Friday, April 19, 2024

Our Top 9 Cold Water Crankbaits to Master Winter Bass Fishing


As the once vibrant leaves bid adieu and frost becomes a common morning greeting, a seasoned angler’s heart beats in anticipation of what’s to come. Winter may signify a slowdown in the natural world, but for bass fishing enthusiasts, it marks a time to gear up and embrace the chill. As we dive deeper into the frigid season, it’s crucial to adapt your tackle strategy. It’s time to get cranking—cold water cranking, that is. Here’s a rundown of nine cold water crankbaits that have proven their mettle in the wintry waters.

1. Rapala DT6 – “The Trusty Tracker”
A consistent performer, the Rapala DT6 is a legend on the lake. The tight wobble and remarkable buoyancy make it a staple for shallower dives, fluttering seductively in waters less than 6 feet deep. Seasoned pros often favor the ‘demon’ and ‘red crawfish’ hues—a fiery nod to the natural prey of sluggish, winter bass.

2. Strike King KVD 1.5 Flat – “The Cast Master”
The KVD 1.5 Flat packs the action of balsa with the resilience of modern plastics, capable of reaching that sweet 8-10 foot zone. Its durable body and smooth castability keep it in prime position amidst cooler currents. Opt for a ‘chartreuse shad’ blend to mimic the subtleties of fading baitfish.

3. Berkley Frittside – “The Balsa Impersonator”
Needing no introduction, the Frittside has soared in popularity thanks to its finely tuned ‘Flash Disc’ tech. Achieving an authentic balsa-like action within a plastic body, the Frittside can veer through wintry water with ease. When it comes to choice shades, the ‘ghost morning dawn’ offers an alluring transparency that’s hard for bass to ignore.

4. PH Custom Lures – “Phil’s Secret”
For the balsa purist, PH Custom Lures are a godsend. ‘Phil’s Secret’ slices through the cold water column with a dance that few can match, diving between 10-12 feet. Worn-out hooks and chipped paint testify to the countless battles and victories it’s seen. Although natural finishes reign supreme, ‘spring craw’ brings a colorful kick that’s hard for any bass to resist.

5. IMA Shaker – “The Seasoned Sway”
For those depths of 5-6 feet, the IMA Shaker stands out with a motion that brings the term ‘enticing’ to new levels. Often sought in the ‘old school’ pattern, this bait shimmies with the familiarity of a vintage classic, leaving winter bass spellbound.

6. Rapala Shad Rap – “The Arctic Artisan”
The Shad Rap might be finicky on the cast, but its subtle vibration and tight wiggle are unmatched under freezing conditions. Whether it’s the SR7 or the SR5, these baits excel in the hands of a patient angler. ‘Silver’ remains a quintessential choice, mirroring the bleak skies and matching the mood of the cold water.

7. SPRO Little John MD – “The Deep Diver”
Armed with a signature tight wobble and a dashing dive, the Little John MD is a champion of colder, deeper waters. Color-wise, ‘spooky shad’ is a hallmark for infusing a dash of vibrancy amidst the drab winter backdrop.

8. Original Storm Wiggle Wart – “The Irregular Rover”
Nothing says ‘retro’ like an original Storm Wiggle Wart. Its erratic hunting action is the talk of local lore, with a reputation for luring in some of the biggest catches. While OG colors are highly sought after, ‘molting craw’ presents a tempting profile that bass will brave the cold for.

9. SPRO Rock Crawler – “The Wart’s Worthy Cousin”
Where original Wiggle Warts are scarce, the SPRO Rock Crawler steps up. It retains that critical hunting action and is easier to obtain. Aim for ‘red river craw’ to capture the essence of a winter feast on the move.

What’s Your Hue?
The specifics of color and shade preferences can ignite debates as heated as summer grills. Now, dear anglers, we turn the spotlight to you. What colors do you swear by when the temperatures drop and the bass grow weary? Is it the boldness of a ‘fire tiger’ or the subtlety of ‘mossy brown’? Perhaps you have a custom color that’s snatched victory from the jaws of icy defeat.

Share your picks and paint the water with your success stories. Whether it’s a pearly white that glints beneath the frosty surface or a deep green that blends with the winter weeds, every choice tells a story. Yours could be the next legend whispered amongst the reeds when the bite’s gone cold but the fishing’s gold.

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