stop retrieve all the way to the boat. Many of our lakes are full or flooding but Bass still need to eat. No matter the cover and in almost any water color, you can put a squarebill in your hand and just go, knowing you have something a shallow-water fish will have a hard time passing up. As the water temperature drops, so does their metabolic level. Get best fishing times with lunar fishing calendars, Daily Limit: Robertson blooms after gloom, Small crankbaits can heat up cold water fishing, Nominations open for 2021 Bassmaster High School All-Americans, Nothing better than fresh fish cooked properly. 6-keys: sports/wired2fish//// Take one of these baits and take your time and you'll be setting yourself up for a good day on the water. Also, hollow-body baits have a paddle tail that kicks and moves a lot of water, which is very important in stained water. And that's for good reason; they work extremely well. I throw it on 10-pound line and it runs about 10 feet deep. For the crankbaits, spinnerbaits and jigs that comprise the rest of my top five, you're going to want the bait to be extremely close to the cover. However, the bass are still biting and choosing to fish water in the 40s gives you a chance to have some of the best days on the water you'll have all year. In the spring, summer or fall, that fish very well may swim to the other side of that log and chase down your bait; I've seen the mud they kick up when they do it. An obvious choice, jerkbaits are the cold water bell cow for a reason. What I believe holds true across the board in cold water, you want a compact jig 99% of the time. ... Bass will be in all stages as the water rises but focus on the bass that are moving up in the shallow water and flooded cover for your best chance at success. You can burn it, slow roll it, pump it and pause it; there's so much you can do with a spinnerbait. The key, however, is that you have to be super thorough. A compact skipping jig like the Nichols Lures Casting Jig with an almost Arkie-style head is my favorite all around jig if I had to choose just one. The fish may be sitting 10 to 20 feet from the cover but they are relating to that cover while waiting for baitfish that are also relating to the cover to pass by. Whether I've gotten into a muddy creek with a lot of fish hanging tight to isolated cover like rocks or stumps or I've found an offshore hard spot that's holding a group of fish, pitching and dragging a small jig gives me the approach I want. Recommended Setup: Z-Man TRD and Ned Rig Jig Head The Ned Rig has taken the bass industry by storm lately and for good reason, this simple rig is a killer way to catch bass anywhere in the country. A jerkbait is one of the most deadly lures for a bass fisherman to use in cold weather, because once it’s five to seven feet under the water and then suspended to a count of 10, the bass … But with a jerkbait, you're able to target suspended fish that are loosely relating to cover. Pay attention to the style jighead you're buying. Advertisement. For one, there are far fewer boats. And sometimes it takes those extra casts to draw the strike, even in less than a foot of water. Then if there's a front moving through at anytime of the day, the norm holds true and the fish will typically be more active then. A spinnerbait is perhaps the most versatile bait out there, second maybe only to a jig. Blade Baits. These baits work for catching largemouth, but are especially well known for being deadly smallmouth bass lures. Cold Water Bass Fishing: Flat Sided Crank Flat-sided crankbaits are one of the best cold water power fishing options. But when it gets really cold, nearing the 40-degree mark, this next bait is hard to beat. Therefore, I still stick to my power fishing principles because I can cover a lot of water, but I work them differently to match the conditions. But I've seen the pump, pump, pause 3 seconds, pump, pause 10 seconds cadence work wonders in super cold water and I've watched Hank Cherry work a jerkbait just as fast as he possibly could in super cold water and absolutely wreck them. Favorite Cold Water Lures of Top Pros and Guides Story by Don Wirth A suspending jerkbait is Arkansas pro Kevin Short’s top favorite lure cold-water in clear lakes. When water temperatures dip into the 30s, slowing down your approach and downsizing your baits are the keys to catching bass. Catching Winter Bass with KVD Cold Water Fishing with Crankbaits and Jerkbaits 7-time BASS angler-of-the-year, 4-time Bassmaster Classic champion & 2001 FLW angler-of-the-year Kevin VanDam aka KVD has over $6m in career bass fishing tournament earnings. They are sleek, easy to throw and provide a lowkey wobbling action that is needed during the winter months. Personally, I think metal baits like spoons and blades are the best choices for winter bass fishing. Pursue your passion folks-BRN Check out my sponsors below: In other words, burning baits across the top of the water won’t cut it, but these top 3 cold water fishing techniques will help you get more bass bites! Winter bass fishing can be tough but by using these baits you can improve your odds of catching big largemouth and smallmouth bass. These are my top five go-to cold water bass baits. “A spinnerbait is a really great choice throughout the entire year,” Martens admitted. When the water temperatures are in the high 40s, you can afford to fish a little looser and quicker, but not much. "The main thing is to fish big baits and dark colors," he