Westernbass Magazine - FREE Bass Fishing Tips And Techniques - Winter 2016, Page 13

Westernbass Magazine - FREE Bass Fishing Tips And Techniques - Winter 2016, Page 13

that were feeding voraciously just a short time ago are now more infrequent diners.

During the winter, water warmed by the sun can make the late afternoon the best bite window of the day. Even with this said, you should not overlook the low light conditions associated with both the early morning and at dusk. Spotted bass in particular have a tendency to bite at first light even during the coldest

days of the year.

Winter fishing poses an interesting

dilemma. Fish too fast and you can find

yourself fishing through a productive

area. Fish too slow and you can end up not

covering much water.


While there are many different baits that are effective on cold

water bass, my approach to

catching bass relating to

vertical structure,


oddly enough, involves both a horizontal and vertical component.

First of all, a suspending jerk bait allows me to cover water while still maintaining a presentation that is effective on lethargic bass. I rely heavily on a SPRO McStick 110 in the popular Blue Bandit or Table Rock Shad color motifs.

The most important thing to remember when fishing a jerkbait regardless of which one you select is to experiment with your cadence until you find the proper mix of movement and pauses. After making a long cast, I will crank the bait down and pause. Next I will start a basic jerk, jerk, pause cadence. I must constantly remind myself to let the bait soak during the pause. Sometimes I will pause the bait for what seems to be an eternity when in all reality it is just a handful of seconds. In the end, the fish will tell you what they like.

I fish the McStick 110 on a Cousins Tackle GP704T casting rod and a low profile casting reel spooled with 10lb Sunline Super Natural Monofilament.

Once I have located the fish with the jerkbait, I will work back through the area with a slow moving vertical drop bait. Jigs, dropshots and shakey heads are all great choices. I like to add a bit of Old School western flavor by employing a dart head worm.

A 3/16 oz dart head paired up with a 5” Yamamoto Kut Tail Worm in shades of green and brown has been very successful. The dart head is extremely versatile in that it is an effective tool for catching both suspended fish and bass that are on the bottom.

On the fall, the subtle action of the Kut Tail is tempting to fish that are loosely relating to structure. Slowly swimming the dart head through suspended fish while shaking the rod tip is a strong trigger as well. For fish relating to the bottom, a subtle hop and shake, straight drag or dead stick are effective presentations.

For the dart head, I rely on a Cousins Tackle RSK 752S Raze Series Spinning Rod, a 2500 series spinning reel spooled with 10-lb Sunline SX1 Braid tied to a leader of 7-lb Sunline Super FC Sniper Fluorocarbon line.

Fishing in the winter is not like fishing in warm weather. Inclement weather and inactive fish can make for a rough go. Even if you don’t like math, just remember the simple equation: Vertical structure + Horizontal presentation + Vertical presentation = Winter bass fun.