Tips For Cold Water Bass Fishing With Plastics

A bass caught on a Texas-Rig Jig.
PowerTeam Lures

There are three things to keep in mind when it comes to being successful with plastics in the winter: downsize your bait; slow your presentation; and when you think you're fishing really slow, slow down even more.


Even though fishing super slow might be as painfully boring as watching paint dry, if you're trying to get bit in the frigid temps, you gotta do what you gotta do. In the winter, bass will generally eat only a sixth of the amount of food they consume in the warmer months because their metabolism slows down to a crawl, meaning smaller meals will sustain their hunger for longer periods of time.

As anglers, it's important to not be tempted to force feed them with larger bait. Granted, there will still be times in really cold water when a bass will go after a larger profile bait, but that?s a matter of being at the right place at the right time - and those times are far and few between. The angler who adjusts accordingly to the conditions will be successful more often than not.

Downsizing the bait is only piece to the puzzle: the other is slowing it down. Bass are more sluggish in the winter as their reaction time slows right down. If you work your plastics as you do in the summertime and don?t slow down dramatically, good chance you'll be passing right by catchable fish before their brain even gets a chance to process the thought ?that?s an easy meal, I should eat it!?.


Fortunately, the art of dead sticking is very simple. Once the bait hits the bottom, let it sit still for a couple minutes, drag it super slowly for a few inches, then let it sit again for 30 to 120 seconds. Drag it super slowly again, and then repeat the process. Although this technique doesn't sound too exciting, anglers that can discipline themselves to fish this way will be putting fish in the boat when most others are sitting home watching fishing shows and wishing it was spring. When it comes to fishing plastics in the winter, always remember that less is more.

Some rigged baits that work great for cold water bassin'.
PowerTeam Lures

Here are some top choices for catching frosty bass:

  • The Craw D?oeuvre rigged on a shaky head and/or rigged on a 5/16 oz finesse jig as a trailer.
  • The Finicky Tickler rigged on a shaky head or drop shot(with a short lead).
  • The JP Hammer Shad rigged on a drop shot (with a short lead) or rigged on a small football head
  • The Grub rigged on a light jig head, and the 3.5? Texas-Rig Jig rigged on a light football/arkie head.

All of these baits can be fished on spinning gear, which means you can wear gloves! And to help you detect the subtle hits and spongy weight of the sluggish winter bass, it's a good idea to use 15lb to 20lb braid topped off with a 6 to 8ft section of 6 to 12 lb fluorocarbon leader.


So if you decide you want to do some cold water bassin? with plastics, dress for the conditions, downsize your bait, SLOW your presentation, be patient and the results can be surprisingly rewarding.

For more bass fishing tips, click here.

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