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Best Winter Bass Baits

Best Winter Bass Baits

Cold winter days slow down everything, and fishing is no exception. “Catching” conditions become tough and uncomfortable. Bass anglers and fishermen usually think winter is not the “ideal” season for setting out for a bass fishing trip. 

It is natural to think this way as bass feed less aggressively in winters compared to other seasons. In the winter, the air dramatically cools the water temperature dipping as low as into the thirties. Cooler water temperatures substantially slow down the metabolism of bass fish. 

However, if you have the patience and the water has not frozen, catching bass during winters is very much possible. So, don’t put your fishing rods away; collect the best baits for getting the bass into biting in cold water. Before we look at the best winter bass baits, let’s discuss some ideal bass fishing locations.

Find the Right Fishing Location

The chilly season brings harsh conditions for fishing, and finding the right location can be a bit challenging. You will not enjoy a fishing trip without having some bass in your bucket. Therefore, make sure to find the right location for winter bass fishing. 

Two factors are important when looking for the ideal fishing spot: baitfish and deep water. If you find both things in one area, you have found the perfect fishing location. You can either use a topographical map or an electronic map card to find such locations easily.

Humps, long points, or underwater islands that have deep water close by make for the ideal fishing areas in winter. While bass prefers to stay in deeper layers of the water column in winter, they move to different depths in the hunt for food. In addition, bass usually is closer to areas known for spawning fish. 

Best Winter Bass Baits

You cannot lure all fish with the same baits. After all, fish also have “personal choices,” and if you want the bass to bite in cold water, you have to offer some attractions. For bass anglers, patience and slow retrieves are must in winter. 

However, it does not mean you have to wait for hours. All you have to do is cast a lure out and retrieve it for five minutes or more. Bass may watch the bait sit still for a minute before striking. In addition, you have to adopt more streamlined fishing techniques in winter. 

Note that some bass lures or baits work better at slow retrievers in winter. Topwater and fast-moving baits are a big NO. Therefore, you must have slow-moving, bottom-hugging baits for winter bass fishing. We have broken down some of the best winter bass baits for you. 

Football Jig

Jigs make for one of the top winter baits for bass. They are ideal for working areas slowly while giving off a luring presentation to a bass. Both traditional bass jigs and hair jigs are an excellent enticement for cold water conditions. 

All you have to do is to move the football jig slowly along the bottom to get that trophy fish to bite. Note that football-head jigs imitate crawfish. So, make sure to choose natural-looking colors that look like crawfish in the water. The colors may vary from one region to another, but you can go for green or brown to trick the bass. 

Hair Jigs

Like the football jigs, hair jigs also look like crawfish. Interestingly, they can also imitate a small baitfish.  So, you have to apply the same color trick here; however, silver-hued and white baits work well than other colors. The subtle action of the hair works through the cold water with ease. 

There are many methods of jigging for cold water. One of the most effective ways is to cast the bait into the bottom and sit there for few minutes. Now, slowly drag the jig along the bottom between periods of rest. While you can decide the duration of the rest period, make sure to make adjustments based on how the bass bites. 

Blade Baits

Baits made of metal, such as spoons or blade baits, also make for an excellent lure for cold waters. It does not go without saying that metal outperforms other materials in extremely cold water. Blade baits are a perfect imitation of dying baitfish; you can use them to catch winter bass.

Whether you want to catch a largemouth or smallmouth bass, blade baits are the perfect lures for you. The technique is simple: cast the blade bit in water and let it sink to the bottom. Allow the bait to rest for a bit and then jerk the rod up. Don’t take it out; rather, let the bait flutter back down.  

You can use this retrieval technique at different depths in the water column. Let the bait flutter down then pull it back. When you pull the bait, it vibrates and creates noise in the water. The vibration lures the nearby bass into checking out the bait. 

Shad-style Crankbaits

Rapala Shad Rap is also popular bass bait among cold water anglers. These crankbaits work well in any lake with any color of the water.  Not to mention, shad rap can catch bass in the coldest water temperature. You can throw a shad-style crankbait parallel to clay banks or rocky shorelines in 5-7 feet deep water.

A shad rad is a light crankbait made of balsa wood. Therefore, you must have the right gear in your tackle box to throw small lures like shad rap. Make sure you don’t fish this bait on the wrong fishing rod and reel. 


Finally, a suspending jerk bait is the ultimate cold water bass lure. It is the “go-to” bait for anglers; it is a hard-to-resist lure for bass. Perhaps, a suspending jerkbait gets the best reaction strikes from bass. You have to jerk the bait between pauses and allow the bait to dart in different directions. 

Yes, winter is a harsh season to catch numbers of bass. However, with the right technique and the best winter bass lures, you can catch the fish even in the coldest temperatures.