During the cold winter months it is sometimes a struggle to get outdoors. However, by staying indoors you may be missing out on some really good bass fishing. Many people don't bother to throw the first lure until the warmer months when bass begin to move and be more active. Bass are cold blooded and do slow down dramatically during the winter. This means that you need to select lures that are suitable for a slower presentation.
Suspending Jerk Bait
Throw a suspending jerk bait to slow moving or suspended bass. In the winter, bass will often suspend or hold along drop offs, structure and other points. Jerk baits are typically weighted with a small ball bearing or metal shot that provides enough weight so that the lure suspends in the water. Cast the bait and reel the bait down to its designed depth. Allow the lure to sit motionless for a few seconds, suspended, then lift the tip of the rod quickly two or three times. Allow the bait to settle again and then begin a slow retrieve.
A minnow rigged on a circle bait hook and suspended beneath a float can prove to be effective on cold water bass. By rigging a circle hook just behind the jaw of the minnow, the bait fish will be free to move in the water with a natural motion imitating a struggling fish. The hooked bait should be suspended at least 18 to 24 inches below the float. This method of fishing requires patience and is an excellent method of including younger anglers in the cold water fishing experience.
Jig n' Pig
Winter bass may often settle along the bottom and ledges near brush piles and stumps. At first, this may seem a difficult problem in logistics. However, a weedless "jig n' pig"--a rubber-skirted bass jig with a pork rind or plastic trailer--works through thick cover easily and imitates a crayfish. Rig a jig head hook with a split tail pork trailer or use a soft plastic trailer. Cast the jig n' pig and let it sink to the bottom or ledge. Let the lure sit motionless for a few seconds and then lift the rod tip and reel a short length of line to allow the lure to bump along the bottom and structure. Pause again for several seconds and repeat. A jig n' pig is an excellent bait for winter bass as it gets deep and can work the nasty cover in which big bass like to hide.
Article Written By Keith Dooley
Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.