Bass Don't Sleep in the Winter: 10 Best Baits to Catch Them

When the weather outside is frightful, the fish can be, too. Winter time bass fishing can be tough, but if you know the right baits to use, you can increase your chances of success. In this article, we'll discuss the 10 best baits for winter bass fishing to keep your line tight all season long.

As the weather gets colder, many anglers hang up their fishing gear for the season. But for those who brave the cold, bass fishing during the winter can still be great fun.

Bass are cold-blooded creatures, which means their metabolism slows down in the winter. This makes them less active, and they can be difficult to catch. But if you use the right types of bass lures and baits, you can still find success.

Best Baits for Winter Bass Fishing: Fill Your Tackle Box With the Best Winter Lures

1. Suspending Jerkbaits

The jerkbait is considered one of the best bass lures for winter for a reason.

Winter largemouth bass become extremely opportunistic feeders as water temperatures drop to 40 degrees and below. The cold winter water temperatures make bass lethargic, and the jerkbait mimics a dying bait fish very well, so when presented with an easy-looking meal, it's difficult for them to resist.

Jerk baits that suspend or slowly sink are excellent at imitating struggling minnows.

Use them to target winter bass as they move deeper in the water column in search of warmer temperatures.

Slow-moving winter bass may want two or three jerks followed by a 2 to 3-second pause, and other times they prefer long pauses up to a 20 or 30 count depending on the day.

Make sure you pick up a couple of different jerkbaits with various length bills to target multiple depths. Contrary to popular belief, bass move around in the dead of winter, albeit slower.

Megabass Vision 110 Jerkbait

Best Winter Jerkbait Lure

Not all jerkbaits suspend properly in cold waters.

However, these jerkbaits by Megabass perform phenominaly well in cooler water temperatures and feature a bill that tucks away for superior casting performance.

Depth: 6 feet

Weight: 1/2 oz. (14g)

Length: 4 1/3" (110 mm)

Check Price

2. Blade Baits

Bladed baits are effective lures for catching largemouth in frigid waters, but they're even better known for slaying smallmouth bass. They're similar to a lipless crankbait without all the rattle sounds.

Cast these heavy metal baits out deep, hopping them around ledges and main lake points for largies, smallmouth, and spotted bass. Or, go shallow, and burn the bladed bait to get it vibrating like a bladed jig or chatterbait.

Megabass Dyna Response Blade Bait

Best Blade Bait Lure For Winter Bass

The megabass dyna response blade bait is a versatile and effective bait for bass fishing. The bait features a unique design that allows it to swim through the water with a lifelike action, attracting fish and triggering strikes. The bait is constructed of high-quality materials and is built to last, providing anglers with years of fishing enjoyment.

Weight: 1/2 oz.

Length: 2 1/4" (58 mm)

Check Price

3. Tail Spinners

Tail spins are just blade baits with a spinning tail, but they are another excellent choice as a winter bass lure. These little hunks of lead and metal typically feature a single belly treble hook and spinner blade for a tail, giving off a surprising amount of vibrations.

Use heavier tail spinners, like a 1/2 or even 1 oz., to get the lure down deeper and hold it near the bottom when using a slow roll retrieve. Alternatively, you can fish it like a blade bait by hopping it up and letting it sink back to the bottom.

Jackall Deracoup Clear Shad Tail Spinner Bass Lure

Best Tail Spinner Lure For Winter Bass

When the water's cold and the fish are finicky, you need a lure that will entice them to bite. This blade bait from Jackall is just the ticket. With its unique design, this bait swims with a tantalizing action that is sure to get the attention of bass. The slender profile and reflective finish also make it a great choice for fishing in clear water conditions. So when you need a lure that will deliver results, reach for this winter bass lure.

Color: Clear Shad

Weight: 1/2 oz.

Check Price

4. Jigging Spoons

Yet another heavy metal lure with a treble hook, the jigging spoon. It's becoming quite a heavy metal winter for bass fishing!

