Well Here we are going into the heart of winter too many folks that means pull out the Spoons and Carolina rigs, But just because the water is cold doesn’t mean it is time to stow away your KaRu Vibrashocks, Vibraspins and Jigs until spring. A few simple adjustments to your tactics will keep you catching fish all winter as long as your water is soft enough!
KaRu products really shine when fishing structure in the winter. That is the key to finding winter bass, finding the structure. It is a common thought that in winter you have to go extremely deep, but I have found this isn’t necessarily true. One of my favorite pieces of winter structure is a 10′ – 15′ deep flat with a ledge dropping into deep water and usually protected from the north wind. This gives the fish easy access to feeding grounds during a warming trend and quick access to deep water during a front.
My goto bait in the winter is a 1/2 oz VibraShock. Color will usually be a shad imitator through mid winter such as a Fogy Green or Blue Shimmer shad. Later in the winter I will switch to an Extreme Bluegill or KaRu special brown in clear water and Black/Blue in deep stained water. I like to use a pork trailer in the winter to slow the fall. OK, let’s discuss some tactics to catch these fish!
First let’s work edge of the ledge. Start with your boat positioned 10 yards or so off the edge of the ledge and cast at 45 degree angles up on the ledge and let a Vibra Shock sink to the bottom. Now let it sit there for 10-15 seconds, “This really works in the winter”, then give it a short easy hop, Just fast enough to get the blade to hit the head a few times and let it settle back to the bottom. Let it set another 10 seconds and then begin a SLOOOWWW retrieve with a short pause every few seconds. Try to keep in contact with the bottom on pauses. You will be surprised how well this works!! Now, post coldfront in clear water I will use the same retrieve, but I will use a poisontail jig instead of the VibraShock.
What do you do when you find the fish suspended off the ledge? This is where the VibraSpin shines. I try to stick with Shad patterns for this because shad will be most affected and most vulnerable during the cold winter months. Make long cast parallel to the ledge the same distance away from the ledge that you have found fish on your electronics. Count the Vibraspin down to the depth of the fish and begin slow sweeps of your rod and feel the spin as it fall back down. Most bites will occur on the fall. I like to use the size one Vibraspin for this because it has a slower fall. You will have to experiment to see how far to sweep your rod and how long to pause as this seems to change constantly.
During warming trends and periods of stable weather I will concentrate more on the flat away from the ledge. Using a slow steady retrieve and a short pause only when I contact submerged cover.
In late Winter/Early spring when the fish start there prespawn feed I love to take a 1/2 Vibrashock and throw it over the top of emergent grass in spawning flats. Try to tick the top of the grass and when it starts to hang give it a rip and pause before continuing your retrieve. Yes it is the same retrieve most are using with a trap in the spring, But to the fish the Vibrashock is something that most fish have not seen 100’s of times a day and you will be surprised how many fish you can catch behind an angler that is throwing the”same old Traps”!!!
SO get out there and keep throwing your KaRu baits even though the water is cold. You will be happy with the results!!
See you on the water!!