Winter Bass Lures - Flat Sided Crank Baits

January 08, 2021
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Flat sided crank baits have proven to be the most productive winter bass fishing bait, offering numerous presentation options and versatility in various water depths. The SPRO Aruka shad rattle bait and SPRO Little John crank baits are popular choices, with their ability to be used in various situations and allowing for quick and thorough coverage of largemouth bass in cold water.

With the best of the winter bass fishing yet to come, there are many different baits to choose from. None have been more productive over time than flat sided crank baits, and nothing you can choose will catch more bass in the cold of winter than flat sided crank baits. With many different sizes and styles there are way too many to choose from. A few that have stood the test of time on most lakes are the SPRO Aruka shad rattle bait or the SPRO Little John crank baits. Both flat sided baits are available in different sizes, colors and depth performance, allowing you many ways to present these baits.

To me, the best and most productive has been the rattle bait, the flat sided bait gives you many presentation options. Having no lip allows you to expand your presentation range. A rattle bait can be presented in many ways allowing you to excite the bass and offer up a meal or become a reaction bait in many different situations. The presentations are endless with rattle baits, as just about anything you can imagine with your mind can be presented with this bait to winter time bass. You can fish them deep or shallow allowing you to fish flats or banks or deep water making them very versatile for different types of presentations. The key is to become creative with the way you present the bait, so you are doing something different with every cast. When you catch a fish, it's then time to repeat that presentation until it does not work again. Become a smart and aware fisherman by paying attention to your retrieve, so you can repeat easily when you catch a fish or get a bite. It is also a bait that can be fished in many different depths of water. By slowing it down or using a heavier bait you can change depths and use it in deeper water. By speeding it up, you can fish it shallow. The bait bounces and rips off cover causing reaction bites, allowing you to search areas quickly and thoroughly covering water when largemouth bass are grouped up in the cold water. Nothing is more important in the winter that covering water. Largemouth bass hang around with each other and hang with equal size in the cold, allowing you to excite fish, create feeding frenzies and catch equal size when you find big bass.

Another great flat sided crank bait is the small profile lipped crank bait like SPRO Little John. This lures tight wobble allows it to gain depth quickly. It is also great as a search bait when pulling crank baits off fast dropping banks. The Little John bait generally works well around cover like lay downs and tree limbs near the bank. Allowing it to bang and move sharply around many different types of cover along the edges of grass or wood. Flat sided crank baits easily work through the thickest cover with very few hang-ups, allowing you work closely to obvious structure. Also, these baits are excellent floating crank baits, giving you the option to just stop reeling, allowing the bait to float up. This is a great lure to work around cover. You can get reaction bites by allowing it to just float upwards or by allowing the bait to move over bushy limbs from lay downs. Coloring is key in crank baits as the winter always presents many different water conditions because of heavy rain or wind. Be aware of the coloring as crank baits must be seen by the bass. If you do not experiment with color, you may be missing some easy wintertime bass bites.

Winter is a time to fish for pre-spawn bass and nothing does it better than these two flat sided baits. Find effective colors for your lake and water conditions. Be persistent and vary your presentation and you will catch loads of winter bass!

Capt. Mike Gerry - In The Spread, instructor

Fish Lake Guntersville Guide Service

Email: Call: 256 759 2270

Mike Gerry In The Spread, Instructor
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