Like most animals, bass tend to change their habits and tendencies when winter rolls around each year. For instance, while bass are on the move at dawn and dusk during the warmer seasons, winter finds them relatively stationary as they await a passing shad or careless crawfish to cruise by.
If you’re able to get on the water this time of year, you’d do well to bring along a few ideal lures for winter bass. Here are five winter bass lures you need nearby when the water temperatures drop.
To mimic the erratic action of a wandering shad, deep suspending jerkbaits are the way to go. These lures perfectly imitate the pause and flutter action bass expect from an easy meal, especially in water between 8 and 12 feet. The flash and water displacement jerkbaits create in clear water will no doubt entice those lethargic bass to strike.
Jigging spoons have been fan favorites for years when it comes to targeting winter bass. They don’t look like much, but you can cast spoons a mile and they sink to the strike zone in a hurry. Work them with a vertical presentation, using a simple snap and fall technique on slack line to draw strikes.
Popular among smallmouth anglers, grubs are excellent when the water is cold. When you find that bass are suspending in vertical cover, a grub can be magical at appealing to otherwise stationary bass. Work them with a slow retrieve and be mindful of those sneaky fish, as a bite won’t feel like more than a bit of added resistance.
Drop Shot Baits
I’ve found that bass will often stick tight to the bottom this time of year, so if you’re using a drop shot rig to catch them, keep your leader lengths fairly short. You’ll also want to let the rig sit for longer. You may be surprised at the efficiency of a drop shot rig in winter, too, as sometimes all it takes is a flick of the bait’s tail to draw a strike.
Tail spinners bring a much-needed versatility to your winter bass game that may be the difference maker when all else fails. Hop it, crank it, pump it and work it near the bottom and up in the strike zone make this simple lure appeal to winter bass. Bonus Tip: I go with a lighter model this time of year to get a slower descent and keep the lure in the strike zone longer.