Winter bass fishing is a notoriously tricky time for bass anglers. Coldwater bass bites are hard to come by either because they are located in deep water or in the confusing and chaotic pre-spawn that forces anglers all over to search for water temperatures that produce bites. Bass feed less heavily in winter, so you must use patience and have a few popular types of winter lures at the ready.
The winter months for California bass fishing create difficult conditions and leave fishing enthusiasts icy and without a bite. Usually, beginner fishers think bass fishing has ended when winter comes. However, the experienced angler knows better. If you use a winter lure or bait, you can catch bass all year long.
Table of Contents
Winter Lures You Need to Catch Bass
The best water temperatures for active bass are near 55 degrees. The winter breezes cool the water drastically, so winter is not a great time of year for some lures. In the northern portions of California, the temperature can drop down into the 30s and 40s before settling in and creating frozen lakes and ponds where catching bass becomes much more difficult.
Bass fishing in the winter may prove challenging. However, visiting the lake for yourself is the best way to enjoy the solitude and quiet while possibly catching the most bass of the year.
Mastering cold water bass lures is an essential part of wintertime fishing. Some of the best winter lures are ones you are probably already familiar with. These lures are great for your wintertime bass fishing arsenal and will help you catch more bass and even land a trophy fish during the early bass fishing tournaments season.
Below are some of the best winter lures for catching largemouth bass.
Jigging is an excellent lure that will gradually work the bottom of the lake or river with an intriguing appearance. If you have to drill down into ice or are just going deep in cold water, a sinking jig is precisely what you want.
As you lower the lure with your rod tip, the reel should be rested for a few seconds, then wound taught but not so tight that it lifts off the bottom. Lift and jig slowly off the bottom to position the ball on its side. You can mix up presentations to find the cause behind strikes.
Your time with jigs may be different depending on the water temperature. Remember, the warmer the water is, the more you can move the bait, especially if there is a drop-off with deep water nearby. The length of time that you can take for a bite can depend on whether the bottom is rocky or not since rocks are excellent conductors of heat. Rocky bottoms tend to make both bass and their favorite food source, crawdads, much more active.
The most crucial coldwater bass lure is jerk bait. This is one of the best coldwater bass baits because of the ability to suspend it in the deeper water strike zone with a slow retrieve that is easy for many anglers to repeat with a subtle action. Hardbody suspension jerk baits such as the RAPELX-RAP and soft plastic body jerk baits resemble Zoom Superfluke. Both models work similarly.
The bait is forced into motion with intervals of pause as it gets drawn into various directions of slackline. It is most famous for attracting reactions from the bass and letting you know if your wintertime bass fishing location is hot or not. Once you clue in on the feeding patterns with a light line and strikes, occur, you are sure to land a few big bass.
When using hard suspending jerk baits, a bass can easily observe it floating in the water column. As soon as jerk baits jump, bass responds by attacking it immediately. In soft jerk bait, the reaction gets caused by sudden jerks or sinks. Hardbody jerk baits also catch the attention of bass by sinks and lateral movements.
The use of blade baits is an effective tactic for frigid waters. This bait works for catching largemouths and larger fish in general but can be fatal for smallmouth bass.
Using a blade bait requires patience, as the subtle movements and bobbing attract the strikes. It’s best to keep it in water to rest for a while. Afterward, you’ll push your rod’s tip forward and make the blade bait lure dart in such a way that causes vibrations upward.
If you only flutter it around the bottom a couple of feet, it’s time for a repeat. It is possible to use this method for various water levels. However, always try out the multiple columns of water level gradually. Let it fly a few feet before lowering it again.
Texas and Carolina-rigged worms are available throughout the year and are popular winter bait. Ideal for drop-off locations and breakpoints, rubber worms are sturdy and enticing for bass.
Some favorite techniques for using rubber worms are casting them onto a deep underwater structure like a mound or drop off and dangling them over the surface. Reeling the rubber worm requires some jigging and bending rod tips for luring fish near thick cover or in suspension while waiting for food. Rubber worms are also beneficial under docking sites, in the vicinity of a tree, or rigged weed-free underwater structures.
The Carolina-rigged worms get specially made to include sound with the appearance. They must be placed on glass beads using brass to create an attractive percussion tone on winter bass for a warm sound.
Yes, top-water lures are productive during winter, but they require immense patience. Black bass is a good choice for catches during summer or winter. However, it would be best to change the technique drastically in different seasons.
In the winter, their preference is for easy-to-eat baits like dying minnows. Rapalas that sway near flowers are a helpful method. Make casting in structures/coastlines lightly twist and allow the bait to move and then be completely motionless. It is more noticeable than anticipated. Bass will be get lured in if they are hungry and striking without much noise for the floating Rapala lure.
Coldwater with overcast skies is a problematic backdrop for fishing. Using a spinnerbait is sometimes necessary to draw particularly timid bass from their winter hiding places.
For spinnerbait, slow retrieval is essential so that the lure gets suspended for optimal time periods. Spinnerbaits produce more easily if flung near covered vegetation like sandbars or branches. It is a bait that is easily used and is highly versatile.
Successful Bass Fishing With NewJen Bass Fishing Tournaments
Once you have the proper presentation and are ready to cash in on the biggest bass in the west, you should check out the various divisions of NewJen Bass fishing tournaments that take place all over the northern California lakes and delta. Winter bass fishing is difficult for all anglers. Still, with NewJen Bass, you benefit from a top-rated and professionally run tournament that is fair and a fun experience.
Beginning in the cold months of January and continuing past the winter bass fishing season and into the spawning season, NewJen Bass provides anglers of all ability levels the opportunity to take part in world-class fishing tournaments.
Some reasons to join the NewJen Bass Fishing Tournaments family include:
- Winter fishing at choice locations
- Substantial cash prizes of up to $20,000
- 1st Place Boat Giveaway for division leaders
- Fun and family-friendly
- Six years of fair and trusted bass fishing tournament experience
Take what you learned from your winter bass fishing and sign up for the best bass fishing tournament in the west, and register today for one of the many NewJen Bass fishing tournaments. Because NewJen Bass is more than a tournament…it’s an experience!