Whether we like it or not, cold weather is around the corner but that doesn't mean the fishing can't be hot! Get ready for your winter time bass trips now before those temperatures start to drop.
Learn more about three of the most effective cold water techniques and what rods work best with each application.
The Best Winter Bass Fishing Tips and Tricks
Don’t be fooled by the cold, fish will still strike in winter, but it takes a little more patience compared to the year’s warmer months. In cold water, fish tend to slow down and feed only at opportune times that won’t require too much energy to consume.
In other words, burning baits across the top of the water won’t cut it, but these top 3 cold water fishing techniques will help you get more bass bites!
1. Proven Cold Water Crankbait Techniques
You know how you feel waking up and trying to move in the dead of winter, well fish don’t feel much different. Lethargic and slow to eat anything, fish in cold water are looking more to conserve energy rather than exerting it to feed.
Working a crankbait successfully in cold water takes a different presentation to get strikes compared to fishing crankbaits in warmer water temperatures.
With that said, we all know you can still catch ‘em when it’s cold out so lets look at the MHX Rod Blanks that can help unlock the cold water crankin' bite.
Outlasting and outworking other options, MHX rod blanks are ultra-lightweight and sensitive, yet super durable to guarantee an unbeatable performance and experience.
Featuring perfectly blended graphite materials, the MHX Crankbait Series maintains superior sensitivity, while employing a moderate-fast actions to absorb shock and keep fish pinned on treble hooks.
The MHX CB845-Blend Crankbait Rod Blank is the perfect combination of specifications for working crankbaits in the cold.
A 7’0” blank, the CB845 brings a mod-fast action and medium-heavy power to accurately cast crankbaits out to targets and the power to bring back whatever bites.
Or if you want a slightly longer option that is just as ready to perform, go with the MHX CB905-Blend Crankbait Rod Blank because it’s 7’6” for a little extra in the cast and a little more time pulling the lure through the strike zone.
Long story short, the CB845 and CB905 are engineered to get the job done with crankbaits, especially when fishing in cold water.
2. Cold Water Jerkbait Tips
Keep in mind that fish are just as lazy and slow moving in the cold water as you are waking up in winter.
Although this cold snap is enough to keep some off the water, it is also a time when other anglers will switch up their tactics to catch jaw-dropping bags despite the weather. Often suspended near cover, bass can certainly be coaxed out for a bite if the lure has just enough snap to catch the attention of the bass, but not too much action to avoid scaring off these worthy strikes.
As water temperatures change, so does the behavior of the fish and in order to get more jerkbait bites, you need to change it up too!
With some tips for wintertime jerkbaits covered, let’s take a look at how to build the best custom rod to match this cold water fishing application.
The first thing to accept when shopping for the perfect jerkbait rod, is that there are trade offs in blank specifications that are tough to get around unless you have fully grasped how you fish a jerkbait.
In our opinion we always choose extra fast action rods because it makes snapping the jerkbait much more responsive and effective. Anglers typically fish jerkbaits on 8-12lb line to allow long casts and cover water properly looking for those big lethargic winter bass.
This quick blank breakdown should help guide you to the right decision:
If you want less work and very precise movement for your jerkbait, then choosing an extra fast rod blank will benefit you most. For example, the MB813XF-MHX Rod Blank and MB812XF-MHX Rod Blank an extra fast blank that is great for snapping jerkbaits and trusting trebles to do the rest.
If you are looking for a rod blank that is good for jerkbaits but is fast action and can be used for a multitude of other techniques, the SJ833-MHX Rod Blank is a great choice. It features the famous Spin Jig Taper that offers a fast action with a medium power to give anglers freedom to fish a jerkbait, shakey head or small swimbait all with one build.
3. Winter Jigs: Tips to Boost the Bite
Picture how you feel when you wake up on a particularly cold winter day… you don’t want to get up, you barely want to move, and you definitely don’t want to work for a meal.
Well, imagine how fish feel… and they’re swimming in it!
Lethargic and much slower to strike, fish in cold water aren’t looking to actively feed as much as looking for an opportunity at an easy meal. Since fish aren’t rushing to slam any lures in the cold, fishing jigs in winter takes a different presentation turn subtle strikes into successful hooksets.
Acknowledging that fish in cold water are trying to conserve energy more than aggressively swallow a meal, it’s important to choose the best jig for your specific fishing scenario.
Considering that bass taking a jig in winter water isn’t nearly as strong as its summertime strikes, the best rod blanks are going to bring more sensitivity to your fishing performance.
Fishing with a rod blank dialed into your fishing method is an easy way to get an incredible performance boost and quickly see results in your fishing. In this case, a rod blank engineered with superior sensitivity to feel softer takes on jigs will be better than any old option off the rack.
The Best MHX Rod Blanks for Casting, Flipping, and Finessing a Jig
Outlasting and outworking other blank options, these MHX rod blanks are ultra-lightweight and sensitive, yet super durable to guarantee an unbeatable jigging performance.
At a length of 7’2″, the NEPS86MHF features a fast action and medium-heavy power for a dynamic performance that is ultra-sensitive yet packed with the power to fight fish. This blank has a line rating of 10-20lb., a lure rating of 5/16 to 13/16 oz., and a sleek satin black finish to easily become your new favorite bass rod.
Boasting reduced diameters without sacrificing any power, the tactical balance and dynamic performance of the MHX Elite Pro Blanks is truly unbelievable in your palm. The remarkable sensitivity in this NEPS86MHF-MHX Blank make it an extremely good rod for jigging in cold water.
Using the popularity and performance of the MHX Mag Taper Series, but now with the supreme sensitivity of a high modulus construction, this is rod blank is perfect for working jigs year round.
The NMB873 measures in at 7’3″ with a line rating of 10-17 lb. and a lure rating from 1/4 to 3/4 oz. This blank uses a fast action tip and a medium-heavy power to bring an excellent balance of sensitivity and fish fighting ability.
If you need a little more power, MHX added what now is an angler favorite. The NMB873.5-MHX Elite X is a perfect companion to the NMB873-MHX.
Plus, it’s platinum gray finish looks really sharp!
Don't worry, we didn't forget about the finesse jigs that have become so popular for winter time bass. We will stay in the Elite X rod blank family and reccommend both the NSJ842-MHX and the NSJ843-MHX.
The NSJ842 and NSJ843 are a fast action Elite X blanks that feature medium-light and medium power respectively. These represent the ultimate blend of sensitivity and versatility with the softer tip than the traditional mag bass blanks but then solid back bone, there is nothing the Nano Spin Jig blanks can't do.