While the holidays provide a joyous time for most of us, if you are a die hard bass angler, you may suffer a bit of anxiety wishing the spring could come faster. The usual remedy for that is to go fishing during your holiday vacation. However its cold and we don't always feel comfortable fishing in colder weather. Well, the fish don't exactly want to eat in colder weather either, but they do have to eat. So here's a few tips and suggestions to maximize your days in the colder months of the year.
One idea I always keep in mind when fishing in colder weather and water (50 degrees or less) is that when living organisms in any ecosystem are cold, then their movement is restricted. Just as you may be cold when going outside, that you don't want to move much, the same goes for bass. They are slower and more sluggish at this time. So this means lure presentations with less movements or tighter wiggles is the key to give lures a more natural look.
Crankbaits - Cranks provide a good profile looks to the natural forage moving around this time of year. Anything from large shad to bream. Normally, I'll throw crankbaits that have a less erratic action and tighter wiggle to them. A bass knows that if something is moving too erratically in colder water, then it is probably not a real meal for him. You may be able to generate a "reaction strike" with an erratic action, however I've had more luck always trying to make a more realistic meal presentation for the bass that are "hungry" and not "angry."
**Side Note: Let's say you were standing outside freezing cold. You had two items that kept flying over your head. One simply just "aggravated" you, while the other looked like a warm, tasty meal to give you energy. Which one do you think you would grab first?
Bladed Jigs - Bladed Jigs or Vibrating Jigs are a great cold water lure because they can be a fast or slow retrieved lure while providing a bulkier profile, meaning a "bigger" meal. One technique that was shown to use by Team Member Marcus Newton, was simply putting our Bayou Bug as a trailer on the back of it. Rigging it vertically vs horizontally, gives a bream/crawfish sort of profile. The vibrating of the blade gives the appendages of the Bayou Bug, just enough wiggle and movement to make it look like it is slowly moving along in the water column. We've found this to be a productive lure technique lately versus just using common craws or swimbaits as a trailer.
Jigs - Coldwater jigs such as football jigs, can provide another tasty meal look for bass. When presenting jigs at this time of year, craw trailers that have more buoyant claws with subtle action can be deadly for probing deeper bass. Our Crackin Craw provides a great trailer for jigs, for this very reason. Slow drags with subtle "pops" of the rod give a more natural look.
Click this link to view a video on jig presentation by Team Member Jake Deweese
If you are getting on the water in the next few weeks, give these a try and let us know how it works for you!