Top 5 Baits for Winter Bass Fishing

Plan on heading out for a little bass fishing this winter? If you are, I have a few bait suggestions that you may want to try.

Tackle box.

Here are five of the best:

1. Jig and pig combinations

Personally, I find jig and pig combinations great for catching bass when the water temperatures are below 40 degrees. I know that some anglers may disagree with me, but in my experience the cheaper plastics tends to stiffen up in the water and that seems to turn the fish off. The pork doesn't get as rigid and seemingly has a more lively appearance in the water. All I can say for sure is that I typically have better luck with it.

2. Jigging Spoons

Some of my most successful winter bass fishing trips have involved jigging spoons and semi slack lines. They tend to work exceptionally well when I let the spoon bounce of the lake bottom hard enough to kick up a little silt. I have also had good success by modifying the jigging spoons with a split ring, swivel, feathers, and sharp treble hooks.

3. Spinners

In my opinion, spinnerbaits are super for catching small and largemouth bass anytime of the year. Since the water tends to be clearer in the winter, I tend to choose a nickel or stamped blade over a copper or gold colored one. I also tend to get particular about the spinnerbait's swivels, beads, and skirts. During the winter I usually have the best luck with free spinning swivels, nickel, or glass beads, and skirts that are a 1/2 inch in length or less.

4. Rubber Worms

When it comes to rubber worms and winter bass fishing, I tend to go for the ones that are made from a pliable rubber, sport natural colors, and have some length to them. The Anise scented ones from Kelly's Annealed Baits are a good choice. They can be a bit expensive, but they work well. If I can't find a rubber worm that fits the bill, I tend to gravitate towards rubber twist tail grubs that have a bit of glitter on them.

5. Crawdads

Crawdads also seem to draw the attention of both large and smallmouth bass. When they are not available, I've also been known to use earthworms and grubs. The white, lawn grubs with the red heads tend to be popular with the smallmouth bass. The white and red grubs are plentiful in the south. Use a shovel to turn over any odd looking patch of grass in the south and there is a good chance that you'll find a few. As far as I am concerned, any live bait that will create movement long enough to attract a bass's attention is alright in my book.

Killeen Gonzalez enjoys winter sports with her family and has traveled extensively.

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Updated Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012