Whether you fish lakes or rivers, these late fall and winter techniques and baits will work for you. These fishing techniques work best when water temps are between 33 and 45 degrees. When it gets cold, fish move to their wintering spots where it is easy to feed. Usually the most common winter hideouts are channel bends and points on main lakes. If you are fishing in the river, look out for deep water holes. Now, let’s talk about a few of the best techniques for these kind of conditions.
We will put this out there, be ready to catch some fish because this rig is deadly. Match your jig heads for the depth of water you are fishing. In the Susquehanna River we use mostly 5- 1/8 oz. heads. In local lakes, we do use up to 3/8 oz. For the river we like the War Eagle Shaky head. It has a good hook and fits almost any bait. For lakes, I like the Revenge Swimbait Hedz. It comes in a regular and XL hook for any kind of bait. In really cold water, it is hard to beat the Keitech Swimbaits. They have a little slower action that fish really relate to. For the river we use 4” Swing Impact and use the Swing Impact Fat for your lake fishing. As far as the rig itself we like the Picasso School- E-Rig both with and without blades. We use 50lb Power Pro Braid on a 7’6” MH flipping stick when throwing these rigs. After you choose your weapon of choice, you will want to slow down and slow roll the rig very close to the bottom to reach the big fish.
This type of jig is deadly on cold bass. Here again, we feel like less is best in the cold and the hair jig has a very subtle sleek action and look in the water. The bass can’t resist it! If you are interested in making your own, we have customers that tie their own jigs using just about any kind of road kill out there. If you are looking to buy, we like the Kailins Bucktail jigs. We also use Kailins Marabou jigs. Marabou has a real needle look in the water and sometimes makes all the difference. Fish these on the most sensitive rod you own. We prefer the G.Loomis Glx SJR Series. Also, use 6lb line when fishing these. It will allow the bait to fall correctly and if fishing the river, there will be less drag on the line. We use Hi Seas Fluorocarbon fishing line.
Jigging Spoons/ Blade Baits
Most people do not like to fish these for the obvious reason of hanging up and losing them. But if you can channel your inner patience and slow down you will see what these baits are all about. In the cold water, we use a slow jigging cadence often letting the spoon lay on the bottom for several seconds before continuing the retrieve. We have had bass suck them off the bottom while just lying there as the bait drags by them. We recommend the Silver Buddy, but also like the Vibe E and the Blitz Blade. A great spoon is the War Eagle Super Spoon. Most of the time silver will produce but gold is a must have. Now they are offered in many colors and each has that certain time to throw. We use 12lb to15lb Hi Seas Fluorocarbon line when fishing the jigging spoon and blade bait. Some largemouth like as high as 20lb, but that kind of line is more for tidewater down at the bay or while on the Potomac.
When the cold weather comes, we hope this helps give you some confidence fishing under fall and winter conditions. Try these techniques and take your time learning them. They just might be your favorite way to catch ‘em during the cold season! If you have questions, feel free to contact us or pop into our store in Columbia, PA!