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HeyCoach

What are your cold water lures?

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Growing up, my falls and winters were taken over by football and wrestling seasons leading to track and field in the spring. I’ve never really fished when it was cold enough to see your breath, let alone collect ice on the guides. 

 

I need help filling up my tackle box, right now I don’t think I have the right cold water baits besides a bag of finesse worms. I have a War Eagle spinner bait or two, two titanium 2 knocker Strike King lipless crankbaits (wounded white/Black back and red/orange crawfish looking one), a 3-5 foot Yamamoto (chrome/blue back jerk bait), and 2 Z man chatterbaits.

 

Should I try an Alabama rig, deep diving crankbaits, or jigs? Or maybe there’s something else I’ve not touched on?

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Not sure what you consider cold water. 

for me it is usually anything under 45 degrees.

in cold water the suspending jerkbait, shakyhead and ned rig sees the most action in my boat.

If those will not elicit a strike, I will switch over to a dropshot.

occasionally I will use a jig, but most of the time it is reserved for warmer water.

 

your finesse worms will work well with a shakyhead or a dropshot

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50 minutes ago, HeyCoach said:

Growing up, my falls and winters were taken over by football and wrestling seasons leading to track and field in the spring. I’ve never really fished when it was cold enough to see your breath, let alone collect ice on the guides. 

 

I need help filling up my tackle box, right now I don’t think I have the right cold water baits besides a bag of finesse worms. I have a War Eagle spinner bait or two, two titanium 2 knocker Strike King lipless crankbaits (wounded white/Black back and red/orange crawfish looking one), a 3-5 foot Yamamoto (chrome/blue back jerk bait), and 2 Z man chatterbaits.

 

Should I try an Alabama rig, deep diving crankbaits, or jigs? Or maybe there’s something else I’ve not touched on?

Jerkbait , jerkbaits and more jerks. But honestly either a jerkbait , jig or senkos.  If you want a great jerkbait try the vision 110

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Cold water for me is less than 50. Which usually means the first few weeks (depending on the year, but usually from early to mid/late April ) of my fishing after ice-out in the spring, and the few weeks of open water fishing before I put the boat away (again, year dependent, but usually very late Oct-mid. Nov.) My cut off in the fall is sub 40 degree water or terrible weather...which ever comes first, this year it was weather. In the spring, I used to be rip-roaring to go after a long lull due to winter, and would fish for a week or two in sub 40 degree water before it warmed to over 40, it was always terribly slow, so the last few years I have been less willing to get right out there until the ice has been gone a good week or so.

 

With that out of the way, I have several go-to baits and techniques for cold water fishing. Some are tailored for targeting smallmouth, some for largemouth, and some for both at the same time.

 

Smallmouth specific:

#1 by a wide margin is a 1/2 vibrating silver buddy style blade bait.

 

Largemouth specific:

#1 is a 3/8 oz chatterbait worked as slow as I can keep it vibrating in shallow water.

 

Stuff that works equally well for both depending on location is:

 

Suspending Jerkbaits

 

Lipless crankbaits

 

Compact heavy finesse football jigs with small craw trailers, without a lot of action

 

Ned Rig

 

Neko Rig

 

Tubes fished old school with internal tube jig heads

 

Small action-less plastics like Roboworm zipper grubs, R.I. Smallie Beavers, Poor Boys Erie darters fished on football jig heads with just enough weight for bottom contact for the depth/wind I am faced with that day.

 

When they do seem to want action out of plastics in cold water, I find that more subtle "flowing" and swimming type actions like that offered by Hula grubs, double tail grubs, single tail grubs, and small swimbaits fished on various jig heads to be more productive than hard kicking high action baits like Paca Craws, Rage tail stuff, etc...

 

 

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I don't have spring lures

I don't have summer lures 

I don't have fall lures

I don't have winter lures 

 

I have bass lures that I use on different structure, in different cover during different seasons!

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As was said water temp is all relative. 

Down here in the dead of winter I'll use the same stuff I use all year. 

 

Temperature stability is absolutely key. 

It's 51 deg now at 6:41 am, by noon it'll be 75.. 

 

I'm more worried about how the "cold" affects me. 

 

 

 

 

 

Mike

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Mostly it's just a slow down thing.  Jerks .... jigs....ned....A-rig.  Catch fish on these all year but they can excel when you reel them low and slow in 40 degree water.

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8 hours ago, Catt said:

I don't have spring lures

I don't have summer lures 

I don't have fall lures

I don't have winter lures

 

FIFY Skynyrd....  :)  

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For me it's squarebills, jerkbaits, and jigs.


