How to Fish Jigs for Bass in Cold Water

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As a Wisconsin native, Wired2fish contributor Cody Hahner knows a thing or two about catching bass in cold water. This video discusses how to fish jigs to generate bites when water temperatures are in the mid-40s and lower. Fishing slow is the cornerstone of his approach — warm water fish like bass are sluggish in cold water and have small strike windows, so fishing a jig slowly and methodically is essential to getting bites.


Jigs are incredibly versatile, in part, because they can be fished at a wide range of speeds and depths and can be easily modified to change their behavior. Hahner’s approach slows the jig fall speed and picks apart cover. Both are achieved by using lighter jigs, adding a bulkier chunk-style trailer, and fishing the setup on a heavier line. The trailer and line bulk increase drag and force you to fish slower.

Hahner seeks out a prime cover like shoreline laydowns — wood is a magnet and can increase the water temperature around it (absorbs heat). Make multiple pitches to the same cover element, hitting all parts, with bites often coming after the second or third cast to the same spot. Lastly, forgo the insane high-speed reels here, which can cause you to fish too fast.