The effect of pausing bait
With the rattle bait, for many of us, the bait of choice in February fishing, especially on Guntersville, one part of the presentation that can’t be emphasized enough is pausing your bait. Nothing you can do in the presentation in the cold water of February is as effective as the pause. It’s the one part of fishing that generally catches fish, and it is the one part of winter fishing that is generally a game changer. The important thing to remember is that it really doesn’t matter what bait you’re fishing; pausing it can catch you a fish.
As is the case, winter fishing is no different than any other time you can catch fish. With many different bait selections available, jerk baits, crank baits, swim bait and chatter bait all catch fish. With a pause, they can allow you to get bites you may not get by continuous movement.
The pause can be accomplished in several different ways. You can just stop reeling, and the bait will drop and pause. You can lift the bait up with the rod tip and then lower the tip. This up and down action causes the bait to pause. One of my favorite baits to fish in the cold water is a crank bait. Crank baits generally float, causing the bait to rise upward when pausing it. This gives the fish a different look than they might be used to seeing with so many fisherman presenting rattle baits or swim baits that drop when you pause them. Chatter baits also have a uniqueness about them when paused, especially if you’re fishing them in over eight to ten feet of water as the pause not only drops the bait, but it makes it vibrate even more when dropped into the deeper water.
I also like fishing an A-rig in the winter. As a cluster bait, giving the impression of a bait ball, it’s just a great winter bait. Add the pause to any A-rig, and you have a very impressive fish-catching bait for the winter bite. When you add flash to any A-rig, like blades, then you have improved the visibility of the bait, and pausing it makes the bait extremely visible as it drops into the strike zone, causing some of the best winter bass fishing you can have.