One thing that is weird for me I keep reading about flat sided squarebills and cranks for cold water.......I tried them numerous times this fall and caught one fish....when I switched to standard wobbling round bodied I started catching fish.  If  the water vis isn't that good I go with the cranks, if it's pretty good I'll go with the jerkbaits. I did have decent luck on a recent outing with a rattling jerkbait in not so good visibility. The water was 44 degrees and cranks were not working, the jerbaits on the other hand lead to my best day numbers/size wise of the entire year. 

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Jerkbaits, jigs, swing head with a beaver, RES, shad rap, wiggle wart, shakyhead, Arig, underspins, and jigging spoons are my main winter baits.

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Alabama the primary colder water prey sources are crawdads and Shad. Most of the terrestrial critters are dormate and the bluegill, sunfish and crappie have grown, no longer young of the year baitfish and no longer hiding in shoreline aquatic plants that tend to die off, almost everything is in deeper water.

My suggestion is use lures that mimick crawdads and Shad.

 Jigs are my number 1 crawdad imitaton and structure spoons, tail spins or underspins my number 1 Shad imitations. Crawdads can be anywhere, I look for clay to rock transitions as a good place to start. Shad are in schools, I look for diving birds they know where the Shad are located, then use my sonar to determine the depth to fish.

Tom

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On 11/16/2018 at 11:11 PM, Catt said:

I don't have spring lures

I don't have summer lures 

I don't have fall lures

I don't have winter lures 

 

I have bass lures that I use on different structure, in different cover during different seasons!

In my recent thread on cold water plastic worm fishing, I got several good replies about baits that will work.Catt, WRB, and Scaleface all mentioned. traps, jigs, and crankbaits too. After all these years it's time to branch out a little! As much as I love worm fishing, there are other things that may work well too.

 

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Hey Coach!

 

Enjoying the first feel of winter in Bamaland?

 

My "go to winter baits" consist of hot chocolate, coffee cake and coffee, chips, a warm quilt and a comfortable chair to watch football and other sports on TV.

 

Being from south Louisiana means that no matter where I am, when the temperature goes below 70* it is cold outside and it is time to reorganize my tackle and baits and enjoy the "great inside."

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23 hours ago, Todd2 said:

Crappie Sliders...lol

It’s funny how often those things catch big bass. 

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Regardless of season the #1 key to being successful at catching bass is location.

 

Reread the above post, noting how many lure selection are duplicatations of lures that work during spring, summer, & fall.

 

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50 minutes ago, Catt said:

Regardless of season the #1 key to being successful at catching bass is location.

 

Reread the above post, noting how many lure selection are duplicatations of lures that work during spring, summer, & fall.

 

Catt, no better way to put it! It's not the rod/reel or always some hot bait. Location is where it's at

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On 11/17/2018 at 7:38 AM, Todd2 said:

Crappie Sliders...lol

No joke . Crappie lures work great in cold water . A yellow marabou crappie jig  is one of my favorites .

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2 hours ago, scaleface said:

No joke . Crappie lures work great in cold water . A yellow marabou crappie jig  is one of my favorites .

Yeah, I was half joking. I do some Crappie fishing in the cold months and it's fairly common to hook up with a nice Bass every now and then.  Throwing a 1/16 oz Crappie jig ain't that different than a Ned rig. I'll catch Crappie, LM, White Bass, and some Smallies up in the river on a light jig in cold water. I'm not too picky which one, any of them beat not getting out. I do have my limits though. Air temps below freezing usually keeps me home.

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When the water temps really drop the bass on my home water seem to move to the dense woody cover, perfect for a jig. 

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Looks like everyone covered the tackle box pretty well.  My 2 cents on the tackle; I go lighter.  Lighter hooks, lighter line and lighter rods.  They don't pull as hard when it's cold so you can get away with dropping down and gaining some sensitivity so you can better detect the bites you do get.  

 

Now go find a ticked off 5 pounder and prove me wrong 😋

 

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I’m going to try to go tomorrow and beat the bank. Maybe try to walk out into a point, but the water level has risen by almost 2 feet in the last three days. 

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I use the same baits that I do when it’s warm. I just work them slower and deeper through the water column. 

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up here in the northeast when its cold, I use blades. I've been fishing hair jigs a lot to, they are new to the cold water box.  I don't have many lures to use in cold water, I'm more worried about finding active fish. I know the lures I use work and will get bit once I find them

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