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Dominating the Fall-to-Winter Transition: Top Baits for Cold-Water Success
As temperatures drop and leaves fall, the bass transition into winter patterns, making it a unique challenge for anglers to get bites. Some anglers are distracted by hunting season and holiday plans. Others simply chose to put their boats away, awaiting the spring weather. Savvy anglers know the colder weather means less pressure, fewer people at the boat ramps and with the right tools, some of the best fishing of the year.
Adapting to the seasonal change is key, and having the right baits in your arsenal can make all the difference.
BD Subtle Tail: Perfect Finesse for Bass Gorging on Shad The BD Subtle Tail’s lifelike profile and subtle action make it an angler’s dream shad imitator during the fall-to-winter transition. Rig it on an Alabama Rig, alone on a jighead, or the back of your Waterslash Spinnerbait to tempt feeding bass into striking. Available in 3”, 3.8”, and 4.5”, this bait is a fish-catcher in the winter months. To match the hatch perfectly check out the 3 newest colors; Pearl White, Blue Shad & Electric Shad. Recommended rods: Micro Magic Pro 7’6″ XH Casting (Alabama Rig), Jacob Wheeler Select Series 7’1″ M Spinning (Single Swimbait).
BDJ115 Jerkbait: Mimic Vulnerable Baitfish When the water cols, bass become lethargic and seek easy-to-catch prey. The BDJ115 Jerkbait’s suspending action and realistic design imitate a wounded baitfish, triggering strikes from opportunistic bass. Best when fished for bass 10ft or shallower in the water column, the BDJ115 is a great tool for catching cold water bass. In stained to dirty water reach for the BDJ115 in Gray Albino, and in the clearest water it is hard to beat Green Gizzard Shad! Recommended rod: Black Ice 6’8″ M Casting.
BD79 Jerkbait: Versatile Cold-Water Performer The Newest Jerkbait in the line is the BD79. This smaller profile Jerkbait excels in colder temperatures, with its ability to suspend perfectly. This bait is a great option when the forage is 4” or smaller. By the way, do not worry about changing the hooks and split rings. All Duckett Baits (BD79 included) come with tournament ready hooks and split rings. Recommended Rod: Micro Magic Pro 6’6″ M Casting.
BD TRAP: Lure them out with Aggressive Action The BD TRAP’s tight-wiggling and fast-paced action can be irresistible to bass in transition. Crank it through submerged vegetation, “yo-yo” in deeper water, or bounce it off structure for reaction strikes. Cover water quickly and find them faster with the BD Trap. While Red Craw is by far the most popular BD Trap color, it is better to reach for Chrome Shad or Pearl Gray Shiner when bass are on shad this time of year. Recommended rods: Zeus 7’3″ MH Casting (grass fishing), Black Ice 7’2 M Casting (Boyd’s favorite).
Waterslash Spinnerbait: Imitate the Forage in Cooling Water As the water cools, baitfish group up, and bass feed. The Waterslash Spinnerbait is carefully designed to track perfectly upright cast after cast. The small profile, and high-quality blades make it an excellent choice for targeting feeding bass in low-vis conditions. With both Colorado and Willow blade options, two sizes and five colors to choose from, you can match the forage on any lake. Recommended rods: Torch 7’0″ MH Casting (1/2 oz), Micro Magic Pro 7’0″ M Casting (3/8 oz).
RT Shad: Match the Hatch The RT Shad’s rolling action and real-life profile make it the perfect option for wintertime swimbait techniques. Retrieve it at a steady pace by itself or on an Alabama rig to imitate a lethargic baitfish, enticing bites from cold-water bass. Bass are drawn to the life like eyes molded into this bait and the top colors are the Tennessee Shad and Gizzard Shad. Recommended rods: Pro Series 7’1″ M Spinning (3.5″), Jacob Wheeler Signature Series 7’0″ MH Casting (4.5″).
Changing seasons require adaptability; these Duckett Fishing baits are designed to help you navigate the challenges of the fall-to-winter transition. Find the baitfish, find the bass, and then experiment with different colors, retrieves, and presentations to discover what triggers the most bites in your local waters. Remember, patience and persistence are your greatest allies as you continue your bass-fishing journey into the colder months. Good Luck!