Using small swimbaits can make a big difference when fishing for cold-water smallmouth.
Keep in mind that as the water temperature drops below 55-50 degrees, fishing for smallmouth bass may prove to be difficult, but it’s far from impossible. Fish tend to slow down and tuck tightly to cover. Make sure you’re prepared for the conditions that day. These are just several things to keep in mind when fishing for bass in cold weather.
In a small preview into the December 2015 issue of Bass Angler Magazine, Ott Defoe discusses a few key points of what he looks for when fishing for smallmouth using downsized swimbaits.
By simply downsizing your offering, bass are more likely to take the opportunity at an easy meal. Downsizing to a smaller bait can make a big difference. For cold, clear water, Defoe likes to throw a Berkeley Ripple Shad on a 1/4oz. VMC Mooneye Jighead on Berkeley Trilene 6-8lb Flourocarbon.
Look for tapered banks with transitioning, terraced slopes. Smallmouth hold tight to the crevices, providing an excellent ambush point for them to attack small prey. For more information on Ott Defoe’s winter smallmouth tactics and fishing with downsized swimbaits, pick up a copy of the December issue of Bass Angler Magazine.