Winter bass can be challenging to catch — sometimes they want moving baits like jerkbaits or crankbaits, but finesse setups like the drop shot often save the day. Luke Palmer shares his process for making intelligent winter lure adjustments based on how bass respond. Modern fish finders let us know when we’re on fish, but just as importantly, they show how the fish react to our lures. Not getting bit? Then it’s time to make a change.
Palmer starts by catching a quality jerkbait bass before the bite fizzles. He then makes another jerkbait refinement, switching to a smaller bait with a suspending horizontal posture — critical attributes for cold-weather fishing. He then abandons the jerkbait program and grabs a drop shot finesse worm. The fish immediately start biting, and a pattern emerges. Winter bass fishing is about the details — light, small diameter lines, and light drop shot weights can make a difference.
- FLOATING JERKBAIT – Smithwick Floating Rattlin Rogue
- SUSPENDING JERKBAIT – Smithwick Suspending Rattlin Rogue
- ROD – Abu Garcia Veritas Casting Rod, 7′ Medium
- REEL – Abu Garcia REVO X Gen 4 Casting Reel, 7.3:1
- LINE – Sunline Shooter Fluorocarbon, 12-pound
- WORM – YUM Finesse Worm, color – Ghillie Suit
- ROD – Abu Garcia Veritas PLX TE Spinning Rod, 7′ Medium
- REEL – Abu Garcia REVO X Spinning Reel, 6.2:1
- LINE (braided mainline) – Sunline Xplasma Asegai Braided Line Dark Green, 12-pound
- LINE (leader) – Sunline Shooter Fluorocarbon, 10-pound