It’s no secret that most anglers struggle during the cold of the winter months, and there is a reason for it. The fish move into groups along with the baitfish, and getting them to bite requires some work.
Some presentations are better than others and are proven over the years to be the workhorse baits in the winter. Workhorse baits come in many types, but there are some general categories that I believe are more productive than others; crankbaits are just exceptional when the water is cold.
It’s no secret that bass gather up on the deeper drops near the spawning beds in the winter; along with them is their natural feed, that being bait fish.
Combine the two, and you have a bait that stirs bites through competition. You have a bait known for wintertime success and worked over rocky, stumpy or just hard bottom drops like shell beds, become deadly successful baits. This is a proven presentation, not only from me, but well known through the pro ranks as a fish catcher in cold water.
One important stipulation, winter crankbaits must have a tight wobble. Bass just seem to respond better when the crankbait has a tight movement rather than a wide wobble.
Another well known winter bait is a football jig. Dragging one on the bottom in the winter is really a proven winner. It’s a well known fact that the cold water brings out the crawfish, and nothing emulates crawfish better than a jig.
Add the football look to it, and this bait just stays on the bottom easier. Hopping it along the bottom is just a born emulator of crawfish, and big bass love to snack on crawfish.
I don’t know of a bait that has caught more big fish in the wintertime than a football jig. Pros win tournaments on it every year, and it has outlived most presentations over time than any other bait.
Proven winners, presentations that have been successful for many years are key to wintertime success. Find the right areas, the correct bottom, be diligent, and you will have success in the cold winter months.
-Captain Mike Gerry