continues. When you figure out the right combo of pumps and pauses, it can unlock every fish's jaw in the area. Our electronics are so good that, while graphing creek channels, you’ll see pods of bait and mark fish around them. In the winter, I'll make the same cast a half-dozen times if I come to a piece of cover that looks really good or has been particularly productive in the past. Cold Muddy Water: 5 Baits That Still Work! They are sold in a variety of colors and sizes, making it easy to match current water conditions and the size of baitfish that bass are eating. Top Winter Bass Baits Topics. Their body temperature, bass being cold blooded, is the same as the surrounding water, usually in the 40's. Try a simple Texas rig without a … If the bait hits a solid object, pause and allow it to suspend momentarily. It’s a great tool for fishing shallow to midrange depths in the winter. Instead, I can just pick off the fish one by one. Fishing in colder water you will find you won’t catch as many bass, but often the quality size of the bass is better. Once I'm fishing more that 5 feet deep and looking to crank, it's time to decide between a Shad Rap-style lure and a medium-diving flat-sided bait and typically I'll go with the flat side. Use a lift-and-drop retrieve, feeling the good vibration from the lure each time you lift. JOIN TODAY! Imagine a fish is sitting to the left of a log and you throw to the right. originalDevice: deviceType:desktop. One with far fewer boats than you'll see the rest of the year. There’s something about a flat-sided crankbait that neutral bass react to better in cold water than they do to rounded-body lures. But when it's in cold and shallow water, you need to slow your roll. In colder water, I will weight it with Storm SusPend Dots. But it's plenty cold for an Alabama boy who would rather winter even further south if I could. But big blades also offer more resistance and, in turn, allow you to slow down your bait on the retrieve. 3 or 4) on the inside. All of that is important when picking a jig. However, most of them are hard to throw, especially in wind and require a spinning rod to get much distance out of them. It’s very efficient for covering a lot of water. The lipless crankbait can be dynamite on cold, lowland reservoirs or natural lakes, especially if there is vegetation. Safety is a concern, especially if fishing alone. The best technique to use with a blade bait is to let it sink to the bottom and let it rest for a bit. Blade Baits and Spoons Both of these metal lures are excellent choices for cold water bass fishing. Mike Iaconelli is winter fishing and in a cold front with high pressure. Probably my favorite bait to fish in cold water, a squarebill catches big ones. However, I do slow the retrieve down and keep the bait in contact with the bottom. These baits are very efficient for covering deeper zones of lakes where bass hold off main lake structure. Baits like the Nichols DB Finesse Jig you see pictured here are designed primarily for pitching and flipping in thick cover. This will allow you to put your presentation right in front of the bass. Probably my favorite bait to fish in cold water, a squarebill catches big ones. site: sports | ptype: stories | pageType: stories | The jigging spoon is a bait I primarily fish vertically. When the water is colder, the shad suspend in the water column and if I see shad dying and gulls diving on them, that tells me the suspending jerkbait is the best choice. Take a riprap bank or bridge pilling for a couple of examples. Instead, you have to hit them right on the nose and sometimes, you even have to do that multiple times to get them to bite. Here are five baits for shallow-water bass when the water temperatures dip into the 40s. When fishing jigging spoons, I often use the 3/4-ounce size on 14- to 17-pound line, using a lift-and drop action, experimenting with the lift. I cast and work it similar to the way I fish the Red Eye Shad, except the blade bait is more efficient in deeper water. Jigs are intentionally designed for the style of fishing you're going to be doing with them. The … I really like the Strike King Shadalicious in either the 4 1/2- or 5-inch sizes, opting for the larger one in lakes with big bass and big shad. Jerk baits are also known as bass worms. Honestly, it's a toss-up for me between spinnerbaits and squarebills in cold water. And remember: both blade baits and the Red Eye work best this time of year on heavier line because it slows the fall and reduces problems with it burying in the grass. A flat-sided medium diver like the Strike King KVD 1.5 Flat here has a similar tight action but is a good bit easier to cast on a baitcaster, which is enough to sway me in its direction quite often. On sunny and calmer days, I'll typically lean towards the squarebill. The weather is the determining factor when it comes to which I'll choose. It's not as bad as what our northern brethren are faced with when having to decide between staying home or sitting on a bucket over a hole in the ice. That being said, there will be times when you need to give them a second look to draw the strike... or perhaps even a fifth or a sixth look. Jerkbaits a great weapons for battling cold water, even in extremely cold water. You should slow your retrieve to a crawl but I use moving baits 90% of the time when the water is in the 40s. Play with it and figure out the combo that works best that day and you'll be on your way to a big bag. If you fall