Join the Flukemaster for some winter bass fishing. While everyone else is fishing walleyes or musky, you might just have the bass all to yourself.
My neck of the woods in Wisconsin often sees anglers focusing on walleye and musky when early winter blows in. Well, I had a pretty great year bass fishing, including losing my biggest largemouth ever. So I’ve just got a bass jones that still has its hold on me.
I think I’m going to break the usual routine this winter before the ice fishing seasons gets here, and focus on bass instead of (or in addition to) walleyes this year. I admit, I’ve never been a hardcore winter bass angler like I’ve been with walleyes, but I’m eager to give winter bucketmouth a run.
To that end, I’ve been boning up on winter bass techniques with one of my favorite online largemouth mentors, Gene “Flukemaster” Jensen.
I want to share with you a couple of Jensen’s best winter bass fishing video tutorials. The first one covers bass fishing jigs in cold water.
This is really common sense stuff. In cold water conditions you know fish and underwater critters are slowing down. That means you have to slow your presentation and retrieve down as well.
You want your jig to mimic a cold water crayfish.
“The crawfish that you’re imitating are slow, so you want to drag it sloooow,” Jensen says. “Just slowly drag it on the bottom. Then shake it a little bit. Then slooowly drag it on the bottom. You don’t want to bring it off the bottom. If at all. If at all possible, you just want to leave it on the bottom.”
Next up: jerkbaits for cold water bass.
The takeaway from this video is how persnickety Jensen is with making sure the jerkbait he’s using suspends or sinks very slowly. If the lure doesn’t behave the way he wants it, he takes the time to modify it by changing out hooks and/or split-rings.
Have a good number of different brands of jerkbaits on hand too. Jensen is not shy about going through a lot of different jerkbaits as he tries to find the lure that the bass will respond to.
“Make it look like a dying baitfish,” he says. “You make a good long cast out. You wind it down to depth…and then you kill it. Put it on a slack line. Then you just sit there. The colder the water, the longer I’m going to sit there, up to 45 seconds to a minute. Then I’m going to give it two jerks, on a slack line without touching my reel handle.”
That’s the pattern: sit, wait, a couple of jerks, repeat.
Dress warm and get out there before you need to switch out your bait casting gear for your ice auger and cleated boots.
And speaking of ice augers, check out the video below.