Cold Water Tactics

When it comes to baits, think down sizing . I prefer using Kalinís 4 inch finesse worms. My partner on the other hand likes to use 3 inch Kalin grubs. In both cases we use them on jigs in the 1/4 to 1/2 ounce size, depending on how deep or how windy the day proves to be. When purchasing jigs, look for either the mushroom or football head type. Both offer light wire hooks, which prove to be a huge advantage for a solid hook set.

Once we find the fish the next trick is to get them to bite. As I have stated earlier, dragging your offering slowly along the bottom is far more productive then casting out and hopping or swimming your lure back. Both jigs and Carolina rigs seem to work equally well under these conditions.

The key word here is going to be sensitivity. Remember, you are trying to detect pickups that are seldom more then the sensation of light pressure on your rod, but trust me: this is the time to set the hook! When selecting your rod, go with the most sensitive rod you can. My rods of choice are the G. Loomis GLX and IMX. The two rods I fish most are the SJR 722S - a six foot rod best suited for fishing jigs, and the PR 8400 SC - a seven foot rod ideal for Carolina rigs or split shot fishing.

Above we have mentioned lures, rods, tactics, but what about line? In past years I have used a number of high quality low diameter monofilament lines with good success. Fellow anglers, those days are over. Berkley recently provided some of their new FIRE LINE for field testing. The results? Put the monofilament away! Skeptical at first, field testing has made a believer out of me! While this low diameter line comes in a variety of sizes, I prefer the 10 pound test with 4 pound diameter. This high strength - low diameter line provides two big advantages. First, it allows me to fish with lighter weights and still get to the bottom. Secondly, with ten pound strength I can apply more pressure to the fish before it has a chance to totally exhaust itself. Fireline's greatest advantage, however, is its low stretch - high sensitivity property. Most of the strikes you will receive during winter fishing with monofilament will feel like nothing more then a heavy sensation on your rod. But with FIRE LINE the strike feels more like the traditional 'thump.'

Given a chance, I'm confident that many of you armchair anglers will find there is more to winter bass fishing then watching it on television. Winter time bass enthusiasts usually have the lake to themselves. Consider joining us. It would be great to see you out on the water. You'll have no trouble recognizing us; we'll will be the ones wearing the short sleeve shirts. Granted, they will be hidden under a lot of winter clothing!