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Winter Fishing And Plastic Worms - Why The Disrespect?

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  I have never done any winter fishing for bass but I've been reading up on it a lot.  I don't get it - why are hard baits always preferred for winter bass fishing over soft plastic worms?  I keep reading about jerk baits, crankbaits, spinnerbaits and jigs.  And I keep reading how the bass will not chase much so you have to move everything real slow, basically throw it right in front of their face.  But with crankbaits and spinnerbaits, those are moving baits.  I know you can reel and stop, reel and stop, but you still end up reeling them/moving them.   Why aren't plastic worms considered great winter fishing lures?  They are the best all around bass catching lure in existence.  If you cast a split shot small trick worm in front of a bass in winter and cast a hard crankbait in front of it, are you telling me it will probably go after the crankbait?  

 

 I does not make sense to me - crankbaits, lipless crankbaits, jerk baits, jigs, all pushed for winter fishing but the mighty plastic worm, not much talk at all.  

 

So, if plastic worms are not good for winter, why is that?  

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Not sure, I know florida doesn't really have seasons actually like the rest of the country lol. But we where doin pretty good on yum dingerz this weekend here and in the morning the temp was high 40s

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We drop shot em alot during winter here in cali

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The cold water cuts down on the action of plastics and from my experience cold water fishing hard baits like a jerkbait and blade bait work much better. In the winter I am imitating shad or better yet dying shad. A slow sinking jerkbait nose down will have it all over plastics in cold water. Plastics will work in cold water but I have found better options. If I was going to use plastic in the winter it would be small a shad shaped like a lake fork shad or something. This is just my experience in my area where the water gets in the 30's before freezing. 2 weeks ago I was out with water temp. 38 and caught 12 bass up to 4 lbs. on a LC Pointer 78 jerkbait. Hope this helps.

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ive never caught a winter bass on soft plastics. but jerkbaits and slow rolling shallow diving cranks has worked well for cold water bass

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Winter baits for truly cold water temps in the high 30s to low 40s vary. Soft baits and hard baits a like will produce. When you say plastic worms I tend to think 7 inch ribbontail worm texas rigged with a bullet weight. That bait will have too much action for what I prefer. For plastics I would fish a finesse drop shot bait first. Weightless plastics like a senko or fluke will also produce fished slow. A Texas rigged beaver bait may work as the bait doesnt have alot of movement or action.

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Same energy to chase a skinny LOW NUTRITION worm as a FAT PLUMP FULL OF nutrition & satisfying shiner.  Which do you want to chase ?

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Huh! I guess I need to stop fishing Rage Tail Cut-R, Recon, Lizards, & Lobsters!

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They will work just as well as any other time of the year. The only bait I would classify as "seasonal" is top water.

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This is my opinion on this,in my experiance the reason hardbaits do so well is because bass dont really chase them its all a matter of putting that bait whichever way they face it and perfect timing .in other words they rely on ambush .a plastic worm is stealthy and doesnt do much way to quiet and doesnt displace no where near as much water as hardbaits.reason i say this many times.i have seen bass just turn too a hardbait cause it was perfect place and timing passing thru.COLD water of course.to me thats below 50

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They will work just as well as any other time of the year. The only bait I would classify as "seasonal" is top water.

Only if your waters cool off and fall below 55.  I've had really good topwater bites in the high 50's.

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For my home lake, once the water temp's drop below 60, the only responses I get to soft plastics are when I drop shot them.  It is the only time of the year for me that jigs produce consistently and wacky rigged Senko's do not.  Once the water climbs back above 61 or 62, Texas rigged plastics and wacky rigged Senko's rule the roost. 

 

I know not every lake is like mine, but it seems like at the coldest temps the fish want something meaty & right in front of their nose.

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Bass feed heavy on shad this time of year. Certain shad die off and are the bass' main meal. That's why cranks, jerkbaits, and swimbaits are more effective this time of year. If you have smallmouth, you can catch them on jigs when the water is cold. Smallies always eat a jig.

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Noise is more effective to the Lateral Line. I use both rattle & non rattle in tests same place no rattle some fish.  Rattle STILL CAUGHT more in the same time AFTER the no rattle had first shot.  Noise works.

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Only if your waters cool off and fall below 55.  I've had really good topwater bites in the high 50's.

Exactly. Seasonal.

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I hope none of y'all are planning on coming to the road trip!

Y'all will be disappointed ;)

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Catt

 

:)  Come to N Y & Canada waters in  the late fall. & icy water spring.   :)

 

Just bring the gin & tonic we have cold glasses.

