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John's Journal... Entry 72, Day 3

Equipment for Wintertime Bass Fishing

click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: Ken Cook quit his job as a fisheries biologist in 1983 to become a professional bass angler. Since then the Meers, Oklahoma, resident has participated in numerous tournaments, including more than 200 BASS events. Currently, he fishes about 18 tournaments a year and stays on the water about 200 days a year.

Question: What type of rods have you found are the most successful for you at this time of the year?
Answer: In clear, deep-water situations, you need to stick with fishing small lures for bass in the cold months. Therefore, I like a light combination of spinner and casting rods. I'll use a 6'6" medium-heavy spinner with 10- to 20-pound line for vertical jigging spoons.

click to enlargeQuestion: What about your line?
Answer: I rely on Berkley's Trilene XL, which has a small diameter but isn't stiff. Sensitivity in line isn't really much of an issue in the winter. I generally use the clear color, but I also like green Trilene, too. Line color matters the most from the fish's aspect. What I mean by that is that if the bass is deeper in the water and looking up, the bass will see brightness and light. So, I go with the clear line which blends in with the water. If the bass looks down or horizontally, I'll fish with green Trilene because that line blends in more with the bottom of the water and the surroundings. I fish with whatever looks the most natural to the bass.

Question: What type of rods do you use for the winter bassing?
Answer: I like a low-profile 6.3/1 reel that allows you to get a lot of line in a hurry. I particularly enjoy fishing with the CD6 4000 spinning rod by Abu Garcia. This rod has a very large size with a 6- to 10-inch spool diameter. A small diameter spool means smaller coils, which are easier to fish.

click to enlargeQuestion: What wintertime lures do you suggest?
Answer: In these winter conditions, you need to fish precisely and use small lures. I favor using a grub and especially like a 4-inch Power Grub on a 1/8- to 1/4-ounce suspended jig head. Tube baits work well too for this simple technique. Dropshotting is also a productive tactic in the winter, although I don't have a whole lot of experience with this method. To dropshot, you put a weight on the bottom and a hook above it. Then, you fish it vertically. You can also try a blade bait, what I call a silver buddy, in the wintertime. These lures are great to use at the top of a drop-off. Although not as precise as some other bass-fishing techniques, the blade bait will pay bass dividends and is still worth trying. I also recommend a jig spoon for vertical applications. In the winter, you also can try spinners, when the fish are a bit more active. Occasionally, you'll get a hit with a heavy bait and a small blade, which will work better at the end of the winter as spring approaches and the water begins to warm up. Also fish a suspended jerkbait at this time.

Tomorrow: Common Wintertime Bassin' Mistakes




Check back each day this week for more about Ken Cook On Wintertime Bassin' ...

Day 1 -Where to Fish for Bass in the Winter
Day 2 -The Importance of Electronics and Cook's Favorite Wintertime Bass-Fishing Places
Day 3 -Equipment for Wintertime Bass Fishing
Day 4 -Common Wintertime Bassin' Mistakes
Day 5 -How to Survive Winter-Weather Bass Fishing

John's Journal