Most bass fishing lures are designed for relatively shallow water. That makes sense in the context of the fishes’ typical habitat but fails to acknowledge their seasonal movements as the water chills in the winter.
In many southern waters, once the surface temperatures drops below 60 degrees or so, the shad and other baitfish will often seek out deeper water, bringing the bass along with them. This puts our quarry out of reach of traditional presentations, but with a little creativity they can still be caught. In this video I’m using a saltwater dart or butterfly-style jig to catch nice largemouth in 40 or more feet of water. Many anglers also use slab spoons, hair jigs, bucktails, and jigging raps for these situations.
The goal is to mimic a wounded baitfish in a way that tempts these often-sluggish fish in cold, deep water. To that end, it’s helpful as always to experiment with your jigging cadence to find out what will trigger bites. This also places an even higher value on quality electronics, which can provide feedback about how the fish are interacting with your presentation.
This may be the “offseason” to passive anglers, but for you and me that means the lakes are empty and the biggest fish might be willing to make a mistake.