As air temperatures become almost unbearably cold and water temps
dive into the 30′s, I have found that few baits produce bass like Blade
Baits and Hair Jigs. Far too often these baits are forgotten in our
tackle boxes and rarely get the playing time they deserve. Even for me
they had become such an after thought I found myself having to do an
emergency restocking for my early winter bass fishing.
For hair jigs, I like a hand tied football jigs with a blend of hair
and round rubber in blacks and browns. There are some places that make
nice jigs, but for the most part, I like to tie my own. In my last few
smallmouth trips, a custom nearly all black combination combined with a
subtle compact trailer like the Evolve Kompak Craw
was the ticket. I generally fish these baits so slow on the bottom, it
is like counting rocks on every cast, you almost can fish slow enough
on some days. My usual setup is 15lbs flouro and a long rod with a
moderate tip for feel and strong back bone for hooking up in deep water
on long casts, but a balanced rod with light tip is critical for the
light bites in cold water. My rod of choice is a Champion Extreme DX 744 from Dobyns Rods. Here is a video of a buddy & I catching some smallies with this deep football hair jig technique – Watch Video.
On the flip side, blade baits can really trigger fish and you can
actually fish these pretty fast in comparison to hair jigs and still get
bit. Depending on depth ranges, I like a 1/4 to 3/4oz blade baits can
be casted and worked on slow deliberate hops almost like speed worming
to find and catch good quality fish, plus you are likely to catch just
about any fish that swims in the waters you are fishing. Your rod and
line setup can vary depending on size and weight of your blades baits,
for 1/4oz or smaller baits, you may want to consider a spinning rod. As
I usually throw 1/2oz or heavier blade baits, I like to use a moderate
cranking rod like the 704CB or 705CB from Dobyns and fish them on 10-12 lb fluorocarbon.
So once you fill your hunting tags, consider getting out on the water and trying this dependable One-Two Punch!
Oh yeah, Have a Merry Christmas!!!!