Article By: Glenn Walker
As you begin to target bass this spring, the water temperatures are still cold; this means that the activity level of a largemouth and smallmouth bass is decreased. They are still ready and willing to eat, but downsizing your presentation and slowing down your retrieve will help you save your day from being a total bust.
By relying on small finesse lures, light line and precision boat control, I’m able to stay focused on fishing the isolated fish holding structure that springtime bass are holding on.
A finesse application that I turn to when fishing cold water, is a shaky head. I’ll use a shaky head jig that weighs 3/16 oz the majority of the time, because it allows me to make a long cast and maintain a good sense of the bottom, which is important because that is where the fish holding cover I’m targeting is located.
What makes the shakey head technique/lure so versatile is that you can just shake the jig, upon it resting at the bottom. This retrieve is very effective when casting to isolated cover, so you are able to keep the bait in the strike zone for the longest amount of time possible.
I like to dress my shaky head with a Zoom Finesse worm as it gives the bass a nice compact presentation to key in on. For colors I like to keep it simple and always have a supply of green pumpkin, watermelon red flake and black/blue on hand. Depending on the water clarity I’m fishing will dictate which color I go with.
I’ll fish this on a Witch Doctor Tackle 6’6” MH Surman 50G spinning rod and pair it with a Wright & McGill Victory II spinning reel that is spooled with 8 lb Seaguar TATSU Fluorocarbon line. With this combination I can make extremely long casts and feel the lightest bite, both of which are critical when fishing for bass in cold water.
Finesse just doesn’t mean fishing small lures, it also means fishing slow. When that water is cold and those bass aren’t moving much, they are looking for a big meal when they do want to feed. That is why tying up a jig is still a viable option; you just have to fish it slow.
For a jig, I like to flip a ½ oz All-Terrain Tackle AT Jig in either black/blue or green pumpkin and pair it with a Zoom Super Chunk trailer, as this will help draw a reaction strike out of the bass, but also with flipping a heavier jig I can flip that jig farther and cover more water.
When I flip my jig out to the cover I’m fishing, I’ll let it sink all the way to the bottom. Be sure to watch your line on the fall, because a bass may hit your jig on the fall and your line may only twitch a slight bit. Once my bait hits the bottom I just let the rod do the work, just ever so slightly I lift it up and then let it sink.
As the air temperatures begin to rise this spring, bundle up, mentally prepare to fish slow and go target bass in that cold water, because like you, they’ve been waiting all winter for some action!
To follow Glenn throughout the season or for more helpful information check out glennwalkerfishing.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/glennwalkerfishing.