Top 3 Crankbaits for Winter Fishing pt.1

Winter Bass Fishing Videos
Learn about the best crankbaits for winter bass fishing from pro James Niggemeyer. Fantastic details, advice, and tips from a seasoned pro to help you catch more winter bass!

James: He is eating it. Just ate it. He just ate it right there. Hey BassResource. James Niggemeyer here. One of my favorite ways to catch them in the cold water period or the winter months is with a crankbait. And I really rely heavily on three different body shapes or crankbait styles.

A place that I would really consider to be a great starting spot is mainly a point like that. You've got deeper water access, and not only that, but you have a lot of rip rap. Rip rap rock kind of lines this bank right here. There's something about the cold water period of the year that really attracts bass. So, it's a great starting spot to check out. I also see there's a heron out there. And when I pulled in, I saw some shad birds.

In the last three weeks, I was able to get out three different times on three different lakes with three different crankbaits and catch a few fish. So in this video, I wanna share those three different baits and go over a lot of different things that I think make them fish producers this time of year.

Really like rocks in the wintertime. There's something about those rocks that the fish get around. I don't know if it's crawfish or if it's the baitfish. It's something about them in the wintertime. Rip rap rocks just like this. And even boulders and rock veins and different places like that can really hold fish.

Daniel: Got one!

James: Man right here. Oh yeah. Nice, Daniel. Bring it over here. You kind of short-stroke them. Didn't give enough line, but you got him though.

Daniel: Mm-hmm.

James: Mm-hmm. So much excitement out of you. Dude you got him right on the top of the head, or right on top of the nose right there.

Daniel: Yeah.

James: So I would say he swiped at it.

The first time I went out in December, we caught them in a small area. We caught them all on a Strike King KVD 1.5 crankbait, that's square bill type crankbait in and around docks. You had to get it real close to the pilings and the bite was really unaggressive. But it worked out well, and we salvaged what was pretty much a rough day right there towards the end of the day. And that's usually a type of scenario that you get with wintertime fishing. The last few hours that you're gonna be on the water are probably gonna be the best.

We finally connected one. KVD 1.5 Strike King Sexy Shad. Thanks for dragging the net.

Daniel: Mm-hmm.

James: You know, when I throw way up there shallow, I lift my rod tip up. And that way, when it hits something like this, it goes up. If you go rod tip down, it wants to dig like that. Has a tendency to get more hung up.

Oh, there's one. Oh gosh. Good one. He's so sluggish from the cold water. Yes. Yeah, look at that. He's hardly even fighting. He came right up off that ladder. He is cold. Cold, cold, cold. And again, on that squarebill 1.5. Look at all the black spots on him. Pretty fish.

It definitely seems like they're just swatting at it, and I've had to just bring it to a crawl. Good cast. Two swipes in this one little area. And I'll tell you, we got here in about 11, and I wasn't in too much of a hurry to get out here because I feel like whenever you're in the cold water period like we're at right now, the best bite is the last, say three, four hours of the day. If you're in a tournament, that 1:00 to 3:00 zone is when you make a lot of hay this time of year, in my opinion. And I feel like these fish are just starting to come out of a slumber. Definitely not very aggressive. I had two.

 Oh, there is one. Got another one. Gosh, this is a better one. Look at that one. Yes. Look at that one right there. Now he's gotten a little bit better. Look at that. He is eating it. Now, I'm not cranking this fast. I'm actually just wobbling it through the water. Just chug, chug, chug, chug, chug and they're just eating it.

We have had to cover a lot of water, and honestly, was starting to look like maybe today was gonna be a pretty rough one for Daniel and I. Now it's starting to look up. I've caught 3 here in the last say 15 minutes. And then I had another one come off right there on that post.

For my squarebills, I generally keep my color selection pretty simple which this is Strike King's chartreuse Sexy Shad. Then this is just a standard Sexy Shad. So, basically like chartreuse for a little bit dirtier water, and then a white for like a baitfish pattern. And then some type of crawfish pattern. These are all Strike King KVD 1.5s and they work really well for my shallow water square bill type stuff. And I'm gonna throw that in and around rip rap rocks, bridge pilings, docks, wood laydowns, and even stumps. The key with these is you generally wanna be around either an area that's got baitfish, or an area that has some sort of deep water nearby.

All our fish came in one little area and every fish we caught today was on that KVD 1.5 square bill by Strike King Sexy Shad by Strike King. The water's definitely stained here on the lake, and that is gonna enable fish to live shallow and longer. But this lake's always been historically...the personality of this lake has been the fish stay shallow here.

I think the big key to what we've learned here today is a characteristic of bass no matter where you are. And that is, there's a way to present that bait to get them to bite. And the key was slowing it down. Slower than a medium pace and that rod's ticking as you’re wobbling a bit, squarebill was just gonna come from the water and they load up on it. There were some swatters because I feel like the fish was in a very non-aggressive mood because of these conditions. Bright bluebird skies.

We got a handful of bites. Definitely was tough. Most of the places we kept moving till we found a place where there were more fish in an area and we were able to get them to bite that squarebill. So water temperature, vary between 52 and 55. For most places I know that's not that cold. Within Texas once you start getting to low 50s, we're entering into that cold water period.