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Well South Florida I don't think ever gets waters below 55.  So I would say more a seasonal bite depending on what region you live in.  I can get a bass to eat an 8" floating Line Thru swimbait on top out here all winter if I tried. But then the waters rarely fall below 55 here as well.

 

And I was under the impression they eat cranks, jerks, and other moving baits in the cooler months due to the horizontal movement of the bait.  You have to consider these fish are probably suspended and inactive but if an easy meal blows by them they react.  Jigs work if you can fish them really slow, but I can't hold a beer and fish at the same time so fishing that slow to me is out of the question.

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Well South Florida I don't think ever gets waters below 55.  So I would say more a seasonal bite depending on what region you live in.

Of course.

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I use more hardbaits in the winter simply because I have less weeds to contend with, and I enjoy fishing with hardbaits, and I also feel that I get bigger fish to hit Jerkbaits both suspending, floating and sinking.

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As to topwater being seasonal, I would say it is more of a weekly thing here in Florida as we will have a warming trend for a few days which will cause the bass to suspend in the upper half of the water, especially in skinny water or ponds. I have caught good sized bass while the air temps are in the high 30's in middle of Dec-Feb but it is not usually the best method. If fish are active I feel any bait or lure is game it all depends on placement and how much energy the fish is willing to expend to chase it down. A nice big 100mm zara spook sitting tail down even in the cold looks like an easy meal if the fish are suspending in 6' of water.

 

Most suspending Jerkbaits only dive a few feet, so it is not uncommon to get a strike as soon as the jerkbait hits the water on days when you would never think topwater would work, but if it lands within a few feet of the fish and it looks like an easy meal they will hit it...Never say never, I have seen pictures of fish caught on buzzbaits in December at night as well. The key to topwater in the winter is making the lure look like an easy catch so it is important to use a steady slow retrieve alot of times and not the normal erratic pauses and speed changes, especially in low light. At night in winter I prefer jigs and bladed swm  jigs, but I always will throw out a floating minnow like a bomber long a or bagleys bang o lure on every trip no matter the time of year or day, and more times than not they will hit it, the key is often having a teaser on the rear treble and also modifications to make the lure rise slowly, or only dive downward, not the side to side action alot of jerkbaits have. The timmy horton bomber long a will work great all winter as it suspends nose down and if you give it a jerk pause, jerk pause, it will stay nose down and not move forward when you stop, if you use the regular pro long a and fish are not active, they usually won't touch it as that lure is more of a flat suspender and will sometimes rise super slow, but it also moves side to side and not down like the timmy horton version and with jerkbaits every little change can make the difference of a good day or terrible day. 

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Catt

:) Come to N Y & Canada waters in the late fall. & icy water spring. :)

Just bring the gin & tonic we have cold glasses.

Why would I trade year round fishing for part time fishing?

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I respect the views of many on here and some in this thread but fishing success is so regionally, geographically, and temperature driven that it is difficult to use a "one size fits all approach". I am just basing my answer off of the Midwest lakes that I frequent during the winter season when water temps and air temps are very cold 30s to low 40s). Many days of getting 1-2 bites per hour is good yet alone landing a few. I have yet to take one on a 7 inch Texas rigged worm during this time but to the guys that can more power to you. That doesn't mean that I won't fish them in the summer and early fall though!

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A lot of our lakes get filled up with leaves and a thin layer of slimy moss on the bottom during the winter time, so dragging a plastic bait is a waste of time. In the places that aren't like that it's extremely effective though. Just last Friday, kanasbassfisher08 and I tore them up dragging beaver baits on homemade swinging football heads, they wouldn't hardly touch a hard bait. 

http://www.bassresource.com/bass-fishing-forums/topic/149804-good-day-on-a-powerplant-lake/

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I don't know. It's always been my belief that if the fish are hungry, that just about any lure will work if presented to them correctly. That said, most other baits, other than a worm, are easier/quicker to present to the fish in colder water

 

 I caught two large mouths yesterday fishing an out side point/wall. I was using a split shot, purple worm. They were on the small  side (2 lbs?) but they still ate the bait. Water temp was 50*F, and the fish were in 30' +/- of water. They were the only fish I caught in 3  hours of fooling around.  

 

Out west there use to be a guy who could catch LM bass in very deep water, in the winter, with a worm technique he called "doodling". It was a pain staking, time consuming way to fish, but it worked. 

 

Me personally, I am a top water junkie. The only fish I can catch in the winter on a TW bait are stripers, and even then, those fish need to be out of their normal winter haunts. 

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