As winter wraps its icy grip around the waterways, many anglers are tempted to put away their fishing gear and wait for the thaw and spawn that comes with spring. However, for the dedicated bass angler, January presents a unique and rewarding challenge.
Colder temperatures have slowed down the metabolism of bass, so using the right selection of bass lures and techniques is extremely important this time of year.
Adapting is the key to success in bass fishing, and January demands that of bass anglers. Below you can read about our favorite bass lures for January that we utilize on local lakes here in East Texas. Most of the baits listed below will also work successfully on most water across the US this time of year as well.
So, whether you're an avid angler looking to fine-tune your winter arsenal or a newcomer eager to explore the winter bass fishing experience, read on to discover the essential lures that will help you conquer the challenges of January bass fishing.
Our top 3 lures and baits to try for January bass fishing success.
- Jerkbaits for January bass fishing.
- Deepwater jig(s) and pig for winter bass fishing.
- Big plastic baits for January bass fishing.
Jerkbaits for catching trophy bass in January.
Why jerkbaits? Jerkbaits are great for working water slowly while providing a desirable presentation to any bass lurking for bait fish. They also work great with both casting and spinning rods making them ideal for any bass angler.
Colors you should try. Anglers should try using translucent jerkbaits on days with clear water and painted versions when the water is stained.
Techniques that work. Let your jerkbait sink or suspend momentarily, then jerk the bait anywhere from 1-3 times, followed by a slow retrieve and pause. Mix up this style of retrieve and repeat.
Rods for jerkbait fishing. Our Impulse Original Series 6'8" Zell Rowland Signature Topwater Rod is a great addition to any rod locker needing a solid jerkbait fishing rod.
Jig(s) and Pig just flat-out work this time of year.
Why Jig(s) and Pig? Designed to look like a crawfish’s pinchers, the Jig N’ Pig or “Pork” is attached as a trailer giving the bass jig an action that bass can hardly resist. This lure comes in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, improving its versatility even more.
Colors you should try. Black and blue is an Impulse go-to, but anything that mimics a crawfish should do.
Techniques that work. Jig n’ Pig lures work best when cast out and retrieved slowly across the bottom. Changing the lures action between dragging, popping, hopping, and jigging motions should increase the number of bites you get.
Jigs to try. For days with lighter winds, anglers should look to lighter tackle. The opposite goes for windier days, where ½ ounce and bigger tackle could be necessary.
If you are fishing in an area that allows you to go weedless, do so to optimize your hook setting power.
Rods for fishing Jig(s) and Pig. ENERGY Series 7'2" Heavy Casting Rod is a great addition to any rod locker needing a solid jig n’ pig fishing rod.
Using big soft plastic baits for January bass fishing.
Why big soft plastics? Carolina and Texas-rigged worms are known to produce bass year-round and are many anglers' “go-to” during the winter months. Fishing around structure
Colors you should try. Colors like PPB&J, brown, green, black, and other dark colors make good imitations of several different food sources bass might find on the bottom in winter months leading into the pre-spawn.
If a color isn’t working, try switching up the presentation before switching color or bait.
Techniques that work. When fishing structure let the bait settle slowly, then start to retrieve. You can jig it, shake it, and even add glass combinations for that extra enticement. We also suggest going weedless when fishing structures for bass to avoid snags and losing baits.
Lures to try. You’re going to want to fish with soft plastic worms that are 8” or bigger.
Rods for big soft plastic baits. Our Impulse Original Series 7'3" Medium/Heavy Casting Rod is a great addition to any rod locker needing a solid Caroline or Texas-Rig fishing rod.