Spoons are awesome for dropping quickly to deep wintertime bass in clear waters. Work these lures in a lift-and-drop vertical presentation around mid-depths for suspended bass. Pay attention to slack in the line, as the winter bass bite can often be subtle.

Reaction Tackle Tungsten Jigging Spoon

Best Jigging Spoon For Bass This Winter Season

Fishing deep waters? Check out this jigging spoon from Reaction Tackle designed to attract bass with it's unique action, vibration, and flash as it's worked through the water column. The tungsten steel means the sensitivity of this lure is superior to other spoons, meaning you'll feel every tick along the bottom.

Material: Tungsten

Weight: 1/2 oz.

Check Price

5. Jigs

The skirted jig is one of my all-time favorite lures for catching bass year-round in any weather or water condition. I'll generally fish smaller finesse jigs in the late fall and winter with a subtle soft plastic trailer, but I always carry multiple types of jigs for different fishing situations.

Take a finesse approach when fishing jigs in the dead of winter. Slow down and fish around points, bridges, and the first half of creeks.

Reaction Tackle Skirted Football Jig

Best Jig For Winter Bass

If you're looking for a way to up your winter bass fishing game, then you need to check out this jig by Reaction Tackle. It's perfect for fishing in winter, and the tungsten emits a unique sound as you work it along the bottom. Whether you're fishing in a pond or a lake, this jig will let you feel every bump from rocks and sticks to help you land more bass this winter.

Style: Football Jig Head

Weight: 1/2 oz.

Material: Tungsten Steel

Check Price

6. Spinnerbaits

If you want to catch bass in cold water, a spinnerbait is the lure to use. The flash and vibration of these blades attract bass.

The key to success with a spinnerbait in the winter is to reel the lure slowly, so it ticks the bottom. A heavyweight spinnerbait in the 3/4 to 1 ounce range makes for an excellent winter bass lure.

Off-colored cold water requires colors like orange, white, and chartreuse to be more effective. Spinnerbaits produce best when fished near covered vegetation such as logs, stems, downed trees, lilies, and sand bars.

Z-MAN Z Man Slingbladez Spinner Bait Freshwater Bass

Winter Bass Fishing Spinnerbait

This spinner bait by Z-Man is the perfect choice for winter bass fishing. Its unique design and construction make it the ideal bait for targeting fish in colder water temperatures. The bait's slow-falling action and lifelike appearance create the perfect presentation that will fool even the most finicky fish. With its amazing colors and bright blades, the Z-Man spinner bait is sure to attract the attention of bass and trigger them to strike.

Depth: 6 feet

Weight: 1/2 oz.

Length: 2 1/4" (58 mm)

Check Price

7. Crankbaits

Crankbaits are better known as one of the best fall bass lures. However, you can fish them in the winter. Run a crankbait in 40-60 degree water temperatures, and you're bound to produce some fish.

Make sure to match the hatch when fishing crankbaits in the winter, targeting areas with schooling bait fish struggling to survive. However, gold can be a great standout color on those sunny winter days.

Z-MAN Z Man Slingbladez Spinner Bait Freshwater Bass

Best Winter Crankbait

What type of crankbait for winter bass in deep water? Reach for these hand painted, deep diving crankbaits by Megabass! These cranks are known for catching winter smallmouth bass, but that doesn't mean they are just for smallies. The tight action from this bass lure excels at catching all types of bass in deep water, even the tough to catch winter largemouth bass.

Type: Deep Diving

Depth: 16 feet

Weight: 3/4 oz.

Color: Sexy Shad

Material: Tungsten

Check Price

8. Alabama Rigs

These intriguing lures aren't popular in my area, but from talking with fellow bass fishing bums across the nation, these rigs get talked up a lot as one of the better fall, winter, and early spring bass fishing lures.

Try to match your trailers to the size of the baitfish the bass are feeding on, and use a medium-speed retrieve to target suspended fish.

