In cold water, bass are sluggish and slow on the strike. The best cold-water baits must sink quickly and have extra motion on a slow retrieve. Baits should be more colorful than warm-water baits. This will help them stand out and grab the attention of a near-dormant bass. Cold-water baits should also be large. Large baits will look like a high-calorie meal to the bass. In cold water, many bass will not move far for a small meal.
Crankbaits are effective in cold, clear water because they have ample motion, are highly visible and appear to be a high-calorie meal. They are also heavy and have a fast sink rate. The color of the bait should match the colors of the natural prey in the water. Orange and black is a standard for crawfish, while fluorescent colors are visible at a distance. Fish the bait on a slow retrieve and cast around deep cover where a bass can ambush prey.
Suspending Jerk Bait
The suspending jerk bait makes a big motion without actually moving far. According to pro Larry Nixon on Basspro.com, they also "draw strikes when they're sitting still." Jerk baits are best fished on a sensitive rod to detect strikes while they are sitting still. The slow motion of this bait makes it look like an easy meal to a slow-moving winter bass.
Grub and Worm Baits
Plastic grub and worm baits are good for cold-water bass. The baits require you to concentrate on a small area, but they do not need to be retrieved. Baits with a twisted tail have ample motion when jigged and look wounded as they fall in the water column. Color is also important and should be changed if it is not working. Chartreuse, orange, black and white are all popular colors.
Article Written By Zach Lazzari
Zach Lazzari is an outdoor writing specialist. He has experience in website writing as well as standard newspaper writing. He wrote an outdoor column for the Silver World in Lake City, Colo., and articles for Colorado-mountain-adventure.com. Lazzari is currently completing his bachelor's degree online through Arizona State University and lives in southwest Montana.