Blade Bait Techniques for Winter Smallmouth Bass

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In part, blade baits are an underutilized lure category because they excel when water temps drop into the 40s — think cold and hunting season. For Wired2fish’s Ryan DeChaine, this is when smallmouth bass fishing heats up. DeChaine and friend Chris Riley embark on a late-season quest for smallmouth bass. They detail how to find groups of fall and winter fish using electronics, what constitutes the best habitat, and how to fish blade baits for consistent success.

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As temperatures hover around 40 degrees, DeChaine emphasizes targeting bass around big boulders with lures that stay in the strike zone. Baits such as spoons, drop shots, and Ned rigs are key players. Blade baits are in the mix, as they’re an efficient tool for combing the depths. Due to their weight and sleek shape, blade baits rocket to the bottom and stay there, making it easy to feel the bait and detect bites. Despite the cold water, the fast and aggressive lift-and-fall action triggers bites like few baits can.


In this video, DeChaine demonstrates how to use blade baits effectively. He opts for a casting setup, preferring a medium-light jerkbait-style rod with 12-pound fluorocarbon for its ease of control and sensitivity. By maintaining a short distance downwind from the fishing spot, DeChaine strategically casts into the wind, using Spot-Lock in conjunction with MEGA 360 to fan-cast to prime-looking areas. This approach allows for methodical fishing, gradually covering the area. Bass are highly concentrated during this time, so making slow and incremental boat moves enables you to catch more bass from the school.


Another highlight is the use of side and down Imaging technologies. Despite not seeing fish directly, DeChaine explains that fish often hide within the rocks. Hence, it’s essential to fish the area thoroughly when finding promising structures. He combines this with Humminbird’s MEGA 360 and MEGA Live technologies for precise fishing and efficient coverage.

Throughout the video, DeChaine showcases the effectiveness of blade baits in catching smallmouth bass in cold water conditions. His detailed explanation of the tactics and modern fishing technology provides viewers with a comprehensive guide to successful late-season smallmouth bass fishing. The duo’s approach highlights the importance of using efficient, heavy baits for deep fishing in colder conditions.

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