3 Topwater Baits You Can Use in Cold Weather

When most anglers think about topwater baits, their thoughts also tend to conjure up images of warm, foggy spring and summer mornings.

Yes, spring and summer will always be the predominant time of year for topwater lures, but that does not mean you can’t have topwater success when the temperatures are a bit colder.

Here are three efficient topwater presentations to try during the colder months.


Buzzbaits offer an enticing squeal, bubbly wake and large profile that bass just can’t resist, even during the colder fall months—and winter, if your lakes aren’t frozen. Bass will willingly eat buzzbaits at water temperatures in the 50-degree range or even lower if the conditions are right. Bonus Tip: Try slowing your buzzbait’s retrieve until the bait is barely breaking the surface.


One of the deadliest late-fall topwaters, a stickbait fished with a walk-the-dog retrieve can be effective well into the colder months. Once the crawfish become dormant, the main food source for bass is shad. Baits like the Bass Pro Shops XPS Slim Dog emulate a shad flicking on the surface and can be used all the way into water temperatures in the upper 40’s.

Watch this short video for a how-to on walking-the-dog.


Wakebaits are shallow-running crankbaits with small bills. This means they stay just below the surface where they can create a wake on the retrieve. They can also be worked slowly in cold water to perfectly imitate a shad or baitfish struggling on the surface. I like Livingston’s Pro Wake, Bomber’s Shallow A and the Mann’s Baby 1-Minus.

© Peter Zachar | Dreamstime.com – Fishing