When you think about spinnerbaits most times the winter is not the time you even think to bring them in the tackle bag. The water temp is low the weather changes on any given day. With that it makes most people reach for the worm rigs or jigs as well as the deep water baits; spoons, ice jigs and tail spinners.
If you really look at it a spinnerbait is a jig with “bling.” It can be pitched, twitched, hopped, popped, fluttered and sputtered. There is no wrong way to use it in the winter other than fishing too fast. I am not saying to fish it like a worm and barely move it over the bottom. The blades need to spin so keep that in mind. Just don’t churn and burn like it is summer time.
Think about lighter baits too, 3/16 and 1/4 oz baits they fall slower in the brush and just before the retrieve give the bait a pop to get the blades going. Winter time blade fishing does not mean only slow rolled 1 oz baits 30 ft down. That does work, however without really good electronics or great knowledge of the water you are fishing it can be tough to locate the right structure. What I am saying is don’t forget about fishing the shallow cover and structure. Good fish live shallow all year long. Not every fish goes deep in the winter. The deep fish stay deep pretty much all year. The same goes for shallow fish.
As we know the term “deep” is relative to the body of water being fished. If the lake is only 15 ft deep then that is deep for that lake and the fish are accustomed to it.
Thinking shallow also means thinking deep. Don’t get confused. In the winter the shallow bass do like to have escape routes. They need a way to get to deeper water quickly if need be. Use longer casts, stay back away from the structure as to not spook the fish.
Focus on this. Look for steep walls next to flats or road beds or long points that fall off quick to deeper water. Still with this you have to have good cover and structure for the fish to hide in. Open shallow water with nothing for the fish to hide in will push those fish to deeper water where they will feel a bit safer or to a different point where the structure is better. The flats with structure will hold bait and the fish will be looking for them.
A little chop and wind on the water is really nice as it allows the small eddies to form around points and rock piles and those are great places for fish to hide waiting on bait to come through.
Rocks are also key structure areas in the winter as they do warm up from the sun beating down on them and that in turn warms the water just around the rocks, even a ½ degree can make a difference. The fish will hang very close and tight to those rock piles. That is a perfect place to pitch the bait and let it fall down the rocks and then start the retrieve. You can cover the entire water column this way.
This winter when you are out fishing and the conditions are right give the spinner bait a try you might just surprise yourself.