Cold winter temperatures often mean slow fishing, but it doesn't have to be that way! If you want to fish in the winter and still catch big bass, having the right bait is crucial. Here are the top five winter baits for big bass that have worked for our expert team of anglers every year!
Winter Bait #1: Blade Bait
A blade bait is a metal lure shaped like a flat blade with two treble hooks attached at either end. The metal creates vibration in the water, which attracts bigger fish from further away. When using a blade bait, cast it out, let it sink to the bottom, then begin jigging it up and down with short sweeps of your rod tip. This unpredictable movement will trigger strikes from any nearby bass. What makes the blade bait such a great option during the winter months is its size. The small profile of this bait attracts lethargic big bass. We highly recommend using heavy line, a medium-heavy rod, and a fast-action spinning reel or baitcaster for best results when using the blade bait.
Winter Bait #2: Jerkbait
Jerkbaits are hard-bodied lures designed to imitate injured prey in the water, which makes them the perfect choice to target winter bass. When the water is cold, bass will not chase after anything unless they know they will catch it. Having a bait that looks wounded is one of the best ways to increase your bites during the winter months. The key when using the jerkbait is to make erratic jerking motions with your rod tip. These motions cause the bait to move erratically in the water, mimicking an injured baitfish. Use light line and a medium-light or medium rod with a moderate action reel for the most success when jerkbait fishing!
Winter Bait #3: Jig
The jig is a rare bait that thrives any time of year, and winter is no exception! Jigs are the perfect lure to mimic small invertebrates on the bottom of lakes or rivers, which can attract bigger fish looking for an easy snack during cold months. When the water is cold, bass do not want to expend too much energy chasing after food sources, so they will often opt for creatures on the bottom of the water column, which is what jigs mimic. The gear used with jigs varies based on the size, but more often than not, heavy line, medium-heavy rods, and fast action reels are the best when fishing for big bass with jigs in the winter.
Winter Bait #4: Spinnerbait
Like the blade bait, the spinnerbait is good for attracting big bass in the winter because of its blades and vibrations created in the water. To use spinnerbaits, cast them out and slowly retrieve them back, making sure they stay close to structures such as logs or rocks where big bass may be hiding out during cold weather periods. Use light line, a medium-light rod, and a moderate action reel when throwing the spinnerbait.
Winter Bait #5: Alabama Rig
The Alabama Rig has become such a good winter bass fishing rig that it has been BANNED in some states! If you are not in one of those unlucky states, we highly recommend this rig during the winter. The Alabama Rig is an effective search bait that can cover large areas quickly, and thanks to its multiple hooks that give off vibrations, it attracts big fish from far distances. The ideal setup for the A-Rig is a heavy action rod with 20+ lb test line so you can cast long distances, feel bottom contours, and set the hook quickly once a bass strikes.
With these five winter baits at your disposal, you will catch some monster-sized bass this season! Make sure you use each of these baits correctly according to their unique characteristics—and use heavier tackle than usual. Happy Fishing!