Because fish are cold-blooded, every aspect of the way they go about their lives is dependent on the water temperature. As the temperature drops, so does their metabolism, activity level, and willingness to feed.
For that reason, it’s never more important than in winter to pay attention to water temperatures and match your presentation to the conditions. Here are three techniques that you can turn to with confidence once the temperature drops into the 40’s.
Skirted jigs like the V & M Baits Pacemaker Flatline Football Jig are excellent when it gets cold because of their versatility. You can cast a lightweight hair jig and let it subtly fall through the water column, or you can crawl a football jig across deeper points and ledges – both dynamite winter bass killers. Focus on areas with deep water access and some kind of cover, whether rocks or wood. Remember: in the winter, when you think you’re fishing a jig slow, slow down some more.
An obvious choice, jerkbaits are the cold water bell cow for a reason. Their ability to suspend in place allows anglers to perfectly mimic a dying baitfish – which is number one on winter bass’ menu. 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. Experiment with pauses as long as 5 or 10 seconds, and see how the fish react.
If you’ve located a group of bass under the boat, there aren’t many better ways to catch them than with a jigging spoon like the Len Thompson Original Series #7 Spoon. Although old-school, jigging spoons are still one of the best cold water presentations, particularly if you can get on top of the fish. The trick is to locate the bass under the boat, then drop the jigging spoon on them and give it a couple twitches. Start by working the bait a couple feet over the bass, and then if they don’t show a response – drop it through them.