Note: When it comes to fishing alabama rigs, some states limit the number of hooks you can use. Make sure you check your state's local fishing regulations to find out how many hooks you can use with your A-Rig.

Yum Yumbrella Flash Mob Junior

Best Alabama Rig For Winter Bass

The alabama rig is designed to target schooling bass. This a-rig from YUM simulates a small school of baitfish to entice hungry bass looking for an easy meal.

Rig up the a-rig with your favorite soft plastic swimbaits and make sure you bend the wires outwards evenly so the lure doesn't roll as it's retrieved.

If your state limits the number of hooks you can use, you'll have to rig up dummy baits using some centering pin spring bait keepers. Bass tend to target the bottom and outermost baits on umbrella rigs, so make sure you don't use a dummy bait on it.

Check Price

9. Soft Plastic Lures

If you're looking to trigger a bite from winter bass acting finicky in deep water, a soft plastic bait on a drop shot rig is the go-to lure choice for many bass fishermen.

This rig allows you to lure fish using a variety of soft plastic baits such as minnow imitators, finesse worms, Senkos, and soft fluke jerkbaits.

Vary the length of your dropper line to fish the bait closer or farther from the bottom, and adjust the drop shot weight to the depth you're fishing.

The best retrieve for this finesse tactic is slightly shaking the lure on a semi-taut line to coax sluggish bass into biting.

The Ned Rig is also another great option for winter time bass, you may have to try a few different finesse rigs to figure out what the bass want that day.

Best Soft Plastics For Winter Bass

If you've found where the bass are holding but can't seem to get them to bite, slow down and try throwing finesse rigs like the drop shot. Pick a soft plastic like this finesse worm from Zoom Bait, and rig it through the nose and fish it slowly.

Color: Try to match the hatch and water clarity.

Length: 5" - But you may need to try downsizing.

Check Price

10. Underspin Jig

Many anglers find bass fishing in winter a real challenge. This is because the bass are often suspended in deep water, making them more difficult to target. However, learning how to fish for winter bass with underspin jig heads is a great technique to trick them into playing.

An underspin is basically a more subtle spinner bait. It's just a lead jig head, with some type of hook keeper, and an attached blade that sits below the jig head and spins as it's retrieved.

One of the best ways to fish with underspins is to let them sink to the bottom on the initial cast. This will give the bait a nice presentation as it falls and can often trigger a bite.

Another effective technique is to run the bait through a school of baitfish. The flash from the lure's blades causes them to stand out in the school and get the attention of the bass. If you've never tried an underspin, make sure to add them to your wintertime tackle kit for a more successful season.

Coolbaits Lure Company Down Under Underspin

Underspins For Winter Bass

There's a bunch of different types of underspin lures to choose from, it's hard to narrow it down. For tough winter bass, I like to use Coolbaits Down Under.

Bass are finicky in the winter, and a nice subtle swimbait on one of these underspin jigs makes for a great winter lure presentation, providing just enough action to make it intriguing to bass.

Rig these up with a soft plastic swimbait like the Keitech Swing Impact or Fluke. Make sure to match the hook size and bait. As a rule of thumb, I usually use a 3/0 underspin jighead on a 3 inch swimbait, 4/0 with a 4 inch, and so on.

You may have to experiment with some different setups to find what they want in your area. If you think you need more bulk, Megabass makes a skirted swim jig underspin that is another great choice.

Color: Blue Shad Silver

Weight: 1/2 oz.

Hook: 3/0 Mustad Needle Point

Check Price

Closing Thoughts

Winter is typically the time of year to bust out your finesse bass fishing gear and techniques. Remember that bass are cold-blooded, so the frigid waters slow their metabolism, causing them to be conservative with energy expenditure.

When bass are lethargic in the cold winter months, and even into early spring, downsize your lures to match the size of bait in your area and slow down your retrieves.

Don't let wintertime ruin your bass fishing addiction. Bundle up with some warm fishing apparel and get out there and enjoy yourself!