Cold water bass fishing for most of us involves a little more finesse to our presentations. Most anglers find themselves working jerkbaits,finesse jigs, shakeyhead rigs, and crankbaits. For all these applications fluorocarbon line seems to make the most sense this time of the year.
Fluorocarbon line helps get your jerkbait deeper than what you would with a mono or a co-polymer which can be critical for catching reluctant winter time bass. Fluorocarbon line gives you that same advantage with crankbaits. The ability to get your wiggle warts or other cranks a little deeper can get you a couple more bites. Since fluorocarbon line sinks it also gives your crankbaits a slower rise. That slight difference might not seem like much to us but it can be noticeable to the fish. In the winter time all the forage is moving slower and being able to slow your baits down as much as possible a lot of times is real key. For jerkbait fishing and winter time cranking I usually stick with 8-10lb GAMMA Edge Fluorocarbon. It’s what has worked the best for me and a lot of other people I know.
When your hands are cold and that northern wind is whipping across the lake the sensitivity of fluorocarbon can really come in handy when your working your smaller jigs and shakeyheads. This time of the year the bites can be really soft and hard to detect when your fishing deeper water. Fluorocarbon because of its natural sinking ability helps give your bait a more natural fall and get it down to the bottom quicker. Keeping your bait in contact with the bottom is usually important this time of the year. Fish don’t like baits stroked like in the summertime. For winter time shakeyhead fishing, 9lb GAMMA Touch Fluorocarbon is a great line. It was created specifically for finesse techniques like shakeyhead and drop shot fishing. It just came out a little while ago but I’ve had some great results with it and that seems to be the general concession. On smaller finesse jigs I learned that you should stick to 10 to 14lb GAMMA Edge for the best results. On my regular jigs I will throw 20lb test but on these smaller jigs, especially when the water is cold, it’s best to downsize a little and go with that lighter line. Just remember to use a rod with a softer tip and back your drag off a little bit for the hookset. Don’t be afraid to use a spinning rod if you drop to 10lb test.
One last thing to remember is to invest in some KVD Line and Lure Conditioner if you can afford it. Icing of the guides can be a real problem when it is cold out. That line conditioner for whatever reason keeps the water out of your guides and helps prevent freezing. Spray it on the night before and during the day apply it as needed. If you get ice in your guides and you continue to reel you are constantly weakening your line. One bottle of this stuff last a long time and it really helps with making your line last so it will save you money in the end.