Bass can get pretty finicky in the winter because their metabolism has slowed down so they don’t have to eat as often as they do in the warmer months. The fish prefer a slow-moving prey or one that is stationary so they don’t have to move much to eat.
Winter bass fishing requires a lot of patience because you have to fish slowly and tediously most of the time.
Here are three lures you can fish slowly during the winter to entice finicky bass to bite.
The Deadly Nedly (Ned Rig)
The Ned rig consists of a short stickworm like the original TRD or the Sukoshi Bug (2 1/2 or 3 inches) made of ElaZtech material attached to a lightweight jighead (1/32, 1/16 or 1/8 ounce). This setup works best when wintertime bass are hugging the bottom on calm days.
Fishing a Ned rig takes discipline because you have to wait until the lightweight bait sinks all the way to the bottom. Then you have to deadstick the rig for several seconds on the bottom before dragging it very slowly along the bottom and then letting it sit again. The stickworm’s body shape material causes the bait to slowly spiral through the water column or stand up off the bottom and move slightly when at rest to trigger strikes.
Jerkbaits All Day
A suspending jerkbait is the ideal wintertime lure to throw when bass are suspended high in the water column on sunny days with a slight breeze. Depending on the length of the lure’s bill, the jerkbait can dive from 4 to 10 feet deep and if weighted correctly it will continue to suspend at its maximum diving depth when paused for long periods.
After reeling the lure down to its maximum diving depth, employ a twitch, twitch, pause cadence for the retrieve. You should only have to pause the lure for a couple of seconds for active bass, but you might have to wait 20 to 30 seconds to get bites from sluggish bass.
Drop Shotting For The Win
A drop shot rig featuring a 4-inch finesse worm or stickworm set above a dropper line attached to a weight is ideal for wintertime bass hugging the bottom in clear deep water.
Elongated drop shot sinkers work best because this style of sinker seems to slip through rock, brush, and weeds better than other sinker shapes. Choose a 1/4-ounce sinker for fishing less than 30 feet deep and switch to a 3/8-ounce weight for fishing deeper.
The key to the drop shot presentation is to keep the sinker constantly in contact with the bottom. Simply holding the bait in place rather than shaking or jiggling it usually draws more strikes from lethargic wintertime bass.