BlogJanuary 2017

Why These Winter Bass Fishing Lures Work

Why These Winter Bass Fishing Lures Work

By Debbie Hanson

Jan 17, 2017

Learn why certain winter bass fishing lures work better than others in cold water conditions. Find out how to fish using artificial lures during the winter.

When temperatures drop and you're wondering which winter bass fishing lures to use, you have to think like a bass. In other words, your metabolism has slowed down and you're not feeling so gung-ho about chasing big baits or fast-moving lures. What might entice you to bite despite the chilly conditions? If you're thinking along the lines of smaller lures that are worked slowly and placed right in front of your face, you are on the right track.

Cold water bass fishing can certainly be more of a challenge, but it provides an ideal opportunity to try new lures and techniques. When you select the right winter bass fishing lures to use in cold weather conditions, it's incredibly rewarding when you feel the bite.

• Spoons. Flutter or jigging spoons work when cold weather fishing because you can drop them right down into a school of bass. The fish won't need to chase them down. In fact, you'll notice that the bass will often grab your spoon as it's falling. Before selecting the size, weight and color of spoon to use, look for the resident baitfish near your fishing spot. Choose a spoon that mimics the natural baitfish that can be found where you are fishing.

• Jerkbaits. Suspending jerk baits work well in clear water conditions when temperatures drop because they imitate dying baitfish. All you have to do is cast out a jerkbait, and then give it a few cranks of your reel so that it drops down to the right depth. From there, use a jerk and pause retrieve. When cold water bass fishing with jerkbaits, don't get too hasty or impatient. Take the time to experiment with the speed of your retrieve until you figure out what the fish will respond to. 

• Hair jig. What's one of the best winter fishing tips to remember? Always bring along a hair jig on your cold weather trips. Hair jigs work because they can be fished slowly in either deep or shallow water situations. They are one of the most versatile winter bass fishing lures you can have in your tackle box.

• Soft-plastic worms. When worked very slowly, soft plastic worms can be one of the best cold weather bass fishing baits to use due to the fact that they have no fast-moving parts. Scale down the size of your soft plastic worms during the winter to 3 or 4 inches and work on your finesse fishing presentations.

• Plastic Grubs. Plastic grubs are classic winter bass fishing lures that work because they can be used by anglers of all skill levels. Try casting out a 4-inch curly tail grub on a 1/4-ounce jig head, and simply use a steady retrieve to bring it back to the boat or shoreline. You'll soon see why the simplest cold weather bass fishing tips often involve using plastic grubs and spinning tackle -- they don't require any complicated techniques and are capable of catching big bass.

Each of these lures will work equally as well whether you are winter bass fishing from shore or from a boat. If you live in a state where the winter season means learning how to ice fish, make sure you are informed about ice fishing safety and purchase your fishing license before you bundle up for a day on the hard water.
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.