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Blade Bait Fishing for Winter Bass

By Katherine Field - January 15, 2021
Some of my favorite fishing all year occurs during the winter. There is little fishing pressure on the lake, pleasure boaters are long gone; the cooler water allows me to search those deeper humps and points for winter-time bass. While the colder water temperatures demand a slower fishing presentation, fishing a blade bait will still shine even in the coldest months of the year.

Blade baits are a great technique for that slower, bottom-oriented fishing that can put bass in the boat in cold water conditions. Bass, though somewhat lethargic, still will be feeding and keying in on small bait fish during these winter months.

The blade bait is a thin metallic lure that presents a wobble when jigged off the bottom. Blade baits typically have two treble hooks along with two to three leader adjustment points along the top of the lure. Each of these adjustment points will change the action and wobble of the lure as it passes through the water; the amount of wobble is determined by the placement of the snap in one of the three adjustment holes along the top of the blade bait. Blade baits by Damiki Vault and Binsky Blade and Steel Shad are all top producers in my arsenal.

The colder the water, the slower you will want your presentation, and the more refined you will want the wobble on your blade bait. If you are unsure, start with the snap in the middle adjustment point and move from there. In the winter I typically am looking for deeper points for bass to be staged on and preferably those near areas that get some winter sun exposure. South facing rocks walls and bluffs near deeper points are often areas I target, as those rocks will warm slowly in the winter sunshine.

As with all winter fishing, slow presentation is key. Cast your blade bait out as you would a jig and let it sink to the bottom. You can work the blade bait slowly toward you by slightly popping your rod up about half a foot to give the blade bait a few wobbles and then letting it naturally fall back to the bottom. You can reel in the slack slowly and continue to wobble that blade bait slowly back to you.

Often, I will get bit on the fall or when the blade bait connects with the bottom. The bite in the winter can be very subtle, you will feel a heaviness at the end of your line or even some slack, instead of the heavy thump you might be used to during warmer months. Just remember to go slow and experiment with the wobble and retrieve; those winter bass will give you a thrill!

Katherine Field
Katherine Field is a multi-species angler, competing in elite-level kayak bass fishing tournaments on a national scale. She calls the beautiful state of Utah home and enjoys spending her time traveling across America, competing in national trails and exploring legendary fisheries.
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