72, Day 3
Equipment for Wintertime Bass Fishing
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.
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
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.
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