Rippin’ Winter Bass

A cold weather tip by Shane Lineberger: Do you think it is too cold to fish? As the New Year begins and the water temperature dips into the 40’s-50’s most people take a break and prepare for the upcoming season. I on the other hand hit the lake wide open in search of some of the best fishing of the year.

Fishermen have always heard how lethargic bass will become in cold water. This statement is true however presented with the right circumstances they still have to eat. The first thing you must find is bait. Finding bait is a big piece of the puzzle this time of year and helps aid in locating bass. Once the bait is found we must choose the right weapon. I always reach for a JERKBAIT! The jerkbait seems to be the right profile and its erratic action entices bass to hit that otherwise would not hit a slow moving bait. I throw the Megabass Vision 110 in sexy shad color. This setup closely mimics what the bass are eating this time of year.

Other important parts of winter time jerkbait fishing includes rod, reel and line. Starting out with line, I spool up with 10lb. Seaguar Invizx Fluorocarbon. This line is the most manageable line I have used and very strong when fighting those big fish. For my rod choice I opt for Denali Rods. The Michael Murphy Signature Jerkbait is perfect for this technique. At 6’8 this rod allows me to work the bait correctly in a downward motion. The med action of the rod also allows for proper action of the bait and has enough flex to aid in fighting the fish and helping not to pull the trebles out. I equip this Denali rod with an Abu Garcia Revo Premier 7:1 reel. This reel has excellent casting control over the Megabass jerkbait. Casting control is very critical especially on those windy days. The Revo’s drag is excellent as well. Using 10lb. line you have to make sure the drag is smooth for those hard running fish which seems to happen when they see the boat.

Lastly is the method to the madness. I use a simple cadence of “jerk”, “pause”, “jerk”, “jerk”, “pause”, “jerk”, “jerk”,” jerk, “pause”. The “pause” can vary so let the bass tell you how long to pause it.

So as the water cools don’t get stuck inside. Spend a little time honing your skills and enjoy some great fishing. Trust me, once you find the bass you will forget all about the cold!

Find out more about Shane here.