in the water when it's this cold, you're seconds away from the first stages of hypothermia setting in. They don't chase food as enthusiastically as they do in spring because their energy levels are low. Soft-plastic jerkbaits can be rigged several ways. Due to this unwillingness to move about, a lot of anglers think they have to drag something around and give up on moving baits right away. Whether I'm going with a tandem Colorado/willow combo or double Colorado blade, I like for my outside blade to be in the 5 or 6 size and then compliment both with a smaller Colorado (around a No. The reason isn't related to the productivity but instead the fishability. This behavior is extremely unlikely in the winter. No matter the cover and in almost any water color, you can put a squarebill in your hand and just go, knowing you have something a shallow-water fish will have a hard time passing up. Now if you're going to go fishing when it's this cold, you need to be prepared. In the coldest water of the year, bass often hunker down or even lay on the bottom (you may notice fine silt on their bellies) on structure with sparse cover – relatively snag-free bottom – where the Carolina rig works best. Both are my favorite for this style of fishing on certain days. Spinnerbaits have just the right combo of color options, flash and vibration to trigger reluctant bass. Bass, as you probably know, are cold-blooded creatures, meaning their body temperature is the same as that of their surroundings. Membership Includes 1 Year Bassmaster Magazine, Plus $50 in free gear. With the right lure and the right approach, winter bass fishing can be a time of year when you not only have the water to yourself, but the bite can be remarkably good. Muddy Water Bass Fishing can be a real challenge! Though I'll confess I'm no jerkbait aficionado, I've had my teeth kicked down my throat often enough by this bait in the dead of winter to put it firmly on the list of my top five baits for shallow and cold water. A spinnerbait can be used in all four seasons in less than a foot of water all the way down to deep-water ledges. Often your most productive times of the day will be the first 30 minutes, last 30 minutes and the middle of the day from say 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on sunny days. As the water temperature drops, their metabolism slows dramatically and their energy level is greatly reduced. This is my favorite choice for lakes that have clear water. It has a subtle action they can’t stand when the water is cold, so use a steady, slow-to-medium retrieve. Bass are focused on shad during the winter, and I prefer a suspending jerkbait for fishing around vertical structure, like main lake bluffs and bridges, this time of year. I love to fish this bait parallel on channel swings close to the bank in major creeks and even along bluffs, riprap and laydowns. If you can stand the cold, these are a handful of options that work well in cold water. If you Google "bass fishing in cold water", half of the results that fill your feed will be about flat-sided crankbaits, likely many being made of balsa. So there's often a lull at times, especially mid morning after that initial bite. The hard metal holds up well in the cold water, and they help offer the appearance of a dying baitfish, which is important during the winter. Their ability to suspend in place allows anglers to perfectly mimic a dying baitfish – which is number one on winter bass’ menu. They produce flash, vibration and can be fished in extremely deep water if necessary. I know guys who lay with a jig all day in shallow, cold water and they are hard to beat. I saved the most synonymous bait with cold water for last, though it's also the most sanctimonious. “Spinnerbaits and blade baits of all kinds flat out work in cold water. My favorite is the Strike King KVD 1.5 Flat that has a long bill and no rattles. In 80 degree water a bass digests its food in about four hours. Here are the five baits I will have rigged for cold weather fishing and how I use them: This is my favorite choice for lakes that have clear water. Squarebill crankbait. That’s when 90 percent of strikes come. Professional bass anglers often refer to this downsizing of baits or lures as "finesse fishing." For example, use a ¼ ounce jighead with a plastic grub instead of larger baits like Texas-rigged plastic lizards or craws. My favorite retrieve is to yo-yo it on a semi-slack line; I let it flutter down because the Red Eye has an enticing shimmy as it falls. In 50 degree water it takes about four days. And I will trow that spinnerbait when the water is too dingy for a Pointer or other suspending jerkbait. But it's not only here because of the damage its done to my bruised and battered ego. Shaye Baker. Flat-side Crankbaits for Coldwater If a lipless crankbait isn’t the ticket, I turn to a flat-side crankbait. Medium sized senkos closely resemble leeches and craw baits do a really good job in visually copying crayfish, both of which being a much favored food source for bass. So, yes, cadence is key. To be fair, I have caught fish and some good ones on flat-sided crankbaits. Bass are cold-blooded, meaning their body temperature is the same as the surrounding water. Also, if you come across bass that are schooling, whether at the surface or sub-surface, a lipless crankbait is one of the best options for that scenario. You'll notice patterns too this time of year. 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