Best Winter Bass Fishing Lures
During the winter there are two styles of fishing for bass anglers to choose from. The first is finesse techniques which are hands down the most used winter times lures. Finesses baits are great for anglers wanting to catch the most fish possible and don’t care as much about the sizer of the fish.
The other option is to go with reaction-style baits. Reaction baits won’t get as many bites during the winter but the bites you do get will often be much bigger fish. If you are trying to catch a new personal best then reaction-style lures are the way to go.
Below you will find our five favorite finesse baits and five favorite reaction baits for winter bass fishing.
A dropshot is a great finesse technique for targeting deeper fish. It can be fished vertically directly below you and if you have electronics you will be able to watch your bait and almost video game fish.
You can also cast it out and slowly drag it back to you. This retrieve is perfect for targeting deep rock piles. The key to the dropshot during colder months is not to overwork it. Fish slow down in colder water so an overworked bait doesn’t look natural.
- Bait – STH Stumpy Crush Worm (Colors: Bang, Goby Pearl, Smokin Joe)
- Hook – Owner Mosquito Light (size 1)
- Weight – Swagger Tungsten (3/16 oz)
2. Neko Rig
The neko rig is another excellent finesse bait but in a larger profile. Larger profile baits can tap into the predatory instinct of bass which can help generate more bites. In colder water fish are trying to conserve their energy and a larger meal gives them more incentive to eat.
Fish it just like you would a dropshot, slowly dragging it back to you without a ton of action.
- Bait – Yamamoto Senko 5″: (Colors: Wtrmln copper org/red, Green Pumpkin Purp Copper, Green Pumpkin)
- Weight – Swagger Tungsten Pagoda
- Hook – Owner Neko Weedless (1/0)
- O Rings – VMC Crossover 6MM
3. Ned Rig
A ned rig, just like the neko and dropshot but in a smaller profile. It is a great option when bass are being super picky and just won’t bite anything else. The ned rig simply works when nothing else will. If you are looking to catch numbers then the ned rig is the perfect option.
- Bait #1 – Missile Baits NedBomb (Colors: Bluetonium Green Pumpkin Core, Watermelon Red Core, MM3)
- Bait #2 – Roboworm 3″ Ned Worm (Colors: MMIII, TW Black Blue Pumpkin)
- Hook – Swagger Tungsten Flanders 1/10th
4. Finesse Swimbait
A finesse swimbait is a little different than the previously mentioned baits. This bait allows you to be a little more active with your fishing.
You want to fish it along the bottom with a super slow retrieve, just enough to get the tail to kick. The slow kick bouncing off the bottom mimics a dying minnow which is a perfect meal for bass.
- Bait – Keitech 3″ Easy Shiner (Colors: Electric Shad, Pro Blue Red Pearl)
- Swimbait Head – Dirty Jigs Guppy 1/8 oz
5. Football Jig
A jig is a great option for bodies of water where crawdads are prevalent. They give you and option outside of the typical baitfish profile. Jigs typically get a lot of bites and often catch slightly bigger fish than a worm-style bait.
Jigs also give you great bottom contact and really help you feel what is happening at the end our your line.
- Dirty Jigs Finesse Football (1/2 oz) (Colors: Supermatt Brown, Go To, Canterbury Crunch)
- Trailer – Yamamoto 5″ Double Tail (Colors: Green Pumpkin, Cinnamon Purple)
Bigger profile baits catch bigger fish and large swimbaits are no exception. A 10lb bass won’t exert a bunch of energy during the winter to go eat a tiny minnow. They will be more tempted when they come across a big meal that is worth their energy.
When fishing large swimbaits during the winter you want to fish them slow along the bottom. You want the tail to be barely kicking. It should take you multiple seconds to make each reel turn, you almost can’t fish it too slow. The colder the water, the slower you want to reel.
Large swimbaits aren’t going to catch you a lot of fish but when you do get a bite it is much more likely to be a giant. If you want to catch a new personal best and are ok with just 1 or 2 fish for the day then a large swimbait is a perfect choice.
7. Deep Diving Crankbait
Fishing a deep diving crankbait is the complete opposite of everything we have talked about so far in this post. When fishing a crankbait during the winter you want to fish them fast. The idea behind fishing them fast is it forces bass to make a split second decision on whether they want to eat it or not.
If you are not patient enough for slow finesse technequies then a deep crankbait might be perfect for you. There are three crankbaits that work well in cold water.
- Option #1 – R2S Tactical DD 75 (Colors: Glass Minnow, Mirrored Minnow, Ghost Minnow)
- Option #2 – Megabass Deep X 300 (Colors: MB Gizzard, Kisyu Ayu, Sexy Ayu)
- Option #3 – Spro RKCrawler 55 (Colors: Phantom Green, Ozark Craw, Green Craw)
8. Alabama Rig
The alabama rig is an absolute killer during the colder months. Fish them along points and bluff walls. Be sure to check your state’s hook laws before using an albama rig as some states limit the number of hooks you can use. We have a great resource for this with every state’s hook laws.
- Rig – Hog Farmer Tactical Flex Bladed
- Swimbait Head – Matt Allen Swimbait Head (1/8 – 1/4 oz)
- Trailers – Keitech Swing Impact
- Dummy Baits – Keitech 2.8″ (Color: TW Ghost Shad)
- Main Baits – Keitech 4.8″ (Colors: Electric Shad, Pro Blue Red Pearl)
The key to fishing a jerkbait in cold water is to slow down. The colder the water the longer you want pause inbetween twitches. In super cold water pauses could be 20 seconds. Another key with jerkbaits is to twich with slightly slack line.
- Megabass Vision 110+1 (Colors: Matte Shad, Ito Tennessee Shad)
10. Blade Bait
When fishing a blade bait during the winter you want to throw it in the same places you would a finesse bait. Let the bait hit bottom and hop it back to you. Lift your rod tip up enough to feel the bait vibrate then let it drop back down while your reel in the slack. The colder the water the slower you want to move it.
- Megabass Dyna Response (1/2 oz) (Colors: Ito Hiuo, Jukucho Shad, Setsuki Ayu)